“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Henry Ford

As we head into the new year, there has never been a better time to make your business as lean as possible. 

The holiday season is when many business owners work on their business often because they have closed for the Christmas holidays and actually have the time to work on their business.

It’s in December that you reflect on the year that was and plan for the year ahead. In this blog, you’ll learn how to build a lean business with the ultimate business systems, so it’s efficient, sustainable and profitable.

What is a lean business?

Planview states: “Simply stated, a lean business is a business that maximises value while minimising waste. A lean business model focuses on improving processes across the value stream in order to eliminate waste and deliver optimised value to the customer.” 

Ultimate business systems: How can I create a lean business?

The simple answer to this question, “how can I create a lean business”, is with the ultimate business systems and processes. I call these your foundational systems.

But the secret is that all your foundational systems need to talk to each other. For example, your marketing needs to link to your lead generation, which talks to your data capture system. Once you have received your leads, you need a system that stays in touch with those people with links to buy and then that will involve your payment systems and on-boarding new customers.

It’s a huge web and it takes time to implement, test and get right. You’ll also need expert help from an OBM or, at the very least, a VA.

So when you look at the systems you have in place now, are they working or can they be improved? 

7 ultimate business systems for a sustainable business

If you haven’t looked at your systems and processes for a while, it’s time to get reacquainted and there are 7 ultimate business systems that work together from the foundations to form a sustainable business.

1. Plan

A business plan will help you get clear on your goals and allow you to focus on the important tasks and reduce any distractions. Plans give direction and show the next steps.

2. Sales and Marketing

70 per cent of your efforts should be in this area of business and the systems and processes associated with it. A marketing system will help leverage your business, especially if you already have a process that gives you a high conversion rate. If this is you, then you will want to create a system for it to get repeatable results.

3. Products and services (delivery)

Clearly define your products and/or services in terms of a pricing structure and delivery. Create a great customer experience to turn your leads into clients, and then create a system around that so the tasks can be delegated or automated.

4. Team

Your team is your asset! Do you have any systems in place on how to hire, train and retain? If not, make this a priority for the next year. 

5. Financial

Having a financial system is essential for a growing and thriving business. You must know your numbers and make sure you’re making progress. Have a financial forecast so you know if you’re in a healthy or money-leaking stage.

6. Systems and processes (operations)

Spend time documenting your processes. If you want to scale your business then you will need to start developing your processes. The system for working solo is very different to a 5-member team. Or from a 5-member team to 10-15 team members. You don’t want to be the bottleneck in your business and systems will allow you to be consistent, save time, money and your sanity, while also predicting risks.

7. Tech

Tech refers to all the hardware and software you use to grow and manage your business. Review your tech stack to see what software, programs and apps need to be upgraded or replaced. Tech also plays a big part in your marketing, sales and payment, and therefore you must make sure you have the right tools to support your marketing efforts.

Download your Self-Rating Systems Checklist now!

To get started in creating a lean business, download this Self-Rating Business Systems Checklist and rate yourself against each area of your business.