Is there anything that gets a bigger yawn than talking about procedural systems?
Maybe not, and it is too bad because a lot of business owners have the wrong idea about them.
These are some of the things they say. “They are too hard to put in place.” “I don’t know where to start.” “I went into business for myself so I wouldn’t have to follow policies and procedures.” “Only big companies need those – we just wing it.” “I don’t need any of that because I’m involved in everything anyhow.” “It’s too expensive.”
But, here is the head-scratcher:
While they are saying they do not want or need a procedural system, these same owners are complaining about problems caused by not having one in place. Policies and procedures can fix low productivity, poor quality, underbidding/estimating, employee theft, too many receivables, not enough cash flow, too little/much inventory, low sales, etc.
That is right – they are against the very thing which would make their lives easier because they do not really understand it or its benefits. A consistently applied, well-defined system gives management and employees the tools they need to produce a quality, money making product. It is usually the difference between a business’s success or failure.
More importantly – it is also the difference between an owner loving or hating his job.
A big reason people start a business is that they think it will give them freedom. They do not want to be restricted, confined and limited by working for someone else. They mistakenly believe that policies and procedures will take away their independence.
However, the exact opposite is true.
The biggest complaint long-term owners have is that they cannot enjoy the benefits of their hard work, because they are tied to the business. It falls apart without them because there are no self-regulating systems in place. The owners are the system, and that is a bad way to run a company.
They should not be the glue that holds everything together, because in time the company becomes a yoke around their necks. They end up being firemen, babysitters, and policemen. They become burned out and unhappy. Any freedom or independence they felt, in the beginning, is long gone. Now they feel like “just another one of the employees.”
Do not be caught in this trap. Your business should be working for you, not you working for it.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: