Systems are the solution for small business frustrations

I have long advocated systems as a solution for virtually every problem faced by small business owners. And I have often received complaints about this. I am told things like, “It isn’t that simple,” “You don’t understand my situation,” or more bluntly, “Systems aren’t the solution to everything.”

I think that these claims arise because of a misconception regarding systems.

In a certain sense, systems are indeed simple. They provide specific guidelines for accomplishing a particular task. Follow the steps and you get the desired result. When the systems are clear and complete, a novice can follow the steps and complete the task. As an example, consider the User Manual for the latest gadget you bought. If the manual is written well, you can easily follow its instructions to accomplish the desired task.

I will admit that operating a small business is more complex than using many gadgets. There can be dozens of variables involved, not to mention the physical skills required. But the fact is, you follow a system when you produce a product or provide a service. You have certain steps that you follow. You know the results that you want and the steps required to achieve those results. That is your system.

No matter how easy or complex a specific task, there is one particular series of steps that will complete the task most efficiently. This is true whether you are balancing a check book or launching a rocket. Systems are nothing more than the process of identifying the most efficient way to achieve the desired result, and then documenting those steps.

As an example, last year I began investing in rental properties. As I was preparing to do so, I asked many people about their knowledge and experience with rentals. Some offered sound advice and encouragement, while others offered little more than negativity. What I discovered was that those with a positive attitude towards rentals were following a system, while those who were more negative weren’t.

Those who were following a system avoided many of the problems the naysayers were experiencing. By following a system and avoiding problems, the desired results were more easily achieved. The same principle applies to any task, including running a small business .

1 comment to Systems are the solution for small business frustrations

  • physician assistant

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

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