What is a Business Operating System? Jeff Chastain July 20, 2020

What is a Business Operating System?

Coming from a technology background myself, when I heard the term “operating system,” I would immediately jump to an operating system along the lines of software like Windows or Mac, which in some respects is not that far off.

Benefits of a Franchise

Franchise? We are talking about entrepreneurs and doing things our own way, right?

Yes, but I want to stop and look at one of the key features of a franchise business that we tend to miss when doing things our own way. One of the key benefits of signing up to be a franchisee is that the franchise company provides you with a blueprint – the “how” of running your business.

This is the “operating system” of a business – how a company gets “stuff” done.  It is made up of things like the structure of your business and the principles, practices, and your “way” of doing business.

This means that every business has an operating system.  It may have a name, or it may simply be an accidental collection of stuff you have fallen into over time to make the “your business” way of doing things.

Multiple Operating Systems?

If everybody in your organization is doing things their own way, how productive would that be?  For example, if you have three different project managers, each with their own project management philosophy, then any time an employee moves from one team to another, they have to start over learning a new way of doing things instead of jumping in and helping the customer.

Having multiple ways of doing things simply leads to more complexity, resulting in more confusion and frustration for your team.  Simply put, for the sake of your company and your ability to scale, you define a single way of doing things and ensure everybody is on the same page.

Doesn’t That Limit Creativity?

One common concern when talking about structure with entrepreneurial organizations is, “Is this going to stifle creativity in the business?” 

This is one of those questions where you really must take a leap and trust the process.  The reality here is that having this kind of structure in place actually promotes creativity despite the initial reaction.

If you go back to the computer operating system, it is simply the foundation of what happens on the computer.  Many other programs build on top of the operating system’s functionality, which actually provides more stability than just operating with an anything goes type mindset.

So Which Operating System?

There are many great systems out there by many of the big names in entrepreneurial business development, and from my experience, there is not really one perfect one.

So, where does that leave you? What if you did not have to pick one? What if you could take the tools, disciplines, and philosophies from different systems that fit your business and put together your way of doing things? 

If this sounds interesting, let’s chat!