I took a bit of stick this week for writing a post suggesting that we all use the current situation as an opportunity to do something positive - to create something - to do something that you’ve been talking about doing, but have never quite got round to.
I suggested that one of these things might be to get started down the road to systemising your business, and offered help and support, with a link to an offer we have on at the minute for our online programme.
Some people felt I was being opportunistic. Even my own team were uncomfortable with my message, concerned that it would be seen as taking advantage of a bad situation.
But here’s the thing…
I know that a lot of businesses will suffer in the coming weeks and months because they don’t have systems in place, because they never saw them as important, because they didn’t see them as a good investment of time, money or energy.
Many will be regretting the fact that they didn’t work out the one right way to do every task in their business, that they didn’t record that one right way, and that they don’t have an effective training system that ensures their team follow it.
Many will be completely lost when the one person in their team who performs key activities has to self isolate, or becomes ill - the one person that they ‘simply can’t do without’ - because they never got them to record what they do in a way that others could pick up easily and run with.
Many will have recognised that certain tasks could be automated but not taken the actions necessary.
Systems are not a nice to have - they are business critical, and every business looking to come out of this current crisis stronger and fitter, needs to look to their foundations.
I’m sick of business owners working way too hard, simply because they haven’t trained their team effectively and operate with ‘chinese-whispers training’ instead.
I’m sick of seeing businesses being held to ransom by unscrupulous employees who’ve taken advantage of the fact that the business doesn’t have a performance management system. (A good friend of mine is going through hell right now because they didn’t act on my advice over a year ago!)
I’m sick of good people becoming disengaged and feeling unfulfilled because their business owner is a control freak and won’t give them the information they need to take ownership of their role.
So yes, I’m being opportunistic, if that means grabbing the chance to wake business owners up to the necessity of systems for scale and growth.
I make no apology for encouraging entrepreneurs to make purposeful use of this downturn in business.
And while I may attract criticism, I hope that the smart proactive businesses who are following the likes of Daniel Priestley’s advice to Reset and Reinvent, will take the opportunity to systemise their business, to make it leaner, stronger, healthier and more efficient, and come out of this crisis with a solid base for new and sustainable growth.
Good luck to all of you, and if you want my help, you know where I am.
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)