One area I’ve been focussing my Facebook Lives on over the last week is the importance of Systems. And for those of you who had read my book I don’t work Fridays will know systems are paramount for any business to scale.
Too many businesses get caught up with the individual components of their business, they see their business as parts and cannot connect them to anything else. They don’t see or treat their business as a whole. Think about the systems around us – Solar Systems, the human body, Eco Systems, systems in society – these all have hundreds of parts but for them to be effective, they’re all interconnected and work as a one entire system.
Let’s take two examples I’m sure you can relate to:
Lots of businesses obsess about Facebook Ads; they jump straight in and don’t work out their niche, have no idea on what problem they’re solving, therefore don’t refine the messaging. They don’t test organic methods first and pump money into it straight away, they’re not measuring results, they have no idea what is working, what isn’t. They’ve neglected to look at the whole:
What results are my customers currently getting?
Is the service I’m providing improving my customers life?
Is my message resonating with them?
Accountants are notorious for not seeing the whole; from our experience many just think it’s about the P&L and balance sheet. They’re not connecting anything to the business as a whole, so see spend on Facebook Ads and question why the business is wasting money on this, it’s an unnecessary expense.
You see, business isn’t complicated, people just make it that way. And when people think about systems, they just think it’s about a bunch of processes. But for any business to be successful you need to become a Systems Thinker – you need to understand the whole of your business, not just the parts. You need to think differently and start viewing everything as a system, and interconnect everything you do.
To break this down for you, you need to be looking at 4 simple areas:
1. Inputs – what you’re putting in.
2. Processes – what happens with those inputs – your activities that add value.
3. Outputs – your end goal i.e. paying customers.
4. Feedback to find out what inputs and activities are working, to then feed back into the system and repeat the process.
If you haven’t identified this, and your business and team aren’t all aligned to this, then your business will always be disconnected. Your customer service team, marketing, delivery will all work separately. Everything and everyone will work in silos and isolation. The direction given will be: “do this”, “copy that”. You may be getting results but scaling effectively will be near impossible.
A Systems Thinker on the other hand has a business that is interconnected, meaning everyone and everything has a relationship and the freedom to try anything. They will have a business that understands if the product is a good fit, the marketing is working, what the best method of delivery is. The know when to scale, and how.
Can you say, right now, your entire business is working as one, whole, interconnected system. Or are you still operating in parts, in silos?
You have two options: either become a Systems Thinker or find someone who is to help you – whether that’s someone inside or outside your business.
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays