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Phew! We have almost made it through to the end of the year
December 20, 2017 / By Terri Boote
Do you feel like you’re sliding to the home plate after hitting some stellar home runs, or are you making more of an awkward shuffle to the finish line? (Ha-ha, this conjures up a funny picture in my mind!) Regardless of the year that you have had, your business will definitely benefit from review. How will you know what to improve if you don’t first understand what and why things happened?
Let’s look at the main areas that could benefit from some revision at this year’s end.
Your Business Performance
Before you look at your systems, you need to look at your business performance as a whole. That will help you to assess whether your current systems are working for you or not.
A big part of assessing your performance is taking a look at your financials. So when you are looking at your annual figures, have a look at…
- The areas you made the most money
- Products or services that weren’t very successful
- The areas you spent the most money
- The areas you saved money
Once you know these things, you can understand the products or services you should focus on for the highest profit, the parts of your business that you shouldn’t be pushing, where you might be able to cut costs, and where you can continue being cost smart.
Once you have ticked off the finance box, it’s time to have a quick look at how you are doing your general business tasks. Take a closer look at the following –
- Which tasks take up most of your day?
- Are there any repetitive tasks you frequently do?
- What takes you the longest to complete?
- Do you manage to get everything done in your day?
- Is your business heading in the direction that you want it to?
- Are you using all your team members as effectively as you can?
Understanding how your current situation stands is key to knowing the systems that can help you improve efficiency and grow your business.
Your Business Systems
Once you have a solid understanding of what is happening in those critical areas of your business and have established the things you want to focus on, and the areas that you want to improve, it is time to look at your systems.
Do you have them?
The first question to ask is whether you have any systems. Systems are the resources you use to support your processes with more efficiency – think software and apps as a start. If you don’t have set practices with fit-for-purpose systems for the main areas of your business, then now is the time to implement them. In addition to aiding the efficiency of your processes, systems also allow the business to operate smoothly and give transparency to ensure everyone knows what they should be doing.
Do they work?
Are the systems that you have in place working effectively? As I just mentioned, systems are meant to create efficiency. So if your processes are not helping with that, they need to be reviewed. For example, if the software you use can’t do everything you need it to, then it is time to look for a more comprehensive solution. Or, if it takes you forever to find what you need, then you need a better filing system. This may mean taking your paper-based system to a digital one (a job your VA can help with!)
How can you fix it?
The very end and very beginning of the year are great times to look at your systems. You are likely setting goals in line with your business plan, forecasting your financials and planning your marketing for the year.
The systems you use should support all of those things so that you can realise your goals effectively. Consider aspects like automation, compatibility between your online storage, CRM and email functions, integrations between your website and your marketing resources, and having standard practices in place for the entire team to follow.
You need great business systems that help your business grow and achieve. (A real emphasis needs to be made on the ‘great’ part here, as there is no point having a lacklustre system!) Reviewing them on a regular basis will mean you can stay on top of your needs and ensure your systems are continuing to service those needs. Change the things that aren’t working, and continue with the things that are.
If you know that your business needs better systems in place, but you aren’t sure where to start, then let us help you. At Virtual Assistants, we are all about business systems. In fact, working out your needs, and implementing the right system is one of our specialities, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so that you can start 2018 with a bang! Cheers to a great year ahead!