Just like with most of the household fast food franchise names that …excuse the pun… roll off the tongue, like Pizza Hut, Burger King and KFC, both offline and online business systems need to be broken down into …excuse the pun…bite-size pieces that are easily… excuse the pun…digested by staff members and repeated!
If you re-read that sentence it does actually make sense without all the puns! Here we look at how franchises lead the way with some great lessons when you are designing your own business system.
A system can be defined as a predefined repeatable process to produce consistent outcomes. When we look at a typical large franchise model like Burger King we see that everything is designed to produce consistent outcomes. Everything is documented from the smallest details of planning construction and what goes where to how the ketchup sachets are going to be displayed and how often the toilets will be cleaned.
That’s why a hole in the ground becomes a fully functional burger joint seemingly within a matter of weeks and a gutted shop becomes an open store within days. Providing this type of detail is a good model for us to bring into our own business systems because it means that everything can be replicated and you don’t need to go over the same ground again and again with new staff and in new situations.
If you do the work thoroughly, in minute detail, upfront, document it and teach it to staff then it can be replicated time and time again with the minimum of effort on your part. Make sure you map out all the key tasks. With Burger King you can see so many systems going on every time you enter one of the shops – from serving, display and cooking systems to cleaning systems. What are the main ones in your business?
A lot of system functions people carry out without even thinking and they’re not even conscious of them. You have a system for getting up and getting to work in the morning that you may not even be aware of. If you’re constantly late then you need to change the system!
Consider the outcomes of your present business systems and if you want to see different, better outcomes then think about changing the systems.
As Gerber’s E-Myth system teaches, it is people that operate systems and many times we blame people for problems with systems; we waste energies complaining about or re-training people to use systems that are poorly designed. In actual fact we should be improving the system and documenting all the new steps to teach our staff about how we would like things done better in the future.
Many times in business people think that others are operating independently of a system and they have a hidden talent or an intuitive advantage over everyone else, which explains their success. For example, with a successful trader it may appear that he makes decisions based on gut feeling but he has usually just internalized the system better than most others so he has gained an advantage that way. Once again, it comes back to the strength of the system and how well he has learnt it.
Systems lie at the heart of most of the ways successful businesses operate. If you want to know more there’s plenty more guidelines to creating better business systems in The Outsourcing Profit Machine workshop. Just click here to learn more.