Brand Survival using Systems

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When it rains, it pours. Are you ready for the flood?

Recently there’s been a lot of heavy rain resulting in surprise floods everywhere. Devastating homes and businesses. The deluge of water has overwhelmed internal systems. Causing backups, breakdowns, outages and severe damage.

One day in July, I was looking out the window of my home office while chatting on the phone with Yvonne, Managing Director of eWomen chapter in Calgary. She just finished telling me of the flood recovery there, when the rain starting to pour down here in Toronto. My eaves trough started to overflow creating a literal wall of water right before my eyes.

In one hour we had 7.4cm (3”) of rain. That day we had 12.3 cm (over 5”) of rain in total. That’s the average rainfall for the entire month of July!

It’s amazing to see how the city resources and systems are challenged and responded to the chaos of a flood. In some cases, the systems just couldn’t handle the intensity.

Don’t let a flood become a crisis.

It made me think about how our business can be hit by floods. As business owners, we pray for an influx of new business. But be careful what you ask for. Your business systems and resources need to be able to handle a sudden deluge of new business activity.

It’s systems that make a business a business. Standard operating systems allow you to manage, track and measure success in everything you do. If you don’t have the right systems in place, you could be the victim of severe flooding without the back up to respond in a crisis.

Managing the flood of activity in your business.

Stop! As entrepreneurs, you may or may not have created processes or systems in your business. Systems are integral in building a solid business and brand plan. Think of these systems as the essential services within a building. It’s like plumbing, heating/AC, electrical, gas and telecommunications for your business brand. Without these essential services, it would be dysfunctional and very uncomfortable. That’s certainly not the type of environment you want for your clients.

When it comes to essential services of your inner systems, it includes:

  • Brand awareness and outreach experiences
  • Client attraction strategies
  • Client intake processes
  • Workflow and resource management
  • General operating systems
  • Automated marketing activities
  • Filing and record keeping systems
  • Financial and accounting systems

Now, look at what you have in place. Ask yourself if the current inner workings of your business can handle a dramatic increase in business. If they can’t then now is the time to upgrade your systems for the future. If you don’t, your business brand will suffer.

Building brand integrity and trust.

Trust is created over time. Consistency or brand integrity creates comfort. Comfort builds trust. Brand integrity is consistent actions and interaction with your prospects and clients. Creating an expectation.

A flood or overwhelm of business activity can wreak havoc on your brand integrity. Operating systems allow for the smooth flowing of information through every interaction with your brand. Makes sure you have the right systems in place.

Prevent a brand disaster.

There are 3 system areas that you need to prepare for the worst/best case scenario for your business and your brand. Invest in systems that are more advanced than you think you need at the moment. It’s better to invest and be prepared that lose money trying to catch up.

  1. Customer Relationship Marketing or CRM system
    There are several systems available on the market depending on the type and size of business you own. Managing and nurturing your clients should be your number one priority.
    After trying several other options, I landed on an integrated system called Infusionsoft. It allows me to manage and nurture my prospects and client based on countless variables through the awareness, conversion and sales process. It also automates purchases with ecommerce, while giving me instant access to status and reporting. It’s the best I’ve found.
  2. Project management system
    Depending on the extent and size of your projects, you’ll want to create or adopt an existing system that increases overall productivity and the performance. Pay close attention to what you do each time a new client comes on board or a new project is initiated. Systematizing that process will enhance your client’s experience of your brand.
  3. Financial and accounting system
    I recommend starting with a bookkeeper and an accountant. They will have a system that you can adopt. You need to have an eye on your financial health and wellness but if finance is not your forte than you must delegate the mundane accounting responsibilities to the experts.

Don’t get caught in the flood without your systems survival strategy in place. Don’t wait for the rains to wash away your brand integrity or leave your prospects and clients ‘high and dry’. Plan for the future. Anticipate what the vision for your business brand will bring. Be prepared to accommodate the changing tides of business and your increased success.

There are many systems that offers standard operating solutions.
I invite you to share what systems work for your business in the comments below.

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