Business processes contribute to the successful and effective running of your business. They are essential if you want to effectively scale and grow. They provide a systemised framework of how everyone within your business conducts themselves and executes their work.
Consider this, why change the way something is done if it worked well? Wouldn’t you want everyone to be doing it that way?
Once you have your way defined, your processes documented then hire people who can at first follow those systems but then also bring innovation and creativity to continually improve them.
Let’s look at which essential areas of business can be systemised with processes:
- Lead generation
- Lead conversion
- Customer fulfilment
We can really easily see, now they’re listed, where processes that everyone abides to can support our business. We can see how a strong process will help us with generating and converting leads, improve customer satisfaction during the sales and after-sales journey, and we can see how effective and respected management and leadership processes foster a valuable and loyal employee mindset.
In addition, we can see the areas of priority rather than trying to do everything at once which is often the reason nothing gets done!
Putting processes in place
I’m an advocate of systems and processes, and when I work with my clients, I encourage them to think about what can be systemised or needs a documented process. Then it’s considering how those areas can be prioritised and how to build out those systems. Once you’ve had a brain dump, or gathered your leadership team around to discuss those, you can move on to documenting:
1. Write down what you did and how
Consider a list or a flow diagram to bring your thoughts together and capture the often missed elements of magic, your differentiation.
If you, or a staff member has found a new process to make a task go better, write it up. Simply write down what you did as you went through the task and why it went well. This is the start of implementing a process.
I encourage you to work backwards from the desired outcome and figure out what needs to be in place to achieve it, step by step – much like goal setting. What do you need to achieve as an outcome, what’s the best way to deliver that, what resources and input do you need to make it happen?
TIP: Don’t feel you have to write all the systems yourself. A good opportunity comes upon hiring someone or delegating. Verbally explain and discuss the process before asking the recipient to write it up in a framework. There’s your written system but also an opportunity to check their understanding!
2. Update, update, update
If you or anyone else has made an ‘authorised’ change to an existing process, it is also imperative that the original document is adjusted so that you have a trustworthy reference. Aim to have just one set of written processes for central reference, with of course a back up!
Before the update is set in stone it might be helpful to use sticky notes so you can move them around until the process is right or you may need to make a temporary adjustment until you have the admin time to make it permanent.
NB: Keeping processes up to date according to new software or changes to your CRM or marketing platforms is essential for effective training of new staff and continued staff development.
3. Check it works before rolling it out
Pass your process document to someone else if you can, or make sure the next time you go through that task, allow yourself to be directed by what you documented. This is a good way to check that the process doesn’t have any holes.
TIP: The E-Myth by Michael Gerber changed the way I worked and how I mentored people. I recommend it for going deeper into those seven essential systems.
Some time ago, I spoke with Hayley Monks of Think, Inspire & Create on this subject. Listen along on the Podcast: Developing Your People and Processes with Hayley Monks.
On my website I have a knowledge base and you may find this article useful ‘How do I create systems and processes for my business?’
As ever, I hope this article has been of some help to you. If you’d like to continue this discussion, do get in touch for a no-obligation, free business consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.