The main business strategy that has reduced the amount of hours I work in my business is implementing business systems. By putting systems in place I am able to run one of my businesses from home in only two days per week. This has happened without taking a cut in my income … in fact my earnings have increased.
To me systems means having a routine, having a structured method to follow that leads to a pre-determined outcome. Having a procedure to follow. Having tools to use, having checklists to follow, knowing the right words to say, using the right equipment, knowing what order to do the job in. If I follow these steps, using this equipment and these tools and say these things, I am likely to get this result.
Let’s look at an example of a marketing system. Imagine you had a revenue target of $20,000 per month. Now imagine you have a systemized, cost-effective, proven marketing system that generates and converts sales opportunities of $20,000 per month. You would follow it wouldn’t you. If someone can along to you and said ‘if you follow this routine, using these checklists, templates and scripts, allow two hours per day to make ten phone calls per day, send ten letters per day, attend one networking event per week, talk to ten additional people per week about your business and make two appointments per week, you will achieve $20,000 per month’, … you would do it, wouldn’t you.
Now imagine you have a 12-Month Marketing Calendar detailing what marketing activities are planned for each week. For each marketing activity you have a checklist, tool or template on how to complete that activity. The Marketing Calendar plans each week of the year. So every day you go to work you know what marketing activity you must do on the day and you have a checklist, template or procedure to follow. And if you followed that Marketing Calender, you would achieve a minimum of $20,000 every month.
You would follow it, wouldn’t you, because that is what your goal is!
In the marketing example, who am I accountable to on a daily basis? No-one except myself. If I don’t make the ten calls per day, or send ten letters per day, or attend a networking event, or maketwo appointments for the week, what are the consequences?
There are no immediate consequences. However the biggest consequence is that we may not achieve $20,000 revenue this month. We can justify our daily actions for not making the calls. For example I was busy responding to emails, I had to get on top of my accounts, I’m behind on my administration, I’m recruiting a new staff member and had to write the advertisement, etc, etc, etc.
However it is the regular commitment to action that will eventually reap you rewards. The rewards may not be immediate. But work out a system, commit to it for as long as it takes. Create a system that is easy to follow and commit to. That person may not knock on your door with the proven marketing system that will generate $20,000 per month. You need to create it.
Here, I believe lies one of our challenges. Creating the system that works … finding the time to develop the system that will work for your business. This is what working ON your business rather than IN your business is all about.
Once the system is in place, someone else other than you can follow it.
Let’s stay with the marketing example and imagine you put the time and effort into developing a systemized, cost-effective, proven marketing system that generates and converts sales opportunities of $20,000 per month. You can now recruit somebody else to follow the system and generate $20,000 revenue per month for you. Your earnings potential is then only limited by the amount of people you recruit. As long as the system still works in the current market conditions. Your job is to ensure the system still works, then recruit others to work it. The earning potential of the business is no longer dependent on you.