Every business has it’s processes. Sometimes they are something as simple as a tickler file in a cabinet so that you know when to initiate a certain activity. It can be how you answer your phone, how to process a payment or refund, how you interact with your customers or even how you deliver your service. The processes can be as complicated as a fully integrated software sequence with checks, balances and validations at every step of the way. Your business processes may begin looking somewhat like the course shown in this video:
What is your business standing on? Taking the action to begin defining the processes is a great first step.
Business Processes Serve the Business.
The complexity of the business process can enable or constrict a business. Business processes need to be modified as a business grows. When the processes are not designed for flexibility from the outset, they can create complexity where none is needed. This will show up with extended time frames for getting some action done. It will show up with people who circumvent the process as it was designed which oftentimes causes other things to break. It can show up as confusion and chaos in the day to day operations. The business process needs to serve the highest good of the business which is meant to produce the highest profit with the least amount of effort. When business processes are designed properly, they work fluidly with little stress and a very high amount of efficiency.
Business Processes Ensure Quality Remains Constant.
This can be a double edged sword. Processes ensure that your quality remains the same. Growth requires some amount of change. How do you remain the same while changing? This can happen in a phased sequence. You don’t have to change everything at once. You can create the new process and implement the new process a step at a time knowing that it won’t be perfect from the beginning and giving yourself the latitude to make adjustments along the way to perfection.
Start small. Pick something like regular hours or answering the phone or producing your newsletter to start with and create a process around it. It can be as simple as writing down the steps on a piece of paper and executing the steps on a consistent basis. Once you’re able to execute the steps without disruption from unknown factors you can move to the next logical step.
Business Processes Provide Structured Platforms.
You can use the step you just completed as the launch pad to give you the structure necessary to move business upward to the next level. When you find your self in a place where you’re fighting fires all day long, fight the fire in front of you and fight a second fire proactively. Over time you will find that you begin to run out of fire and processes begin to work to bring order to your environment. Once you have order, then you can begin to grow knowing that it will again become a little chaotic until the new process is refined.