Get Your Organisation Running Like a Machine – Even When You’re Not There.

Running any organisation can be a daunting prospect. Multiple responsibilities, roles, and tasks that can easily become overwhelming. However, with the right systems and processes in place, managing and growing an organisation can become much easier.

Some years ago, I read the ‘E Myth Revisited’, the famous book written by Michael Gerber. He emphasises the importance of developing and implementing systems and processes that streamline business operations and create a turnkey business.

A turnkey business is one that can run seamlessly, even in the absence of the owner. This is achieved by introducing systems and processes that ensure that all the essential aspects of the business are taken care of, from hiring and training employees, to managing finances and customer service.

Such businesses are attractive to investors and potential buyers, as they are seen as stable and low-risk investments.

One of the main benefits of having systems and processes in place is that they significantly reduce training time for new employees. This is because the processes and procedures are well-defined and clearly documented, making it easy for new employees to understand and follow. This not only saves time, but it also reduces the chances of errors and mistakes being made, which can be costly for the business.

For instance, a restaurant that has well-documented processes for food preparation, cleaning, and customer service can easily train new employees to follow these procedures. It ensures consistency in the quality of food and service offered, regardless of who is working. This is important for the reputation of the business, as customers expect a certain level of quality and consistency, which can be achieved through standardised processes.

As well as reducing training time, systems and processes also improve efficiency in business operations. This is because they eliminate the need for employees to spend time working out how to do things or what steps to take next. Instead, they can simply follow the documented procedures, which saves time and improves productivity.

For instance, an estate agent that has a system for handling client inquiries, scheduling appointments, and processing paperwork can handle a larger volume of clients more efficiently than one that relies on ad hoc procedures. This allows the business to grow and expand without having to hire additional staff, as the existing employees can handle the increased workload with ease.

I often refer to how an organisation needs to react to changes in the market, or the external environment. Having systems and processes in place ensures an organisation can adapt to changes and challenges quickly.

This is because the procedures are well-defined and can be modified or updated easily to suit changing circumstances. For instance, a retailer that has a system for inventory management can easily adjust its ordering procedures in response to changing customer demands or supply chain disruptions. This ensures that the store always has the right products in stock, even during challenging times.

Another advantage of having systems and processes in place is that they create a culture of accountability and responsibility within the organisation.

This is because the procedures are clear and well-defined, making it easy to identify who is responsible for what tasks, ensuring that employees are aware of their responsibilities and are held accountable for their actions.

An example of this might be a law firm that has a system for managing case files. A clear, well-defined procedure should ensure that each solicitor is aware of their responsibilities and deadlines. This reduces the chances of cases falling through the cracks or deadlines being missed, which can be costly for the firm and its clients.

What’s more, the accountability and responsibility culture created by the system encourages people to take ownership of their work and strive for excellence, which ultimately benefits the organisation.

In conclusion, the implementation of robust systems and processes is paramount to building a successful turnkey business.

By reducing training time, improving efficiency, facilitating adaptation to changing circumstances, and fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility, any organisation can achieve sustainable growth and operational excellence.

The ability to seamlessly run operations in the absence of key personnel or owner increases stability and lowers risk, making the business more attractive to investors and potential buyers.

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