Why Systems are the Answer to All Your Business Problems

- even the really small ones -

Running a business can leave little time or space for thinking about how things can be done better. Do you get caught up in the day-to-day management and feel like all you do is solve a myriad of endless ‘mini’ problems to constantly ensure everyone is happy?  It’s tiring isn’t it, and doesn’t leave much room for big thinking?

From your team to your customers, there’s always something to deal with. Whether it’s other team members complaining that one person isn’t following procedures, not wearing the right uniform, or not saying the right thing to the customers, there are many hassles you simply do not need to manage.

This article explores Michael E. Gerber’s idea that “Systems run the business, and people run the systems.”  If you’re relying on people rather than the systems that people follow, you’re destined for constant problem-solving.  Mr Gerber also states you should organise around business functions, not people because people come and go, but the systems remain the same.

So whatever difficulties are presenting themselves in your business, no matter how small, the fact is even really small business hassles can be solved with a system.  

female receptionist with apple helping older gentleman

It’s easy to assume that problems in business are due to people not doing their jobs well and then blame them.  Perhaps you think you’ve hired the wrong person for a role that isn’t going well.  However, the real issue is often the lack of a clear system because, without proper guidelines, even skilled employees can struggle.

Take this example: a receptionist needs to handle calls professionally, but without a clear script or protocol, calls get mishandled. This leads to unhappy customers and hurts the business. The solution isn’t to replace the receptionist but to create a strong system with clear instructions. When systems are in place, employees can do their jobs well.

A lack of systems can manifest in various ways throughout a business, leading to costly mistakes and inefficiencies. For instance, without a solid follow-up procedure in the sales department, potential customers might slip through the cracks, resulting in lost revenue. Similarly, if there isn’t a proper close-down system at the end of the day, staff may end up working longer hours than necessary, leading to increased wage expenses and employee burnout.

Customer Service is another area that can be significantly impacted without good systems. If your team is winging it when handling customer complaints or enquiries because there’s no set procedure, script, or checklist to follow, it can lead to dissatisfied customers and negative reviews, which will impact your reputation and return customers. The cost of acquiring new customers is significantly higher than retaining existing ones, so poor customer service can have a long-term financial impact.

2 people cleaning chairs in a bar

How do we begin implementing systems to address these issues without it becoming overwhelming? It’s a good idea to start by reading the SYSTEMology book; you can order a copy here. The SYSTEMology framework is a proven step-by-step approach to systemising a business that removes overwhelm and busts the myth that it’s too time-consuming.

If you’re not a book reader, start by acknowledging where the problems are in your business.  What questions do you answer over and over again?  What issues keep coming up?  For instance, do your team struggle to fill in their time sheets at the end of their shift?  Does the cleaner forget to turn the light off when they’ve finished?  Or do you regularly attend meetings without the documentation you asked your PA to prepare?  

Simple systems can deal with these small issues. Remember to review and refine your systems regularly so they stay up to date. If you struggle to get your team to follow the systems, let’s talk further. I have a simple solution for that!

In conclusion, recognising that all business problems (even tiny ones!) are problems with systems can revolutionise your approach to managing your company. By focusing on building and maintaining effective systems, you empower your team to perform at their highest level and drive your business toward sustained success. As Michael E. Gerber wisely pointed out, the systems run the business, allowing you to step back and focus on growth and innovation.

For more insights on creating a business with systems at the forefront so it relies less on you or any single team member, explore our free resources or sign up to receive my fortnightly newsletter in the footer.

If you’re ready to start your systemisation journey, here are a couple of ways to get started.

Book a discovery call – 30 min call

Book a Systems Audit – uncover your roadblocks

Order a complimentary copy of the SYSTEMology book – request your copy

I’ve created a brand new resource to help you get started in just seven days. If you think systemising your business is overwhelming, think again.

This step-by-step 7 day guide will take you around 1 hour per day and by the end you’ll be enjoying smoother operations, happier customers, and a brighter future!

Download it now!

Conquer the Chaos seven steps to systemise in seven days