Like most things in a business, systems and procedures aren’t things that you can set and forget.
They need to be revised and reviewed as your business changes and grows. So, what sort of things might prompt a revision of your systems and procedures?
The importance of systems and procedures
Systems and procedures are the ‘how-to’ of any organisation. They ensure a standard of service or quality product is consistently delivered to your customer.
In many ways, systems and procedures take the guesswork out of business. They are designed to remove any room for error, while also allowing your business to scale at speed.
For any business with staff, systems and procedures are essential. They ensure each staff member knows exactly what to do when under what circumstances.
And it’s important to note, for the business owner, systems and procedures offer true peace of mind.
If you have developed a solid set of systems and procedures, you can rest assured that, regardless of whether you are at the helm or absent from the business, the right actions will occur at the right time.
Systems and procedures need updating
Establishing a solid set of systems and procedures is one of the most liberating tasks a business owner can complete.
They free you from worry, remove variables, allow your business to grow, and allow you as the business owner to step away when the need arises.
They are also the go-to template that you can draw on when hiring new staff.
That said, they also need to evolve and change over time as part of the constant revision of your operation.
So, what might prompt a systems and procedure review?
When onboarding new staff
If you’re looking to bring on new staff, that’s a prime time to review your systems and procedures, and the process might also involve consulting existing employees.
The aim of the game is to create the best possible mud map of exactly how your business operates, including an understanding of the customer journey and the role your staff play in that experience.
During a major growth phase
If your business is set to embark on a major growth phase, your systems and procedures should be revised and ready to cater to the expansion.
That might mean scrutinising the current systems you have in place while also devising new ways to cope with additional products or resources.
When embracing software or automation
As a business grows, often there’s a shift towards greater efficiency that is delivered through technology and automation.
This too requires its own systems and procedures to ensure the technology meets the needs of your business, and staff are using it to best effect.
When stepping away from your business
Whether you’re spending less time in the business day-to-day due to growth or are seeking to step back from your business, this requires a careful audit of your systems and procedures to ensure the same quality and service is delivered in your absence.
Regular revision is a must
Although the above are clear examples of when you should take the time to look at your systems and procedures, the reality is every business owner should be considering these essential ‘how-tos’ on a regular basis.
Revisiting your systems and procedures is just as important as regularly updating your business plan, providing the framework within which the day to day of your business occurs.