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Small businesses traditionally struggle with knowledge being kept in people’s heads instead of documented. They often don’t know that processes and systems increase company value. Owners or leaders are not able to delegate or truly go on vacation because there is no system to help the team execute solutions for clients. Reinventing the wheel increases the risk of failure, results in mistakes and inconsistency, and costs money. Teams operate in silos when there is a lack of process, with no plan to streamline work across teams.

Shooting from the hip every day prevents you, as a business owner, from scaling your business. By investing in building systems, processes, and procedures to control the chaos in your business, you are free to grow it.

Acquiring and Maintaining Talent

When you have systems, processes, and procedures—and they’re documented—employees are happier, stay longer, and are clear on what you expect from them. Owners and leaders can delegate and not micromanage. You can even create a way to allow your employees to work from home in some cases, which improves productivity. It also gives you a wider net to cast to collect better talent.

As you develop better project management tools and methods, more of your ideas will come to fruition. Often, they die on the vine because no one knows how to take the next step.

Consistency helps to protect your brand and your reputation. Your clients can have the same experiences no matter who they work with.

Additionally, getting all the “to-do’s” out of your head and into a planning tool helps small business owners be more productive. Details running around your brain are just another form of clutter. Organizing those details frees up your brain space for more creative functions.

Systems Increase Company Value

When it comes time to sell a business, a new owner buys the systems, processes, and procedures you’ve developed to run a successful company. If all the operations are stored in your brain, you don’t have anything to sell. A new owner will want your method as a large part of the deal, not to figure out how to replicate your successes.

[See the case study Three Girls Media – Creating an Exit-friendly Business]

Especially as we move into the paperless era, your process should include ways to eliminate paper as much as possible and use digital files. The added benefits are savings on office supplies, a central repository where the most current version of the file resides, and the ability to access information no matter where you are.

So, how do you start? Choosing software to manage your projects or written processes (usually both) helps you systemize your business. It doesn’t have to, nor should it, create bureaucracy or prevent you from being nimble. Sometimes, when you examine the process, you can remove unnecessary steps to improve quality and speed. Remember, too, that when processes are not written down, your intentions as the owner are not necessarily being replicated as you originally intended.

There is no downside to improving your systems!

For more self-guided resources, visit our complete guide to successful small business operations.

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