We have discussed the importance of efficient processes at length, but what if you don’t have procedures in place yet? Businesses that are young, and don’t have many employees, typically don’t have documented processes. Implementing processes before you grow your team can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
A process is any action that occurs in your business. This can be as simple as checking an email in the morning or as complicated as executing a two-year project for a client. Regardless of what your processes are, your team must understand and know how to implement them.
Starting from Scratch
If you don’t have a lot of processes in place, where should you start? Take a look around at what is happening in your business today. What is working? What isn’t? For the things that are going well, you may already have a good process in place for them. Take note of what those processes are, document them, and implement them as the official process for your business.
For those areas in your business that don’t have proper processes, follow these steps to create them:
- Take a look at your competition. Find out what they are doing in the areas where you need to improve. Would it work for you as well? Depending on your industry, this can be difficult to figure out. Implementing industry best practices can also help.
- Create clear expectations for starting and ending each process. The last thing you want are tasks that to drag on forever because they are not clearly defined. Document exactly when each process begins and ends.
- Make success repeatable. Identify what is working and do it over and over again.
- Provide Value. Does the process improve employee efficiency, generate revenue for the company, or provide customer service? If not, it should be changed or eliminated.
- Be Flexible. Make sure the documentation you present for processes encourages those who are carrying them out to make continual improvements.
Look at the Big Picture
As you put processes together for your business, be on the lookout for overlapping efforts or missing pieces. You may have employees operating independently and unknowingly duplicating efforts.
Or, you may think you have all areas covered, but in reality, you have personnel gaps. If everyone’s jobs are well documented and understood, you can ensure no time is wasted with overlap, and all areas of the business are covered.
Once you have your processes documented and up and running, take a look at the potential for automation. The more you can automate manual tasks, the more you can increase accuracy and maximize employee efforts.
At CPG, we believe in the power of great processes and are always working to improve ours. We are working to bring you more options for automation so we can help improve your processes too.