You can find Part 1 of my journey here.
Not having systems in my business really messed up my business and by this time it was hanging by a thread.
My ‘allergic reaction’ affected me physically for almost 12 months. By the end of it, I was left wondering why should I even bother continuing to be in business or shut down the business I loved. It was a hard choice.
I decided to rebuild my business, but it required a lot of hard work and there were plenty of times I wanted to throw in the towel.
Part of the rebuild process was to implement systems in my business to help it weather any future storms. I took steps to systemise large chunks of my business and put safeguards in place to ensure that I would never be caught unawares again. It was only through systemising my business that I have business that is turning over a million dollars a year and has lasted for over 17 years.
It sounds so good to say “I’m storm proofing my Business!” but what does that actually mean and how do I do it?
Storm proofing your business is making sure you have the systems and strategies in place to weather any unexpected situation that comes up out of the blue. It would be nice to think that everything is going to be smooth sailing in our businesses but the reality is that things can come up all the time that we don’t expect and the big ones can kill your business if you aren’t prepared. Just like you prepare for storms approaching your house, you need to prepare for the storms approaching your business.
So why even bother to storm proof your business? Things may be going well for you or you may be scraping along. It really doesn’t matter what state your business is in now if it is totally reliant on you to make it work. You could be on top of the world bringing in huge amounts of business or just finding enough work to scrape by each month but if you are the linchpin holding things together as soon as something happens to you, your business will fold like a deck of cards.
I was faced with deciding to dig in and try to save my company or close it down for good and try to work out how I would pay off the tax debt when working for someone else. Neither option appealed to me but I chose to keep the business running. It was hard work but over time it became clear it was the right decision.
After getting sick I structured my business very differently. I set things up so I was not as critical to my business as I was before I got sick. I set up systems and trained my staff to keep things running in my business, even when I needed to take a break.
An unexpected benefit occurred when I started to set up systems in my business and started passing things over to my staff. I found that I was not running around putting out fires anymore (at least not as much as I was before ;)…I was able to start to really focus on my business growth.
I realize in hindsight that this should have been obvious to me but I was so focused on making sure I didn’t get hit by the storm again that I didn’t think of the positive side of systemising my business.
It’s really easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are stuck down in the trenches focused on trying to solve the problem staring you in the face. We focus so much on the immediate issues that we forget about the bigger picture. Setting up some simple systems in your business can help to storm proof your business as well help you to focus on the bigger picture, growing your business and realising your dream.
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