An Important Aspect of Any Successful Business is the Operations System

An important aspect of any successful business is the operations system. Consider a company such as McDonald’s. By many accounts, McDonald’s has an average-to-below-average product. Few people would argue that McDonald’s has the best hamburgers they have ever purchased. There is nothing spectacular about their pro ducts. Yet they are one of the most successful restaurant chains in the world. Why?

One thing that McDonald’s does well are systems — there are multiple systems in place. There may be price variations due to market conditions, but the menu is basically the same worldwide. Their branding is similar. Even though McDonald’s has independent operators at each location, they are required to follow the same system.

If a McDonald’s operator came to the corporate office and said, “I no longer want to sell the Big Mac. I am going to sell Greek salads instead,” corporate office executives would pull the license and terminate the agreement with that franchisee because the franchisee wanted to go outside the system.

Ask yourself what type of systems you have in place. If needed, can you replicate them in the same way that McDonald’s does?

What aspects of your business can you systemize? Think about it for a minute.

One challenge that entrepreneurs face is training someone to do the job they were hired for. Several of us have developed our skill set over a period of years; some of us have specialized training, and in many cases it is challenging to write on one sheet of paper exactly what it is we do, much less expect anyone to work-replicate. Basically, the problem arises because you haven’t invested the time to systemize.
It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.People Source International

For example, Henry Ford took the complicated process of building an automobile and broke it down into sections.

One worker sat in the same place and tied down bolts, another put a tire onto a rim, and another tightened four screws to lock the engine down onto motor mounts.

Henry Ford went through the entire process of manufacturing an automobile by using incremental steps that allowed him to mass-produce his product with a relatively unskilled labor force

Prior to Ford’s approach, automobile manufacturing was done as a customized solution with master craftsmen completing the work. This made automobile production expensive, slow and tedious.

Before you complain that your processes are too complex to systemize, think about the automobile and the amazing achievement Henry Ford accomplished. He independently re-created the way that manufacturing facilities run.

When you create systems and break up difficult tasks, you will discover new aspects about streamlining your business.

One system I have in place is the lead generation system through LinkedIn. I have developed scripts for our employees to use in making contact with individuals, members, and groups.

We contact group members with our first script. Depending upon the response from the prospect, my employees will send another script. This correspondence continues two or three times until my employees invite them to a call with a sales representative.

Prior to the call, our sales representative looks at the prospect’s profile information in LinkedIn. This helps our representative identify key information about the prospect. Then he or she sales uses a scripted presentation with the objective to enroll the client as a customer.

Does your business have something similar in place? Look at your business and ask yourself, how can you either automate or systemize different aspects of your business so that it produces predictable results. Look at each aspect of your business and go through this process, this will allow you to help duplicate yourself and maximize your company’s growth.

Be More Afraid to Quit, Than to Fail

Be more afraid to quit, than to fail; this has been my life’s motto. I view failure as a great achievement,  something that should be held with pride and dignity. A Person  willing to take a chance and try something that was unsuccessful, these actions take a great amount of courage and belief in yourself,  a willingness to step outside the box. Keeping in mind of course we are not judged by our failures in life but only our success. The second and most important elements of this course,  is a willingness to keep moving forward. Not try, or quitting on the other hand is something that I’m embarrassed to discuss. However, I will tell you that there have been incidents in my life where I didn’t step up. Instead of trying to step up to being larger-than-life, I shrugged smaller than mouse.

It’s an internal struggle of telling myself that I’m larger than mindset and I deserve greatest, that I am greater than my sum totals. It’s the ability to say I’m going to do it, and I don’t care what anyone thinks. It took me almost 3 1/2 years, of my current company sitting on a bookshelf, with the Incorporated documents and a business plan before I finally took action. Today it has developed into a self-sustaining thriving company.

Just because you’ve tried something and weren’t successful at it, does not mean that you are a failure. It simply means you have gained the knowledge and learned something that will not work. This should be taken as a life lesson, move forward, re-assess, and execute your plan again.

Walt Disney filed bankruptcy numerous times; Col. Sanders was 64 years old, flat broke, and driving around the country pitching his fried chicken recipe to any restaurant owner that would listen.  It was reported that he went to over 1000 restaurants and was told no, until he realizes the missing ingredient to his fried chicken recipe was plain table salt. After he made a slight adjustment in the recipe, the next 10 restaurants he went to, all bought a franchise.

 If Col. Sanders would’ve quit after 999 people had told him no, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) would’ve never come into existence. Often times we’re doing 99% of it correctly, all we just need to do is make slight adjustments, and tenfold our results. After you break the code, then reapply those adjustments and re-execute your plans. Failure is the name of the game, quitting never should be.

Differentiate Business from Hobby

There is a thin line differentiating a hobby from a business. Some times it is difficult to label the activities which you undertake. It is important that you must know the difference between the two, so that you can give them the importance they deserve. Whether you don’t know in which category your activities fall, yet they still take time of your life and you are spending a bit of money on them as well. In this peace of writing we shall discuss some of the major factors which help in classifying your activities as business or hobby.

Is there a Monetary Value Attached? The obvious difference between a hobby and a business is the monetary value attached. If you incur a certain amount of cost and expect to have some return over it, then most probably you are running a business. And if you invest and don’t give a dime about the return; then the activity can be classified as a hobby. And it is solely an activity you do in your leisure time.

Is there some Objective to the activity? You have to ask yourself that what is the objective of the activity you are performing? Is it just for pleasure or there is some commercial aspect attached to it? Take the example of blogging, if you are blogging just for the purpose of sharing your feelings and communicating with other people then it can be considered as a hobby. But if a friend asks you to share your feelings and experiences for his web site, then there is a whole new commercial aspect attached to your blogging hobby. So now it can be considered as a business, because by the end it generates or assists in generating profit for your friend’s website.

Do you frequently perform the Activity? The other thing you need to observe is that how frequently you are performing the activity? Whether you have a specific time assigned to it, or you do it on daily basis and sometimes you just perform it abruptly? If you undertake some activity and do it any time of the day and have no specific hours devoted to it; and perform it when ever you wish of doing so, then this activity can be your hobby. Because you are not committed to it; and perform it just for the sake of pleasure. While on the other hand when you perform the activity in specific hour of the day and perform it frequently without any postponement then this activity has the prospects of a business.

Do you put emphasis on the way Activity should be carried on? Another way to differentiate between a hobby and a business is the emphasis you put on its management functions like planning and organizing. If you properly plan and organize an activity, like the time its going to consume, the resources required, distribution and prioritizing of tasks involved in the activity, in what manner the resources will be utilized and how presentable your activity should look; then the chances are the activity you are under taking is surely a business. While on the other hand you neither plan nor organize any of the factors affecting your activity then it must be considered as a hobby.

If your answer to any to two of the above factor is YES then it would be realistic to presume that you are running a business. And if the answer is NO, then it is merely an activity to amuse you in your leisure time.