Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About ten years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

If you are looking for “Shaping Prospect Behavior and The Art of the Reward” Click Here (you may have received an incorrect link in the email. I apologize for the confusion). I assure you, it’s worth one more click.

I have found that every problem in business can be tracked back to a process or system problem. In this week’s Moment of Clarity I replace my ignition system in my 1964 Corvette convertible. As someone who has been self employed for my entire adult life as I turned the wrenches, I was reminded that everything is a system.

About ten years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette convertible I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Disassembled.  As in every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire. In a matter of days, I stripped that car to a bare chassis.

As I stood back admiring my handiwork and putting pressure on my open wounds, I slowly realized I had to put it back together. I had the vision of what I wanted in my head – but I had no idea how assemble a car.

Of course, the answer was to break down the process into systems and build each system. In 18 months, I built a car.

Your business is a system too. But sometimes we get so caught up in the heat of things, we forget this. The key is to step outside the day to day challenges of the business and remind yourself of this truism.

PetesCorvetteMost business owners see the main functions of their business as a system. Except marketing for some reason. Marketing is sort of groovy. Fluffy. Hard to get your arms around.

No it’s not. It’s just like every other part of your business. 

One huge problem for small and growing companies is generating more of the right opportunities in a sustainable way. Just like a problem in your supply chain, procurement systems or customer service, this can be solved with sound process management.

I’m not talking about IT or new fangled technology. I’m saying that the only way to create a sustainable sales funnel of incoming, high quality opportunities is to see it as a core system of your business and apply sound process management to the challenge.

Over the years, I’ve seen the function of marketing move away from quantifiable process and into the “seat of the pants” realm for small business – I believe because because many business owners don’t see “marketing” as an operational process or have implemented their version of “marketing” with poor results.  Sometimes guessing and “seeing what sticks” is the path of least resistance.

Whatever the reason, we do know that “seat of the pants” is not a great way to operate a business, no matter what function we are discussing.

Next time you find yourself thinking about “marketing” think about your systems around promotion, lead generation, sales and customer communication. Don’t get distracted on the creative parts of marketing or the technology – focus on what customers’ value, how they choose one option over another and how you can systematically deliver value before and after the sale.

I hope you’ll comment below. Tell me I’m right or wrong. Defend your best practices. Let’s fix marketing for small business.

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