Goals are good. Systems are VITAL!
We all have targets we want to hit dead center in our businesses – more profit, record sales, more clients. And, of course, the first step on the road to achieving these things is to set specific and actionable goals. However, the more clients we work with at PBC, the more we realize that when the play clock starts, it is time to forget those goals and focus on your systems and processes.
Think about the difference between goals and systems. NFL coaches want a winning season (and hopefully postseason). Their system is their playbook, their training regimes, and how they execute every down. For tennis pros, the goal is to win grand slam tournaments. Their systems are in the coaching sessions to enable, for example, two aces out of every ten serves or more topspin on their backhand.
Your goal as an entrepreneur may be to build a million-dollar business. But it will never happen until your processes and systems are tuned up and humming like a NASCAR engine. We have helped one of our client businesses do just this. A large multi-million-dollar company was operating several subsidiary businesses where identical functions were achieved with very different processes. This gave rise to waste in the form of rework, unnecessary confusion, and even risks to ongoing business. With process mapping and systemizing procedures across the businesses involved, we developed best practices and made considerable cost reductions.
Your systems, to name but a few, are…
● Your Sales and Marketing Process. We know of a company where the top team was unable to submit a large bid to a potential client. Even though the sales team had spent months preparing, it somehow missed an important step and never even got in the game.
● Your Communication Process. We are all operating in a maelstrom of technological change. People come and go. It is all too easy for even leadership teams to hold diverse interpretations when creating and implementing new processes. In these circumstances, adhering to and focusing on a robust protocol for sending and receiving information is the only way to progress.
● Your Continuous-Improvement Process. Anything can be improved and the person doing the job knows it best. Machines do not have ideas, only people do. As leaders, it is our responsibility to empower and guide our employees through each step of an effective business-improvement process. See our white paper, “Thriving in a Matrix World.”
Your Quality Documentation System ensures adherence to your standard operating procedures. We all want to be “triple zero businesses”: zero accidents, zero waste, and zero delays. Right-first-time-every-time quality is only possible when everybody involved in producing your product or service is aware of the process steps and is focused on carrying them out correctly and in the required sequence.
● Your Cash Flow Management Process is the lifeblood of your business. So here is the big question: If you forget your profit forecast in favor of these 3 processes, would you still achieve it?
❍ Ensuring 100% of your invoices are correct, complete, and dispatched on time.
❍ Ensuring 100% of your payables were verified and your promises to pay kept.
❍ Contacting and helping all late or non-paying customers.
We know for sure you would! And so do you!
We entrepreneurs can sometimes be our own worst enemies. We put ourselves under unnecessary stress to boost sales or grow profits. We could be more relaxed and happier if we kept things simple, by focusing on the bread-and-butter processes and letting the “big picture” develop in our wake.
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