How does your business rate? Take the Quiz
LogiQA's Business Systems Health Check
Are you curious about how efficient your business is or has the potential to be?
Have you started to implement business systems and you want to see how far you've progressed?
Take 3 minutes to complete this 20 question quiz and find out how healthy your business systems are.
Congratulations - you have completed LogiQA's Business Systems Health Check.
You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.
Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
If you'd like to read a summary of the hints related to each question scroll down past the quiz and keep reading!
Business systems can have a huge impact on your overall efficiency and business performance. See why these business systems are so important for your business:
I have a system that allows me to securely store and easily retrieve my records
If you cannot retrieve any physical record within 2-3 minutes you need to review your record keeping system. Ideally electronic data should be located in under 30 seconds. If it is taking you longer than that maybe it is time to reorganise your drive’s folder structure so that your files are easier to locate.
If you are concerned about electronic storage space there are many options including using external hard drives to back up data or “the cloud” where information is stored, backed-up and accessed (usually for a monthly fee) on remote data servers.
I have appropriate forms in place to collect important business information
The great thing about forms is that your information is collated together in one place and can be referred to at a later date, while electronic forms (including databases) are easiest to manage, paper forms can be scanned to enable you to store the information electronically. Avoid paper records wherever possible, it is much simpler to maintain your records electronically.
I ensure that our instructions and procedures continue to reflect current work practice
If your documents aren’t current then they really aren’t that useful and probably aren’t being used by your staff for that reason. If you are going to document your processes make sure you allow for time at least annually to review each document and make the necessary changes.
I only ever have 1 version of a document available at a time
Controlling your documents is important, how will your staff or customers know which version they should be using if there are multiple versions available? Ensure that each document is uniquely identifiable and that each new version of a document is also distinguishable from the last. If there are hard copy versions available, especially if they are available to or in use by clients, make sure the old version is removed before the new version is introduced. It isn’t a good look to have old logos or addresses on your documents.
I design my own forms/instructions/procedures/manuals
The best documents are designed by the people who best understand the process being described. There is no substitute for their expertise. Sure your subject matter expert may not be great at formatting documents but make sure they are involved in generating the technical content. Try not to use templates or purchase procedures online, it may seem easier but unless you spend a lot of time customising them they won’t be very useful and by the time you’ve done your customising you could have probably developed your own documents in the same amount of time.
I have a training programme that addresses the training requirements of all staff
If you want to get your new staff up to speed as soon as possible then a training programme will assist you to make this happen. Likewise a development plan for your existing employees will ensure your team will continue to meet the needs of the business. A training program will help to save you time and money.
I enlist the help of qualified professionals when I outsource areas of my business
It is a big decision to bring an “expert” into the trusted inner circle of your business. Make sure you get a word of mouth referral if you can but if you can’t, make sure they are compatible with you and your business and that they have the appropriate qualifications and experience to perform the task at hand.
I have job descriptions for every position in my business
A job description is a valuable asset, it provides a clear understanding of the duties of all staff, it clarifies approvals, responsibilities and delegations. It also provides a basis for performance management of your staff.
I see my systems as being a core part of my business not something extra I have to do
This is easy to do if your systems are implemented well. They should be working with your existing processes. If they aren’t then you need to look at how it has been implemented and try to improve it. If your system is good and you just aren’t that into it then you need to get behind it and lead the way for your staff. If your staff can tell you aren’t on board then how can you expect them to embrace it.
I have my systems (quality/safety/environmental) integrated into one system
Businesses that have multiple systems requirements can experience a significant drain on resources if these systems are not integrated. There are similar processes within these systems that can be brought together and function as a single process saving your business time and money. A good consultant should be able to advise you of the best way to proceed with your integrated system.
I have a strategy for communicating effectively with all staff within my business
Ensure you have a strategy for communicating important information to your employees. Make sure your staff aren’t finding out about important information from second hand sources. Meetings, newsletters, emails, skype chats, find a method that works for your business.
I seek feedback from my customers
You are in business because of your clients and many businesses obtain repeat business from their customers. It makes sense to ask them what they think of the service/goods you provide so that you can best meet their requirements in the future. While many businesses use surveys, take every opportunity to ask for feedback during your contact with your customers. If you do decide to do a survey, remember that they are only useful if you evaluate the results and comments and act on them.
I regularly communicate with and evaluate my suppliers
Although your suppliers are outside the direct control of your business they perform a critical role in your business. Whether it is a logistics provider, a raw material supplier or a virtual assistant they participate in the success of your business. Ensure you maintain a good relationship with them, that way you are more likely to hear of events that may impact you sooner rather than later. Where possible make sure you have a back-up supplier in case your primary supplier becomes unavailable. If you start to experience difficulties with your supplier record the issues and if a trend develops act before it begins to impact on your business too significantly.
I use planning in my business on an ongoing basis
Start-up planning (business plan), strategic planning, succession planning, disaster management planning, marketing plans, etc. Planning is a valuable tool and its value shouldn’t be underestimated. Plans provide a guide for the work you perform throughout the year. Planning also tends to save money as you are more likely to stay on track and avoid expensive detours and reworks.
I have set goals and targets to measure my business performance
Goals and the targets that keep you on track to reach your goals are essential. Without them how do you know how your business is performing. How do you know that your hard work is paying off? Determine which aspects of your business are most important to monitor and set your goals. Make sure you monitor your performance against these goals.
I review the performance of my business on a regular basis
To really understand how your business is travelling set time aside to review what is working well and areas that require improvement within your business. Ensure you review any complaints you’ve received, internal errors or issues, results of feedback including surveys, how you are performing against your goals, supplier performance, new processes that need documenting, reviews undertaken or the performance of consultants used, training attended (was it worthwhile), how any major changes have impacted the business, regulatory issues (eg WHS), new products or services now offered and contracts. Make sure you document your review so that you can refer to it at the next review.
I see issues that occur in my business as an improvement opportunity
No one likes problems occurring but it is how you deal with them that matters. Ignoring them and hoping that they’ll go away is not going to help anyone. Going on a witch hunt looking for someone to blame is also not a very mature attitude. Know that problems will occur from time to time and approach them with a positive attitude knowing that you will be improving your business if you address the issue appropriately.
I review the performance of my staff and myself
A formal performance review is an opportunity for you to talk to your staff about your plans for the business and how that individual fits into to that plan. It is also an opportunity for both parties to discuss the individual’s performance against the goals set for them in the previous period and their development needs for the next period either to continue to meet their performance requirements or to extend their skills and expertise.
I investigate complaints and other feedback with the aim of improving my business
Customers who complain and provide feedback are providing you with an invaluable opportunity to improve your business. Instead of ignoring complaints or investigating them with the mindset of looking for someone to blame, think carefully. You’ve been given an opportunity within the safety of your own business (not on social media for all the world to see) to build a better relationship with your customer and to show them that you care about their concerns. By getting to the bottom of the problem you can make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
I regularly trial and use automation in my business (think apps like Hootsuite, think custom programming solutions)
If you have to regularly perform the same task, manually input or transfer data, perform complex calculations or collate data there is a significant opportunity for human error to occur. Finding an app or developing custom software can improve your efficiency, reduce errors and free up time for other activities within the business.
For more information on business improvement download our free guide “Business Improvement:A practical guide for Small Business”. Just enter your details in the opt-in box at the top of the page.