Mistake 1, Part 4: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

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Each business owner has their own style for implementing new initiatives, but there can be no better opportunity for a team effort than in identifying all the elements of the business. Once you have decided to go for your own systems, involve all personnel in this discussion and start with the business goals, breaking these down into a series of procedures and tasks, i.e.:

  • Set up a systems ‘office’. This can certainly be a virtual office to save costs, but there is also need for a central office or location.
  • List (or set) strategic goals.
  • Identify tasks necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Develop effective procedures for completing those tasks; that is, write the procedures manual that can be replicated from the prototype.
  • Build confidence; it’s important to get a systems design completed early to create momentum and confidence among management, staff and external stakeholders. Get some runs on the board from day one!
  • Identify transitional systems. More good luck than good management would get everything to go the systems way simultaneously across the organisation. There will usually need to be a staged transition to allow for slower segments to be implemented and for re-training to occur where necessary.
  • Create the desired turnkey environment. What worked in your pre-turnkey era may no longer work; there may be shifts, not only in job descriptions, but also for working hours, flexitime, meeting times, etc.
  • Explain this new strategy. All key employees and stakeholders need to be told what is happening and when, especially if they will be affected as above.

This process is about both simplification – finding a better way of doing things – but also creating new roles. This may require a training effort. The ultimate goal of imposing structure and instituting systems and procedures is, of course, predictability. A system is any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate it. As one business owner said, “I’ve set systems in place – the policies and procedures – documented down to every task so that staff know exactly what they are to do and how they are to do it, and how they are accountable for doing it well.” She went one step further to ensure the business invested in training, because some tasks would be totally new tasks. “Then we train, and train them all over again.” Continued in Part 4. An extract from the book “The 7 Biggest Costly Mistakes Business Owners Make And How to Survive & Thrive” by Richard C. Cooper (c) 2011.

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About richardcooperch

Partner - Crowe Horwath (Aust) Pty Ltd, a part of Findex. Vice President - Alzheimer's Australia (Tas) Inc. Richard has over 20 years experience in Business Advisory, Taxation & Accounting at Crowe Horwath in Hobart. His primary goal is to help his clients, family, friends, and team members reach their maximum potential. Accounting and financial services is about providing people with meaningful knowledge and insight that helps them make good decisions. Some professionals forget that it is the person receiving the advice that needs to understand the issues at hand. Richard is a business partner to his clients and focuses on providing relevant, reliable and timely advice in a language they can understand. Richard believes in delivering outcomes, outcomes that must be defined by clients, and as a result he is not focused on charging time unlike most other accountants and advisors. For the first time, through its parent company Findex, clients of Crowe Horwath will gain access to their own office of financial and business advisory specialists for their personal and business affairs. Their adviser will act as a single point of contact and provide access an expanded suite of services under the one umbrella. These range from tax, wealth management, risk consulting, lending, insurance, self-managed superannuation, audit and assurance, management consulting to business advisory and more.

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