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.

What Systems Do You Have in Place

Today I would like to talk about systems. All of us have systems and processes, however the reality is most of us have not taken the effort to systemize everything and to really get a clear understanding of exactly how our processes work. Therefore, it often times makes it very difficult to delegate aspects of our company if we don’t have well-defined goals and descriptions. It’s critical for you to have some type of soft- interface to help you communicate. Today, we use a variety of different tools: video cameras on our phone system, CRM, and project management tools. We have so many tools and systems in place. It really helps keep everything accounted for and organized.

Redundancy – ensure you have contingency plans in place. Part of having a great system in place, is having a very well-defined, plan B if there happens to be a failure. If there is a failure, then you have backup capacity, which will allow you to continue operating. Even if it’s at 50%, it’s 100 times better than being completely down. We have multiple redundancy pathways in place, yet there are still some times we get caught flat-footed. The unthinkable takes place and there you are. Ensure you have other suppliers in place to handle additional work you can offload until you get back to 100%. The last thing you want to happen is for your inefficiencies to filter over into your clientele business or lifestyle, depending on the clientele you serve.

Nothing will cost you more business faster than the inability to supply your customers with what you’ve promised. This can be a hard, expensive lesson to learn. Be proactive and look at all systems you have in place, and ask what is the cost to build a redundant system in place? Do you have a list of similar businesses you can offload business to on a short-term basis while you work on our infrastructure? Do you have multiple pathways into your building in the event you were to lose Internet connectivity? If your building floods, do you have a way of sending people home and having them work from their homes equally as efficiently as in their office? These are just some of the many contingency plans that need to be put in place.

For example, it is much the same way, Henry Ford took a very complicated process of building an automobile and broke it down into having a worker sit in the same place, and tie down bolts, put a tire onto a rim, and to tighten four screws in order to lock down the engine onto the motor mounts. Henry Ford went through the entire process of manufacturing an automobile in very small, incremental steps that allowed him to mass-produce the product with relatively unskilled labor.

Prior to Henry Ford’s approach, manufacturing of automobiles was done as a customized solution, and master craftsmen completed the work. This made the production of the automobile very slow, tedious, and it required highly skilled labor in order to complete the process. So before you start saying my 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 would run forevermore. By creating systems and breaking up difficult tasks, you will discover new aspects of streamlining your business.

Let me share with you some of the systems I have. One of the systems I have in place is the lead generation system through LinkedIn. I have developed scripts to be used by our employees to make contact with people, with members, and members of groups. We contact the members of groups and give them our first script. Depending upon the response my employees get back from the prospect, they will send another script. This correspondence will generally go on two or three times until my employees invite them to do a call with one of our sales representatives. The sales representative will look at the prospect’s profile information in LinkedIn prior to the call. This gives the sales representative the ability to identify key information about the prospect before they jump on a call. The salesperson then, has a scripted presentation that they go through with them, and the objective is to enroll the client into becoming a customer of ours. This is one of our systems. Does your business have a similar system?

Let’s talk about another system one of the greatest basketball players of all-time had in place, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He, when you add up all of his points from playoff appearances, regular-season games, and All-Star games the total points scored are exactly 44,400. This is a feat I’m sure would’ve been impossible for him to have conceived. I can only assume this number was achieved by sheer luck, but this is the exact number. It was not rounded off! It is exactly 44,400 points. This makes him the all-time, highest point scorer in the history of NBA. How was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar able to achieve such amazing feat? Well for one thing, he developed a system of scoring. You see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 7’2″, and even by NBA standards, he had an unfair advantage. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar maximized his unfair advantage and capitalized on it.

He did what I would suggest all businesses do: take your strengths and develop a system that exploits your strengths compared to your competitors. Give yourself an unfair advantage! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s unfair advantage was his patented shot called the “skyhook.” The skyhook is an over the shoulder shot at his release-point when he was fully extended. The top of his release-point must have been close to 10 feet. This created an unstoppable shot. This patented shot became so successful it landed him among the ranks of the NBA Hall of Fame. Here is a list of some of his other phenomenal achievements: six times MVP, six times as a NBA championship team-member, All-NBA team 15 times, All-Defense team 11 times, Rookie-of-the-Year 1970, All-Star 19 times, and listed as one of the top 50 greatest players of all-time in the NBA. How did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieve these impressive accolades? It was by developing a system. Magic Johnson would feed the ball in to Kareem, and then “bam,” the skyhook.

Does your business have a skyhook? Start delegating today, build your team and systems!