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 fifteen 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.

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.

Most 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, it’s all about the process.

It’s not about technology either although technology can enable good process. 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 the same rigor to the sales and marketing process as you do the other core parts of your business system. 

In my experience, business people who don’t see “marketing” as an operational process, but instead as a series of tactics typically get poor results (or usually no results).  Sometimes guessing and “seeing what sticks” is the path of least resistance, but it’s almost always the path to flushing money down the proverbial toilet.

Seat of the pants is great for driving old, fast cars, but no so great for your business. 

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 problems you solve and for whom. Understand how prospects choose one option over another and how you can systematically deliver value before and after the sale.

Or better yet, reach out and let’s talk about cars.


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