The Magic of Systems

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John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

Have you ever wondered how McDonald’s can serve perfect French fries every time?

Delivering this kind of quality and consistency worldwide is an impressive feat.

It’s even more impressive when you consider that those fries are mostly made by teenagers.

The same group of people whose parents can’t get them to clean their rooms!

The magic lies in systems.

A well-managed business runs on systems.

When you have systems in place: well-documented procedures, job descriptions, accounting and marketing systems – these systems run the business.

You’re no longer the bottleneck (the only person who can make a decision or who knows what’s going on.)

Well-established systems mean that your team knows what to do and how to do it.

They run the systems.

Your job is to lead those people.

To create great systems for your business, follow this simple guideline:

Systematize the routine and humanize the exceptions

85% of what you do is routine.

These are the things you do (or should do) the same way every time.

These routines should be well-documented with SOPs (standard operating procedures.)

This might sound like a lot of work.

The “secret” is to get your staff to do it instead of taking it on yourself!

More on this here: How to onboard your VA

10% to 15% of what you do will be exceptions to the system.

In these cases, you’ll need to intervene in order to get things done.

Then, ask:

“How would the system need to be changed so that this exception doesn’t happen again?”

Over time, your systems will get better and better.

Get people to run the systems

When you have documented systems in place, it becomes easier to train people.

This paves the way to being able to hire people based on their character and fit with your business.

To take this to the next level, implement a system for recruiting, hiring, and training.

More on this here: The Ultimate Guide to Building and Managing a Team

Then your job is to lead the people

Once again, leading your team can also be made easier through systems.

One of the most important systems to develop is your team meeting rhythm.

I always recommend that my clients begin with a daily huddle.

A final word: systems don’t need to be complicated!

Often, when we think of “systems” we think of convoluted multi-step processes.

In reality, the best systems are simple.

A simple thing like a checklist can make a massive difference.

Watch the video below to learn how – or even better – read the book!

Want some help creating systems for your business?

Creating simple systems to help the business run better is one of the things I help my clients with.

The first step in my “system” for working with clients is a 15-minute Fast Track Call.

There’s no fee and no sales pressure.

You can book one here: book 15 minutes with John

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible