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Systems and Processes: What’s The Difference?

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Entrepreneurs are incredibly talented individuals, gifted in the art of starting businesses from their passions. However, as shown by this Forbes article, systems and processes are key to taking these businesses to new heights. So, what are they?

Systems and processes can be a minefield for many entrepreneurs just starting out in their businesses. When it comes to helping small business owners and solo-preneurs grow their businesses, one of the most important things I focus on is helping them get organized. Having the right systems and processes in place will help your business run more smoothly, get more done, and see your profits increase. The better organized you are, the easier it will be for you to understand where your time and money is being spent.

What is a System?

A system is a combination of items that form a complex whole. Systems help us to achieve consistency in the way that we operate our business. When working together, all items within a system provide immense value. In business, systems are principles or methods that have been established to help the organization operate smoothly and effectively. The benefit of establishing a system is having defined procedures that can be followed to help reduce duplication of effort, minimize errors and enhance organizational performance and efficiency. However, if some of these items are missing or working ineffectively, the system can come to a fault.

What is a Process?

A process is the combination of items within the system that work together to make it whole. Processes are the sequence of activities intended to produce a particular result and need to be repeated often.

Processes can include organizational structures, resources, and information flows that create and deliver value to clients. Simply put, a process is how your company does things. The way you make sales, get customers to opt-in, or get funds to the right place, are all examples of business processes. They are often documented to help ensure that everyone in the company knows what they are supposed to be doing at any given time. Your processes improve your system’s efficiency.

So, what are Systems and Processes?

To simplify this further, your company is full of systems and processes.

Your system is the ‘what.’

What is needed to make your business run? What is your business trying to achieve?

Your processes are the ‘how.’

How will you accomplish the activities within your company to meet your goals? How is the work being done that produces value to your customer?

Systems and processes are clearly important for your business. They are two things that may seem similar but have very different meanings. The difference between a system and a process is simple: a system is the core function that you need to run your business effectively while processes are the steps or tasks that make systems run efficiently. Systems are about effectiveness; processes are about efficiency. It’s important as an entrepreneur to understand how these work and what structures need to be in place to ensure the most effective systems and processes for your business to grow and thrive.

If you want systems and processes in your business, and you’re unsure how to get started, book a discovery call. Right Hand Business Management is designed to help your business grow and thrive, by creating systems and processes that work.

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