Posted by: broshe on Sep 09, 2011
Think of a business this way: it exists for a very specific purpose. Every business will have its purpose. There is no choice therefore but to build a business as a set of systems and procedures that when working together in some 'orchestrated' fashion delivers on this purpose. Not delivers once or twice - but all the time. Like a car and its engine: a car would be unsaleable if it didn't respond to the ignition each and every time it is switched on.
A successful business is not unlike a fully functional motor vehicle. There is handbook that defines how things are done, the manual of procedures. Even if it not written down as would be case for a car manual, there is nonetheless a way things happen which are convincing. The 'hum' the 'rhythm' of a good business is based on having processes, or systems, that are repeatable and predictable - that produce the same result each time, every time. For sure being in business involves literally hundreds of interrelated and loosely related activities - it is, after all, very easy for a business owner to be involved in dozens of different and often disparate activities during a typical day.
Not surprisingly, many issues coming up become mini fires that need to be put out. There is little time for the "luxury' of systems or strategic thinking. Yes, sometimes the fires are the result of poor systems design or a lack of strict focus. The pressure of getting things done, of generating cash flow are all consuming.
Relentless pressure is part and parcel of being in business. Every aspect of a business and certainly the aspect of fulfilling customer requirements put the business under pressure to deliver. A successful business not only delivers smoothly in 'normal' times but responds to increased pressure without collapsing.
Operating manuals and procedures become the tools that ensure the customer fulfillment aspect. Growth comes from adaptability and an inbuilt flexibility in the procedures that enable scaling and change to be accommodated. Design changes, feature additions, volume adjustments, new equipment, and advances in technology - are all de rigueur in business. What are constant are the procedures that contribute to the internal 'logistics' of the business.
The business owner's mission is to maintain a role of rigorous testing and re-testing of the capabilities of the business and to fine tune the procedures.