If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or investor, you may have never heard the term “business operating system.” At least I hadn’t when I began my entrepreneurial journey back in 2012. I did what any aspiring entrepreneur does and decided to chase my dreams. I’m a very experiential learner and have found success building businesses by learning from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. I established my own guidelines and principles and found some success.
My life completely changed when I accidentally stumbled upon the concept of a business operating system. Here’s why—and why your business success can increase too if you adopt one.
What Is a Business Operating System?
A business operating system is the specific and replicable way you want your company to operate. It gives your employees and the people you work with a framework that guides their decision making. It essentially allows your business to operate as if you are making all the decisions and quality testing all your products and services. It also assists in holding people accountable, ensuring goals are in place, tracking issues, forecasting, tracking long‑term goals and vision, etc.
The example I like to use when describing the need for an operating system is this: Entrepreneurs are great at building the plane while they are flying it. We are problem solvers and quick to make the necessary adjustments while we are still in the air. Here’s the idea behind a business operating system: Once you have that plane built, you want to be able to replicate that success and build it faster, better, and more efficiently.
By this point, you have probably made a few key hires and have a team around you. Most likely they do not have the same skill set as you and have no clue how you were able to build the plane while in the air. You can’t expect them to do what you just did. But, if you have an operating system, they can follow the same framework, processes, systems, etc. to build your next plane.
A proven operating system allows your business to grow and scale efficiently and effectively. An operating system simplifies your conversations and gives you and your team common language to communicate efficiently. It provides structure and places you and each person on your team into roles where your genius can be on full display. It will give you the correct data and information you need to make wise decisions. It provides structure, stability, and accountability.
As you begin to research business operating systems, you should take this all into account. Having any type of operating system in your business will eventually guide you to growth. Having the right operating system will cause you mass acceleration and growth.
Now that you are familiar with what a business operating system is and what it can do, let’s address some practicalities. A business operating system is not a magic wand you can wave to solve all your problems. If you want all the solutions an operating system can provide, you have to be willing to do the work.
Who Manages Operations?
Implementing a business operating system may seem like a difficult task to learn, and you might not see a financial number tied to it immediately, but it is definitely worth the effort. The good news is you won’t always have to be the expert on your business’s operating system.
You will still want to be knowledgeable about it, but eventually through the growth of your company and the growth of your business, another solution will arise, and you won’t have to be the one who is the expert on it. You have the ability to train someone internally, make an outside hire, or even hire a fractional COO who has the knowledge in the system that you prefer.
When Is a Good Time to Start Using an Operating System?
Right now! Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, an operating system will help you drastically improve your bottom line. You should always build something with the end in mind. If you eventually entertain an offer to sell your business, having and using an operating system will help you receive the greatest value for your business.
Obviously I’m very passionate about operating systems and think they are very important to the success of a business. As the CEO of Empire Operating System, I’d love to give you a gift. We have an online course that we usually sell. My gift to you is access to our course and a downloadable workbook. I’d love to see if our operating system is a great fit for you! Go to our website empirom.com add the course to your cart and use the coupon code: thinkrealtygift.
Jim Tannehill has been an entrepreneur for more than 10 years. He is Empire Certified, Trainual Certified and an expert in LucidCharts. A business coach, Tannehill has consulted with more than 100 companies in many different industries and verticals.
As chief operating officer of Empire Operating Systems, Jim oversees the complete operating picture for the company and ensures that all Empire clients are moving forward in the Five Phases of Business.