Process Driven Success for Business Owners
There is a saying which I’m sure you’ve heard at one time or another – “Failing to plan is planning to fail” and this is indeed very true when it comes to running a successful business.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fabulous when businesses (no matter how large or small) have a documented business plan, marketing plan and clear vision and goals for their business and the service or product that it delivers to its clients, but it’s also important to recognise that without some solid plans and processes / procedures in place to support business growth into the future, it will be very difficult to manage when and if these goals start to come to fruition.
It may sound rather simplistic, but a great place to start is by documenting your business’s processes (or lack of) in order to uncover the gaps and / or areas that need some attention. Ask yourself this question: Do you know how each part of your business works? If not, then I recommend you definitely should be making it your business to know!
And, it doesn’t have to be difficult or extremely time-consuming. And, it’s also worth noting that no matter the size of your business – even if you’re a small home-based business – there are areas and departments which we all have in common!
Start with areas such as:
- Sales processes/policies
- Customer Response Times
- Pricing, fees and refunds policy
- Privacy and Client Confidentiality
- Customer induction
- Staff induction
- Financial processes
By spending time to identify and understand the processes in your business, you are able to uncover where issues are occurring or could occur, and can quickly move to rectify them and thus mitigate the likelihood of things going wrong in the future.
And, if you take the time to implement documented processes into your day to day business workflow, you and your team (if you have a team) have a distinct advantage of having a clearly defined process that has been set out to follow. No one is trying to second-guess what is required because the process has been clarified and is totally transparent. You are setting yourself up to succeed!
One thing to bear in mind though – your business processes will never be static. As your business grows, your processes will naturally change. Therefore, a process document is organic by nature, and will change as your business changes… so it’s also important to set aside time to review your processes regularly and make the necessary adjustments when required.
Effective policies and processes that are clearly communicated with staff and contractors are part of the recipe for business success!