micro business systems

Micro business systems can accelerate the growth of any sized business, even those with zero employees. If you’re a business owner who wakes up and does what they feel like doing in the moment, chances are you’re not getting the results you deserve.

What is a system?

Oxford defines a system as a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organised scheme or method.

If we use adopt the above definition, a system can be as simple as a one person following a routine or a habit. While habits can be good or bad, great habits can help build fitness, fine tune a skill, write a book or perform any big task that may seem overwhelming, one piece at a time.

As Bill Gates once wrote, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years”. In other words, we can achieve more in a decade than we believe is possible.

Remembering the 20 mile march

If you have ever read From Good to Great, you may recall the concept of the 20 mile march, where the group who marched the same distance consistently, every day, outperformed the group that would over exert themselves on good days and not move on bad days or during foul weather. A testiment to the power of habit.

Read Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit if you want to understand the power of habit in businesses, large and small. A habit is the most basic of micro business systems but it still works.

Micro business millions

Of course, micro business systems can be more complex than a simple habit. Previously I wrote about The Million Dollar One Person Business book details multiple businesses that punch above their weight by making smart use of automation, outsourcing and process improvement. In effect, they grow by multiplying their income before they need to hire additional staff.

How solopreneurs make millions

Recently I heard Noah Kagan interview Justin Welsh about how he makes $1.7 million with 0 employees. I heard Justin remark that he has created a process for everything he does in his business. When he writes a blog post, for example, he has a checklist for putting his work together. He said he never wakes up and wonders what he is going to do on any given day because it’s all planned well in advance.

I have written about other one person businesses that have made a mint. These too are businesses created by smart design. People don’t make 10 times their full time income by selling their time or labour, by the hour, in the traditional sense. In order to multiply their income they need to multiply their time by systemising their business ready for massive growth.

Why your startup needs micro business systems

You only have 24 hours a day

You are only one person, so you never have time to waste. Micro business systems and processes can help you boost efficiency and get more done, in less time. Unless you are highly organised, your chances of beating a bigger competitor, with more money and more employees, is slim. Our list of digital marketing hacks will only take you so far.

Run your business in less time

Most businesses start small and some even start as a side hustle. Micro business systems can help you run a business in a fraction of the time it would take if you were to treat everything as ad hoc. If it’s possible to run a million dollar business with only 1 person, why not a six figure side hustle before you quit your job? Maybe check out our article to help you decide what’s most important in your business before you decide exactly what systems you need to operate.

Every tiny business has leaks

Every business has leaks in the marketing funnel, the sales process, customer onboarding, service delivery and customer service, just to name a few. When you’re a tiny business, one more client or an improved customer service experience can literally make or break your business. Micro business systems can help fix the leaks.

Micro business systems prevent mistakes

No one, not even you, is perfect. Standard procedures and checklists help you prevent errors every time because you can double check your own work. Pilots, doctors, nurses and emergency services personnel are some of the highly trained professionals but they all have standard checklists because any professional can have an off day.

A checklist is one of the simplest, yet most effective systems

Consistency is key to quality

Total Quality Management was a philosophy adpoted by the west, from observation of Japanese companies. TQM is based on the idea that by reducing variability in a process you can maintain consistent quality in your output. McDonald’s is built on a similar idea of quality. The food is not perfect but it’s usually a consistent quality wherever you buy.

Nothing can take the place of persistence

Persistence is the key to winning any race. Micro business systems, and their smaller cousin habits, can keep you on track even when you’re struggling for motivation. We all have days when we’re tired or can’t give 100 percent to our work, so on those days, following a process or routine can help us get it right.

Onboard new team members faster

When you’re ready to grow and start hiring, systems will help you onboard these new team members. If you don’t have systems and tools in place for new team members, you will need to invest your own time to train them. So until they’re fully trained, it’s costing you two salaries to do one job.

Systems define expectations

Most service based business are evaluated based on the client’s persepective, rather than some objective way. For example, if you hire someone to clean your house and they clean the floor, walls and furniture it might be waht you expect. Or you might have expected them to clean the roof too. If you walk in to your house and notice the spot on the roof that’s been bothering you, you are likely to judge your cleaner based on the fact they missed that spot. Checklists and standard procedures help you define expectations upfront, so your clients know what they can expect from you. Plus, when you hire employees, it provides a clear criteria for you to evaluate their work.


Fill skill gaps in your business

Systems let you take an under-confident teenager, with no training, and prepare food, serve customers and ultimately get promoted through the ranks so they run the restaurant. Does your business need to hire someone down the track who has the exact training you need (and therefore be expensive) or simply someone who can follow a checklist?

Every business owner needs a holiday

You need a holiday and the only way you’re likely to get one is if you can leave your business for days and weeks at a time and come back to anything better than a dumpster fire. When you work alone, you might need to set up automations or outsource some functions of your business for a short while. If you do have employees, you need to make sure the business depends on you sitting in the captain’s seat. If it does, you’ve made a rod for your back.

Systems help you achieve goals

Every business has goals or at least, it should have. When you have the right micro business systems in place, it’s less likely you will be distracted by every shiny new object or get off track. The best systems take away your need for discipline because they’re not a new decision you need to make every day. They’re almost automatic.

Systems are everywhere

Systems are everywhere you look. Your car runs on an engine and mechanical system and you find your way around using a navigation system made possible by devices, satelites maps and software. You drive that car abiding by a system of rules we’ve agreed on as a society, through a network of traffic lights and street signage. When you drive that car to work, you sit in a cubicle where you agree to abide by certain expecations or rules of behaviour. Then you lunch break comes and you walk down to the shops. Even there, they display signs to explain what they expect of you because you are now entering their system (within a system).

Then, as the sun goes down after work, you look up at the network of street lights or gaze at the stars, only to realise they too are part of the solar system. Mind -blown.

Micro business systems make every business run and the ones that run smoothly are the ones that fit best within the broad or macro system; the fabric of society. Nothing exists by accident, so make sure your business operates well and with a purpose too.


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