If you said "Yes", I can feel your pain. My business had these hurdles to over come several years ago. It took a decade to develop what I call the "100% system".
So, where do you begin?
You begin by facing the truth-recognizing your busineess has chaos, and reconciling you need help to bring your business to order! You must make the decision to STOP the chaos or continue the pain! Chaos is NOT "normal"—you can GET OVER IT!
In 1993 my five-year-old printing company was in total chaos, and I had to face facts, like most business owners, I needed to bring my business to order. I knew that organization wasn't enough! What the business needed was the right systems to manage projects and sustain order in virtually every area of the company.
What did we do next?
Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, said:
"YOU are the problem ... YOU have always been the problem ... YOU will always be the problem ... until YOU change!" Ouch!
My business goals had to be re-examined...
I began creating a list!
- What do I need to personally change to increase my business?
- Where do I want the business to be in 6 months?
- How do I want the business to look?
- How do I improve our service and quality?
Considering the monumental task I had formed for myself, and the "thousands" of things that I needed to accomplish every day, I began to download everything I knew about my business. I listed every single thing I did on a daily basis-from the time I walked in the door in the morning, until I left each evening. Just looking at my list was exhausting!
Turned out, my first list was only the tip of the iceberg, as I tried to make sense of my own role in my business. My list included: Open shop at 7:00am, turn on lights, check my email and phone messages, prioritize and perform normal daily projects-all the way down to: turn out the lights, set the alarm, and lock the door. Obviously, I needed to go deeper. I had to consider not only what I did, but how I did each item on my list - step-by-step - including what forms or tools I used (where they should be kept, how they were updated/reordered, etc.), and how much time it took for each task.
It seemed I was often taken off-task by constant interruptions, and a myriad of "small" tasks that added up to hours lost each day that needed to be spent on business planning and growth considerations. "Why doesn't someone else do those things without me having to ask," I wondered in frustration-like turning off lights, calling for repairs, ordering things on-time so we don't run out, cleaning up the break room, replacing toilet paper rolls, reading their own computer manual so I was not always being called to the rescue-etc. etc. "Why can't some of this stuff be on someone else's list to do?" Now, THERE was a thought!!
I asked every staff member to do as I had done: make a list of everything each of them did each day-and I mean everything-including the detailed steps in each process. I discovered that while some of my workers were overloaded with routine tasks, others were often looking for things to do. So, DAILY ROUTINE CHECKLISTS (DRC) were built for every person, every position in our company. Tasks were assigned to certain individuals; some reassigned to others. Tasks that had been committed totally to memory were now listed on somebody's DRC, to check off as completed-including references to help them access much-used documents, forms and step-by-step procedures for performing virtually every task and process in our company.
My company's Operations Manual began taking shape. In short order, recurring mistakes became almost non-events, and our company waste ratio dropped more than 70% in the first few months.
You can learn more about how to systemize your business at System100.com.
Did I mention-Great Systems Work?
Ebiz Products LLC.