Is your business system working for you or against you? Whether you are a start-up, a small business, a not–for-profit organisation, a large group, or a consultant, your current business system may not be the smartest for your business objectives. But how do you know what would be really smart?
How Do You Define “Smart”?
The word “smart” conveys a lot of images when it is applied to a business manager. It can mean intelligent, experienced, knowledgeable, intuitive, prompt to solve problems … When applied to a business system, “smart” becomes even more complex, and often fuzzy.
What Do You Expect From A “Smart System”?
Your expectations reflect where you are on your own business journey, your frustrations, your experiences and how you work/like to work.
One of our small business clients saw his system as smart because his 100% paper-based system allowed him to always find any client file “instantly”. Reliability was his only criteria. He did not know what to expect or ask from a “smart system” other than replicate his habits and manual processes painlessly and help him grow sales.
Many small business experiencing growth pains want a smart system to make the impossible tasks possible. They too want a painless upgrade of what they do. A smart system has to fit with how they work and save them time. One client was delighted with the idea of a quotation system that freed him to do “real work”. Another wanted his people “on the road” or “on the phone” to sell more rather than be bogged down by endless administrative tasks.
Others go further and want a smart system that supports data collection and analysis, reporting, planning, decision making, creativity, teamwork, profitability, selling, presenting, building a solid competitive edge … And they too want a “painless easy upgrade that will be embraced happily by users and customers”.
7 Questions To Work Out What Smart Business System You Really Need
Don’t let technology and IT sales people scare you. A system has 3-layers of integrated elements at your service: Tools (devices increasingly portable and capable), Cloud platforms and Apps. A down-to-earth approach focused on your organisation can easily eliminate the clutter and confusion of too many “shiny objects” and glossy sales stories.
So prepare well before embarking on the search for any new system. Ask yourself 7 key questions. They help you to confidently match your needs and smart solutions:
1. What do you want to achieve in a year’s time, and in 3-5 years time?
2. How do you want you/your teams to work?
3. What administrative tasks are repetitively slowing you down?
4. What processes are critical in winning business, keeping customers satisfied and committed to your brand?
5. How “change-ready” are you/your teams?
6. What $ and people resources do you have to invest in a smarter way to work?
7. What would be the qualities (capabilities) of a smart system? And the limits of a dumb system?
A professional consultant can help you refine your answers and focus on what is really going to help you achieve what matters.
The Outcomes Are Worth It!
Keep in mind what would be the most important outcome of any system upgrade. Would it be happier/more loyal customers, happier/ more loyal staff, better quality service, or faster results, or greater business and brand growth capability….?
Interested in knowing more? Contact me for an obligation free conversation about your systems needs.