Whether you read the E-Myth or Franchise magazine, they take-away should be Systems.
The whole idea about working ON your business instead of IN it centers around the concept that IF you have Systems in place, you get repeatable activities and less fires to fight. In 2007, many clients asked about provisioning systems. They had reached the scale, where manually handling each order was unwieldy. trouble ticket systems because they weren't properly tracking help desk. In some, there was a disconnect between ordering and billing. In other words, people were installed but didn't bill for 6 months to 2 years! Oops! Lost revenue.
Trouble ticketing, Provisioning, Billing, Accounting, Ordering, Sign-up, Inventory -- these are systems you need to in place, especially now, to become more efficient and cost effective.
In Pamela Slim's blog, Escape from a Cubicle Nation, she writes:
With flawless systems, clearly defined roles and excellent communication, the business would survive, improve and eventually thrive. ... So that is what he did, with the help from his staff. The process took a long time, but by rigorously examining and documenting every step of every key process in their business, they were able to make leaps and bounds in efficiency. Providing better service, they raised their rates. Retention improved, and training new employees was much easier.
You should even have systems in your personal life to get some time back. (Golden marketing rule: People will pay for to get Time back! Convenience stores are about time, convenience, and a surcharge to deliver those). In the interest of said systems, Google Tasks transform email into task.
I love this post especially from a Marketing/Sales Guy. Yes, I know you are more than that, I had the pleasure of talking with you at the spring ISPCon in Chi-town. I am at heart a systems guy (System & Network administrator by trade and passion).
I used to work at an ISP that did not have systems, and not being able to implement them was a major reason for my departure.
Systems will help you keep your employees and keep them happy. Happy employees will be more productive. Happy employees will be loyal. Happy employees will get you more business for less expense.
UNHAPPY employees will make you lose customers whether they mean to or not. Don't take this out on them, if you are missing the signs of their unhappyness you probably don't know what customer happyness/satisfaction/loyalty is either.
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