Prince of Process: The Importance of Systemisation #0011

 In our business, over the years, I’ve had a few nicknames, the two I can reveal(!) are “Prince of Process” and “Captain Boring”. My desire to process, process, process was (on the face of it) overkill in the early days. I had lots of comments and questions as to why we needed to bother creating and enforcing a process for certain aspects of the operation when the company was only at 2 people, or 5 people. My answer was always the same. We weren’t creating processes for 5 people, we were creating them for 200+

You Need To Ask This Question

The sooner you can process, the quicker it gets engrained into the culture of the business. What’s harder than brining in a process for credit control when the company is only 2 people? Bringing in a process for credit control at 30, or 40 or 100. Changing (one day) to a new way of doing something is always harder than implementing it early.
It’s why a child can become almost fluent in 3 languages by the time they are 5, and someone in their 40s could struggle to learn the basics of a second. With each way you do something or every piece of software you are considering, you need to ask yourself, “will this get us to £1m” – or whatever your vision for your business is.

“Ok For Now”

The “it will do for now” approach is the dream killer of small businesses. If it’s ok for now, it will be ok for 3 years’ time. Before you know it, your back office, your promotion procedures, and your annual reviews are all cobbled together “for now” cultivating a slapdash environment that soon becomes the norm. There’s never a good time to systemise that bottleneck. It only ever gets harder as time moves on.
The biggest push back is the cost of the software and the price of the systemisation. People that struggle to achieve their big business goals see everything as a cost, and not as an investment. The real cost is your 4 holidays a year and leased range rover you bought yourself for getting half way to your goal. Forgo all luxuries, your business and your people deserve better. Build properly and build early. You can’t expect a mighty oak tree to grow in 3 inches of soil, there has to be deep fertile ground.

You systematise for the long term vision not the here and now

How? Start With “Simple”

You can process and systemise any business, no matter how small, and should do. It’s far more likely to one day run without your direct input as a Founder if you nail the processes early. They are the blueprint, the map for others to step in and one day run aspects of it for you. You need a process in place for everything, and years before it becomes an issue. Don’t wait. Most processes and systems we designed started not with a big expensive piece of software, but with a simple pen and paper, or a whiteboard and sticky notes.
Work back from the intended outcome and ensure everyone feels heard when suggesting the steps in any given process. Once designed, you need to enforce it. The longer the new process is adhered to, the more likely it is to become habit. When well thought out steps become habit, then you are off to a winner.
If being called Prince of Process means our business runs smoothly and is scalable, then pass me the badge, that’s a name I will wear everyday.

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