One of the most challenging aspects to running a business is creating set systems and processes for running the business. That’s because these items take time to create and effort to perfect — tasks that can easily take the back burner to other important tasks, such as sales or marketing.
But systems and processes are essential to your business’ success, especially when it comes to growth. If you don’t have systems and processes to lean on in which to train employees and pass off responsibilities, then growth will be difficult to achieve, if not nearly impossible.
Steve Strickland knows the value of systems and processes as the co-founder and president of the fitness franchise Workout Anytime. “You buy a franchise and you adopt the policies, the procedures and systems that are in place and that’s what makes it successful,” he said.
Mark de Gorter, the COO of Workout Anytime, added that systems and processes serve as the foundation for growth for businesses, especially a franchise. “When you’re growing a business, you have to instill this level of structure,” he said. “Otherwise you’re not going to be able to grow efficiently. And again, as Steve mentioned, that’s really why people buy into a franchise in the first place, is to buy-in to a proven model they know has a high degree of success — that if they do the things that the franchise articulates for them to do, they’ll be successful.”
You don’t have to have a franchise model to benefit from systems and processes As Gill Corkindale writes for Harvard Business Review, “Poor organizational design and structure results in a bewildering morass of contradictions: confusion within roles, a lack of coordination among functions, failure to share ideas, and slow decision-making bring managers unnecessary complexity, stress, and conflict. Often those at the top of an organization are oblivious to these problems or, worse, pass them off as or challenges to overcome or opportunities to develop.”
Systems and processes should be developed in all aspects of your organization and in all positions, from sales and marketing to personal training and management roles.
In addition, having systems and processes for your business doesn’t mean you have to kill your team’s creativity, or “entrepreneurial spirit,” as Workout Anytime calls it.
In fact, Strickland believes that’s one of the company’s greatest strengths. “We’ve been able to grow without killing the entrepreneurial spirit of the company, which is really the strength of our company,” he said.
The key is knowing where your team needs operational procedures to support them, and where to allow for creativity.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is one of the things we continue to push,” said de Gorter.