I spent 5+ years in the Marine Corps. It changed me, and there was a ripple effect.
When I was in college, and my wife can testify, I was a slob. My room was more than messy. My bathroom was frightening. Before that, my mom made me do my own laundry because I would not pick up my room. When she saw that I was ok with that deal, she made me keep the door to my room shut so my younger siblings would not see my bad example.
Then I enlisted. The Marines are fanatical about cleanliness – from the head (bathroom), to personal hygiene, to our uniforms. Everything should be perfect all the time. I was married after 1 year in the Corps. For the sake of my marriage, I had to get over my heartburn because my wife did fold my undershirts 6″ x 6″.
In fact, I took my 3 kids to see the Marine recruiter earlier tonight after we ate dinner. I was actually embarrassed walking in there because I did not shave today. Sheesh.
The Marines are also fanatical about systems. Everything they do is thought out and time tested. There is no reinventing the wheel. The reason we are so passionate about systems is they produce a predictable and desired outcome.
Systems are simply a predetermined set of steps that should produce the outcome you want. Think of them as checklists. I’m going to do X, Y, and Z, and then A should happen. It is as simple as that.
You should be passionate about systems in your business as well for these 3 reasons.
3 Reasons to Systematize Your Business
1. Insight into your business – The reality of business is there is often some complexity. There are many variables. A system gives you a framework to understand what needs to be improved or tweaked when you aren’t getting the results you want. Absent a system, you are just guessing and have nothing with which to measure success.
2. Team building – A friend will soon publish a book on teams. I can’t wait to read it. One thing I’m certain that he will talk about are job descriptions, delegation, a common vision, and having people operate in their strengths. What he is talking about is a system. I have a prospecting system. My team built a database. I wrote a prospecting letter that my team sends out. My team records in my CRM (want to know what it is?) who got the letter. My team then creates the task for me to call them the following week. Then I make the call when that day comes. Notice I just wrote a letter once and then I make the calls. Everything else is executed by my team. That is a system.
3. Massive Productivity – When you have a system in place, you never have to figure out what to do next. You simply execute the next step. This saves a ton of time. It also frees up a massive amount of brain power to focus on the task at hand – rather than what you should be doing in the first place.
Clearly, there are many other reasons to build systems into your business. Systems prevent tasks from falling through the cracks, for example. There are more. In fact, in one of my first blog posts ever, back in 2012, I wrote The 5 Reasons to Systematize Your Business.
Question: What other reasons to systematize can you come up with? You can leave a comment by clicking here.