I’ve been banging on to you for months about the importance of having simple, effective systems. And only the other week I was reminding you how crucial to your continuous improvement the cyclical Plan-Act-Review system is.
Meanwhile…back in my own business….I’m afraid there’s been a bad case of not practising what I preach. Like the Website Designer who has a crap website, or the slimming expert who doesn’t follow ‘the plan’. With me it’s been a failure to regularly review all of my systems and determine whether they are still fit for purpose…whether they are still right for me and my business right now.
There’s a reason they say that ‘common sense is not always common practice’!
Like yours I hope, my business has grown over the years, and so has the number of systems I use to keep things working. Systems run my business…I’d be completely overwhelmed without them. And to be fair, I have kept on top of most of them, particularly those that I’ve created, and that I find easy to update.
No surprise though that the systems I had allowed to ‘go their own way’ (and to a certain extent, abdicated responsibility for) were my IT systems…the systems that require most effort from me to keep on top of them. System after system and plugin after plugin have been added to my digital set-up over the last 18 months or so, each one playing their unique part in creating the big picture. Doing it this way kept costs down as I was growing, and I was always confident that the techy team who support me totally got how they connected, how they worked together, and what they all did for me.
They saw the big picture, and it was clear to them. What I realised a few weeks ago, was that I didn’t…that there was a big black box in my business – a vital system that I couldn’t truly ‘see’ or understand, let alone control. And that this system was blocking my business growth.
Taking the time to review how my business had progressed and what I now needed from my digital system, was a real eye opener for me. The functional aspect was still ‘ok’, but all of the bits were clunky and time-consuming to administer, required manual intervention, and often meant that I had to ask for help to make the adjustments that I now needed. My free system was no longer free…and it certainly wasn’t simple or effective.
Having completed my review, I was able to look for a complete system that met my new requirements – a system that is right for me, right now – a system that gives me visibility of the big picture, control of all the elements, and flexibility and scope to grow, without increasing the effort I have to put in. I won’t name the system, because this isn’t a sales pitch, and besides, my system may not be right for you right now.
What I will say is that technology exists to support your business…a good friend of mine refers to Freedom through Technology…and that’s what it should do for you…free you to grow your business. Like every other system in your business, your digital system should support you, free-up your time and give you greater control.
So do yourself a favour – take a look at your systems, do a proper review of how they work for you, and whether they fully support your business as it exists right now. You may just find that your free systems are keeping you poor.
Plan – Act – Review…make common sense common practice.