How to Create an Operational System for Your Business

The Operational System for your Business is a must for any and every business owner, big or small!

Time is money

Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, every business owners know that time is wasted in manually re-creating tasks – i.e. duplicating work. What a lot do not understand though, is that it costs time – and mistakes too!

We all know that time is money, so why do we continue to cost ourselves money – even if we cannot physically see it?

Head over to my online calculator for a realistic view of how much money you are worth per hour, and it should give you some perspective on how much money you are wasting in replicating tasks day in and day out.

Why you should streamline your operations

Business operations aren’t exactly sexy when it comes to things you want to have done – or need to have done – in your business. In fact, it’s often dismissed and put to the side or backburner because it isn’t considered a priority.

Regardless, the operational system for your business is core for what you do in your business, and how, regardless if you are a sole trader or employ a team (contractors or permanent employees).

Benefits of a fluid business operation

Imagine you were having an issue with your phone or electricity and you had to contact customer service of the company; the customer service team members work to a procedure set by their department (and company).

So, imagine if they didn’t have a procedure for how to handle complaints, queries etc. what would that service look like?

To you, it would be one person says one thing and a different person has a different answer to your query – it is not consistent!

To them, it would be chaotic as there would be an increase in errors, complaints, team members etc.

When you think about your business, how would you document everything you do in your business?Click To Tweet

You need to document what you know, and you need your team to follow procedures for all the different areas of the business.

Working with a team

As I’ve mentioned, it’s imperative to have procedures implemented for your business – which can be set up online with a cloud-managed platform or as an accessible document (housed internally) by all team members.

When you have a team, they can contribute to the creation and input of the procedures for the business so they know what they’re doing and you are aware of what gets done in your business and how! It means that they should be more streamlined, more productive and aid you in being more profitable (plus everything is set on how to do things, you’re not wasting money paying them to replicate things the long way!).

This could cover:

  • bookkeeping
  • graphic design
  • marketing activities
  • customer service
  • email management
  • calendar management
  • hiring team members,

whatever your business does, it should be recorded.

An added benefit is if a team member is off sick, for instance, someone can step in and get their tasks done (if needed) by following the procedure. Or, if a team member leaves your business, you know exactly what they did and how and won’t be left hanging.

Key steps to getting started

Time tracking to determine tasks: identifying your activities

This is the easy part and feeds into creating what is called your Standard Operating Procedures.

Firstly, determine if you are going to use a document to lay out all the procedures (which is a top choice for solo and very small business owners) or use an online process management tool like process.st (there are others but that’s for another day!).

Secondly, and based on you choosing a document to outline everything, download a template that will be a guide for how to set up your procedures and what to record.

Thirdly, I recommend you time track everything you do each day for 2-4 weeks. You can use free tools like clockify or toggl and once done – print out a report and look for patterns for what you do, how often.

Fourthly, use your time tracking report as the catalyst on where to get started with completing the Standard Operating Procedures.

This is one of the best ways to get your operating system started.

To get started, grab a copy of my Standard Operating Procedures Guide and Template – it’s all set up and ready for you to download and get started.

There is an awesome feeling knowing that you are doing things to actually manage your business operations more effectively and that realisation is not lost when you see for yourself the impact it has on your daily business operations.

Breaking down tasks between direct and indirect money tasks

The tasks that you do in your business either have a direct or indirect way for you to drive money/revenue to your business. Placing focus on your strengths helps you to be the best you can be and by downloading and using my Task Outline and Priority Planner, you can determine what it is that you “Delete. Keep. Delegate. Outsource. Automate.” so you know where you can easily make changes that have a significant impact on your time and money.

Now that you’re ready, grab a copy of my Standard Operating Procedures Guide and Template – it’s all set up and ready for you to download and get started with ease.

Natalie Campbell