How to Build Systems Around Your Business


If you are working for the business instead of the business working for you, then you need a system.
Do you ever wonder why so many foreign owned businesses outlive their founders while most of the Nigerian businesses die once their owner is dead or leaves the business? The reason is that the foreign owned businesses build systems around their businesses, which will allow the businesses to function effectively with or without the presence of the owner. And as for majority of the Nigerian owned businesses they are built around the owner. So if the owner is not present, the business is practically on hold or will not function properly.

We will be discussing on building systems around businesses to help the business outlive their owners.
A system is a method of solving a repeated business issue in a strategic and effortless way. It addresses a specific problem or business issue. A system is a Process or routine.


Document the process:
The very first step to take in building systems around your business is to document the process in a clear step by step procedure. The document should be simple enough for anyone that handles it, should be able to replicate the process and come out with the same result.
Create a procedure; it could be your operations manual or just series of checklists.

Let’s take for example, we have heard of ladies that their mother taught how to cook a particular traditional food, which her own mother learnt from her grandmother. One thing that is commonly noticed is that the grandmother’s meal is always sweeter than the mothers while the mothers is sweeter than the lady’s meal, the reason for this can always be traced to the fact that the process of preparing the meal was never properly documented into recipe.
While for the foreign owned franchise, we have heard of some of them having recipes that are over hundred year old, and by this they have built systems around the preparation of their meals which help them deliver consistent taste and flavor.

Automate the process:
This is another major step to take in building systems around your businesses, in as much as it is possible, try to create an automate process; this process should be able to apportion responsibilities to the different staffs, evaluate their input and reward them respectively. If you must be the only one to tell your employees what to do every time then your business would be very limited.

If you can implement simple systems for most essential business processes (marketing, payroll, invoice, etc) you can step away knowing that most of these systems will go according to plan. You can confidently delegate repetitive tasks to employee, freeing yourself to work on the areas of the business that generate additional cash flow.

For example, the process of client acquisition/attraction, invoicing and payment, delivery of the goods and services should all be automated.

Let go of having to do absolutely everything:
For most entrepreneurs and business owners, the business is their baby and they want to have hands on everything concerning their business. Having to do everything all by yourself with limited time is a common problem that prevents business owners from growing their businesses; this problem will eventually lead the business owner to burnout.
In order for your business successful means letting go of control over every detail and making employees accountable for doing their jobs.

Build teams:
I have seen too many businesses in Nigeria run typically as a one man show; the owner believes he is the only one that can deliver the best quality and as a result he would want to make sure that he is involved in every process of the business.
If in your current business you are the only person among your workforce that is known for making or providing the best services/goods and nobody else can produce similar quality then you need to build a system around your team to help you run the business, without great team in place; your business won’t grow to the level you want.

Prepare a successor:
This is the major step every business owner should handle carefully and properly if they want their business to outlive them.
Create system to identify the right person to take over the business when you leave; the system should be able to establish measurable criteria for assessing potential successors, evaluate the candidate’s managerial skill and experience, create leadership development and mentoring plan. By creating a system that prepares and appoints the right successor for your business then your business can outlive you.

Systems are crucial if you want to multiply your business and get it to the next level. When developing your systems, think long term, you want these systems to become a tradition and lifestyle for your business.

Olodu keonyedi – is a trained engineer and by passion and personal development a public/motivational speaker, a business coach and human capacity developer, he has a B.Eng degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, he is a member of Nigeria Society of Engineer and a COREN registered Engineer.

Email: Tel: 08037489704, keonyedi_mentorship.