What is a business system and why should you have one?
A business system is similar to a business plan – but differs from a business plan because its deals more with general operations of the company rather than the planning of a company for example like changing leads into sales. Don’t ever underestimate a good business system because without a good system a company can never function properly.
A good system will work around certain key elements for example
Building a website, professional e-mail, social media, customer service, generating sales, and turning leads into sales. Many clients are fooled into believing that a good website, branding and corporate image etc is the be-all and end-all of a company.
Obviously a good website, branding etc. is vitally important but I always say that a good website is meaningless if you can’t convert clients into sales. Great companies succeed because they have good business systems. Think of a company like McDonalds the person owning the franchise does not actually have to be present at all times because the business is fully operational thanks to a good business system and this is the very reason why people buy into franchises - they buy into systems that are working.
Some good system ideas
A good system would be - Turnaround time when responding to a client.
Turnaround time when you received a enquiry via telephone, e-mail, sms etc.
One of our clients www.marriagergistrar.co.za tells us that they respond with information within minutes and not longer than 8 hours or a working day. They feel that the first quote in will probably be the one clients opt for because they have now already made contact. People begin to feel less stressed when they received a quote because they now armed with some information that they can use or give to their superiors. If clients don’t have anything to offer their clients or superiors they feel pressured to start using someone else.
Lesson – be quick to respond to clients.
Set up a meeting.
If you are required to meet with the client then set up a meeting soon as possible. People feel more comfortable with people they have already met. Modern day living has made people lazy and the more convenient it is for a customer the more likely they will use you. They don’t want to meet new suppliers all the time, they would rather use the ones they know. Think back when you are really busy and you urgently need a supplier – you not going to now try and find one, learn their product and meet with them – you probably just going to use the ones you know that are convenient. Pamela Kruger a Snr Procurement manager says “that a good price is meaningless if you don’t have customer care, delivery time, stock on-hand and you convenient”
Think of McDonalds when you rushing home late on the weekend – will you stop at a restaurant that you don’t know and order take outs or will you use a brand you familiar with -That is convenient, that has good delivery time, stock on hand (prepared)?
Set up an appointment as soon as you can. Give the client as much info as you can and always leave a business card with the client. From time to time send the client valuable information – especially specials.
The person handling the calls can change your business from zero to hero. You can’t afford to let anyone who is not familiar with your product give client’s poor information. Rather let the reception put clients through to sales personal or people who are familiar with the product – even if you are the owner of the company. We witnessed the downfall of a great company because the CEO’s wife was trying to run the show instead of letting the real sales people handle clients. If your sales teams can turn your current 2 clients into 4 clients you have doubled your business.
Introduce your product and its value for money.
Many clients shop around good prices but it’s your duty to let them know why you selling your product at a certain price. If you in the tyre industry for example your product may be more expensive than your competitions but you might have a better brand – Don’t ever forget to mention why your brand is great value for money. It may not be cheaper but certainly worth the buy because you can get 2000 miles more with your brand than your competitions and therefore in the long run your brand may be less expensive. Never forget to mention the quality of your brand. Yes, we all have bought cheaper products before but we have also all learned that it may have not been worth the buy – Let clients know that they getting good value for their money.
The way forward
Think about ways to incorporate good business systems into your business
We have just given you a couple of ideas that may inspire you to pursue and incorporate your own systems into your business.