Why Systems are Sexy, and Every Savvy Business Owner needs them. “I love systems … I think they are sexy, and liberating and have so much to offer”.
Against my better judgement … that was my opening line, stood up in front of lots of people in a networking meeting … and you could hear the tumbleweed rolling in response.
Erm … memorable … definitely
Awkward – for sure.
But I stand by my statement … and I’ve clearly gone with it as an opening line once again!
Now I know that’s not a phrase that you hear every day – but it’s true. I genuinely believe that they are a cross between maths and magic …
A sort of alchemy if you will.
Now before you ask – is this crazy person an accountant, or engineer – the answer to both those questions is ‘no’. I’m neither … I did exactly one accounting class at the start of my degree (hated it, didn’t go back) – and engineering is not my jam either.
But I respect the hustle, and if you have any intent of being amazing at business and completely transforming your experience of starting, growing and scaling a business – you will too.
Why systems are sexy
Over the next few minutes, I’ll try my best to explain why systems are so sexy, and how to get many more of them into your business …
To start – I always like to go back to ‘First principles’ or ‘Back to Basics’ if you can excuse the pun, to look at definitions …
What is a system?
They’re everywhere – so what are they? Why are they – and most importantly, what are the benefits of having them in business?
So according to Lexico.com, ‘System’ has two key definitions:
- a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole and
- a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done, an organised scheme or method.
So, the key components, there are …
From the first explanation:
- ‘things working together’ not against each other – but cooperatively and collaboratively for a common good;
- ‘as parts of’ – each thing, has its own clear identity and role, but is also part of something bigger;
- ‘according to which something is done’ – which talks about a clear and common goal;
- ‘organised’ – so it’s well thought through and considered … and it’s A WAY of doing things, which doesn’t change on the basis of who is doing it, competence levels, or whether they’re having a good day or a bad one.
Systems are like extra hands for the brains of the operation … they give you the opportunity to DO more than you could do with your own two hands … and yet – unlike just getting in extra hands, by way of ‘people’ (#) – systems are the gifts that keep on giving in a compound way, and with ongoing and compounding benefits.
Systems are put together to work together for the aim that they have been created, whatever the weather. And so, it gives a sense of predictability, organisation and most important of all, (and one that I’m obsessed about with those I spend time working with) LEVERAGE.
Now Predictability, organisations and leverage are hardly words that set your soul on fire, but as you’ll see in the next section – if you are running a business, and want that business to all it can be for you, your customers and the world … then they really should.
Why systems are sexy. Advantages of having systems in your business
We only ever do stuff that’s good for us … if we can clearly see how it’ll make things better – or stop things getting worse.
So here are some 4 key advantages of having systems in your business:
- Allows you to move on from simple to do, (not in value or skill) repetitive tasks into using your creativity for higher value tasks and innovation … see the fact is that we’re obsessed with ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ but they don’t actually belong everywhere.
Creativity doesn’t belong in book-keeping. (It doesn’t belong in picking and packing) these are things that should be able to be done predictably, and accurately every time so that you KNOW what’s coming out. And in doing so … because mentally you can only make so many good decisions on any given day before you get ‘decision fatigue’, you can save those decisions for your high value, wealth generating tasks – which sees innovation going in the right places.
- Consistency of output and predictability of costs, which is at the heart for every successful business. Not being able to do that amazing thing more than once, will leave your customers dissatisfied. Not being able to predict the cost – will see your profits remain equally unpredictable, in an already unpredictable world. Being able to have consistency and predictability means that you are able to plan, and if you’re able to plan, you are able to grow, change, scale, protect, pivot … Hell the world’s your oyster once you can plan … now tell me that ain’t sexy!!
- Reduces waste and removes repetition for things that you’ve already solved. There is nothing worse that taking the time to solve a problem, coming up with a solution – and then leaving the next person to have the same problem to come up with their own inferior solution. A system stops duplication, and reinvention – which wastes valuable time and money on things that you’ve already spent valuable time and money on. So, they save you money, and make you money.
- Gives you freedom. It said plenty so I’ll say it again …
A business that relies on you as the owner isn’t yet a business … You should be in your business because you want to be, not because you must be, because it won’t work or can’t be done without you. A system gives you that freedom to be in or out of your business because you are confident of what will be done when you’re not hovering and tinkering and gives everyone else the chance to get on and shine.
So, if systems are so epic – and give us all the things we want (More money, more freedom, more choice and savings) – why doesn’t everyone have systems and set up businesses in that way …?
Well I’m out of words now – so I guess I’ll have to talk a little more about that in the next article (if I’m allowed back) – but suffice to say that if you know you need systems (10 different types for an epic, thriving business), and don’t have the ones you need … then getting someone who thinks systems are sexy to help you may not be a great idea – for now … seeing the benefits and knowing that they’ll help you is a great place to start.
If you’re now saying ‘Yeah systems are actually way better, exciting and needed than I thought’ … then I guess my work here is done!
# People are super important – lie the most important part of any thriving business, and yet putting them into a bigger system makes them even better! – Yinka Ewuola