Tue, October 15, 2019

Getting your systems in place.

If you have come this far in the series, you are on your way to becoming a bonafide teen business owner. One day people will look to you to help them get started in business. You will remember these simple steps and how far you have come since then. You are already a success because you are doing more that ninety-nine percent of teens your ages.

Our next step is to have your ‘systems’ ready to go so you can actually do business We are still in the planning stages, but we need to get some things firmed up before business, actually takes place. (You may have already started selling or servicing other, which is fine, but make sure you use the info in this article to help you get ready for the larger success that is to come.)

What if someone writes you a check to your company, can you cash it? Who does someone call if they want to order 1000 of your product? Things like this can catch us off guard if we don’t have some basic systems in place. If I had a restaurant, but did not have any recipes, it won’t do me much good. I need a menu, I need ingredients, I need a store, a phone, chairs, tables, etc… All businesses, need certain ‘systems’ to get them going.

After you have developed a business plan, your next step is to put your ‘Systems in Place’ (SIP’s). A ‘system’ is the way things are done. Let’s say, you want to build hunkerdoodles. They need to be made the same way each time so that you have the same quality. Well, you need to train others, and have a set of ‘rules’ or guidelines that tell them how to ‘operate’ your business. ‘Operations’ is another word that can be used for systems. Some companies will develop an ‘operations manual,’ as well as a training manual for each specific task of their company. It will depend on how many details your business needs to covers.

Here is a skeleton of the basic SIP’s you will want to know about. (Some of this may be in your business plan and there are thousands of these depending on what kind of business you are trying to develop.)

– Prospects/Customers/Clients: where do you find people who might want to do business with you, how do you keep track of them and how do you get them to return . . . this system covers everything from marketing to customer retention (keeping them).

– Product: how do you actually make or do your service, how do you keep your quality high, what do you do about large quantities, how much do you charge, how fast can you produce your item . . . this system covers things from supplies to the actually finished product.

– Orders: how can someone actually place an order, how do you keep track of them, how do you ship them, how do you bill them, how do you handle returns and chargebacks, what is your follow up to an order . . . this system covers how your product or service is handled.

– Employees: how do you hire, what are the qualifications, how do you train them, what is the pay, how long is their employment, is there training, sick days, health care. . . .this system handles anyone who will work with you.

Grab a piece of paper or open a document. Pretend you are a customer ordering from yourself. Write down every step you would need to take to complete and order and what you would expect after the order is done. Start out by asking, where could I find this kind of company? I suggest asking an adult to help you think through since they have done more business with others than you have. (Ask your business mentor, man, that guy is handy isn’t he?) Now do the same thing pretending you are a company that wants to order 1000 items or service hours. Can you handle it? What needs to be prepared before you begin with something that large? Create a ‘manual’ for your company showing a ‘work flow’ of how a customer comes into your company and how they are treated. You can have fun with this and use markers, cut out magazines, put together a power point, or whatever works for you. Don’t forget to have fun!

BONUS ACTION: Create a name for your business (if you have not already). Search online to see if anyone in your area has it. If not, go to your local courthouse and register for a D.B.A. (a.k.a. “Doing Business As,” or “Assumed Name”) for your business name. You may need someone over 18 to go along with you for signature. This document will make the business name yours and you can even cash checks in the business name with it. (It feels like a ‘real business’ when you take official action like this.)

Helpful article for this step:
– You may want to research ways to set up your business. This article will help you understand the different business structures. Right now, if it is just you, you are a ‘sole proprietor,’ but you may want to change the legal set up later.

If you want to open a bank account, make sure you know the basic terms of banking.

Here are some basic organizing tips for those of you who are unorganized.

Here are some helpful links to other teen business sites.

I hope you are beginning to see how you can be a success. All the little things that go into a business that no one sees is so important. They say that those who do not plan are just planning to fail. Plan well and be a success!

——- Read the “Getting Started On The Right Track” series ——-
1. Getting Started
2. Learn to dream
3. Find a mentor
5. Develop a business Plan
6. SIP: Systems in PLace
7. Getting your marketing started

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2 Comments to “Getting your systems in place.”

  1. Great article.

    You really do need to have your systems in place. Although it’s great to ACT and just “go with it” sometimes… This is not what you should base your business on.

    You do need protocols, especially when you need to start outsourcing, and getting employees. If you already have systematic processes, it will be much easier to train new staff, and explain what you do to clients.

    A great tool (depending on your business) is a CRM. A client relationship manager (google it). This is a tool that businesses use to help to streamline their processes.

    Isaac Smith-Jones

  2. TBC says:

    CRM is a great tool. Thanks for mentioning it. I guess we need to do some kind of article talking about its uses and maybe even some suggested resources. I wonder if there are any free sources that work well? Let me know you you want to share an article about CRM’s.

    Thanks Isaac.


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