5 tips to get out of the painful 'systems trap'

July 5, 2021 - Tim Jones

By Tim Jones, Master of Business Administration (MBA), an award-winning specialist business advisor to the building services industry.

If you’re like some of the business owners I’ve worked with, you may have thought to yourself, ‘I can’t keep going on like this.’

Because for all the blood, sweat and tears you’ve invested to get your business to the level it’s reached, you still feel your team members are not delivering the quality of work you believe they’re capable of.

But that’s not all. You might find yourself wrapped in a cycle of constantly fixing errors that keep coming up due to silly mistakes, inefficient work practices or people simply working to different standards.

Shouldn’t you really be reaping the rewards of your efforts by now? Enjoying more time with the family? Having time off to do the things you want to do? Or even thinking about selling the business at some point

This is why I want to share a painful trap many unwary business owners fall into.

They are stuck in what I call the broken systems trap.

Why do business owners in building services fall into the broken systems trap?

The broken systems trap can be painful for business owners and many CEOs and MDs are simply unaware of it - which is why they fall into it.

Kaizen Business Advisors share how to break free of the painful systems trap

Most businesses go wrong when they build their systems around the roles their existing team members currently perform.

Each person then views the roles and responsibilities of others based on only their perspective, in their role.

For example, someone who manages marketing can get stuck only thinking about things from a marketing perspective, or your customer service and support person might only consider things from a customer perspective.

When your team can’t think beyond their own roles, they aren't able to see the full picture of how each person’s work contributes to the larger goals of the business.

Your systems start breaking at the seams and eventually, as your business starts to grow, they break down.

This causes a great deal of frustration, finger-pointing, wasted effort, inconsistent results, lost revenue and a poor client experience. The net result is that your reputation is called into question and you start losing business.

If some of these scenarios above apply to you and your business, don’t despair! With the right systems in place, you can break free of the broken systems trap.

Take the weight of managing your staff off of your shoulders, experience less stress around your processes and gain precious time (and sleep) knowing that your team is working in the most efficient way possible with these five tips

Tips to break free of the ‘systems trap’

Kaizen Business Advisors give tips to break free of the painful systems trap

  • #1 Take it from the top: Approach designing or updating your systems by imagining what you would do if you were starting your business entirely from scratch.
  • #2 Make good use of what you know already: When you take this fresh approach, be confident about all the valuable knowledge you have built up about your industry, your business and your customers.
  • #3 Feel free to make changes: Remember you have complete freedom to design efficient processes across your entire business. Don’t feel hampered by your current problems or your team’s limitations.
  • #4 Focus on the right structure: The secret is, you want the systems to run the business – then your people can get to work operating the systems.
  • #5 Your systems are your pillars: As your company grows and changes, team members may come and go, but your robust systems will always remain, ensuring your business runs smoothly.

The reward for making these changes will be a highly productive team consistently producing high-quality output. This, in turn, leads to happier team members and content clients – plus, you’ll enhance your strengthened reputation for delivering quality services.

And that’s regardless of whether you are toiling away in the office or taking some well-deserved time off to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

At Kaizen Business Consultants, we have identified seven key challenges that every company in the building services industry faces. This blog focused on systems, but it is just one of the seven challenges.

To learn more, visit the Kaizen Business Consultants website here.

Or if you’re thinking about bringing on a new software system for your business, learn more about Simpro’s cloud-based job management solution here.

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Author - Tim Jones

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As an award-winning specialist business advisor to the Construction industry, Tim Jones MBA has identified seven key challenges that every company in the Construction industry faces.