Business processes and procedures are helpful for companies of any size. Utilizing systems creates consistency, simplifies onboarding, encourages automation, and more. These elements are great for any business but are vital for scaling a company.
How to use processes to scale your business
You are ready to grow your company. As you consider the next steps, the very first question to ask is, “What foundational actions support growth and increase profitability?”
Whether you are currently a solopreneurship, a small business, or have thousands of employees, your company needs a solid foundation to take operations to the next level.
Business processes and procedures are foundational to any company. Whether you have written processes or have a “this is just the way we do things” attitude, your staff already use at least a few processes and procedures daily.
When utilizing these processes to support scalability, your team needs to take them from a general idea into defined and documented step-by-step activities that all can access and follow.
I have no processes documented; where do I start?
Many businesses minimally have a dusty binder with a few processes written down. These may include hiring and firing processes, OSHA checklists, or a “how-to” for delivering their primary service. However, if you don’t have anything written down, then you have the opportunity to start fresh!
Here are two places you can start:
1. Write down the most prominent processes and procedures you and your team use daily. These are activities that you likely have policies for, like how to handle a customer service call, how to deliver a service or build a product, hiring and firing steps, and more.
From here, you can get more granular and even have employees document the processes they use for particular, repetitive tasks.
2. Tackle the area of your company that is most often in need of extra attention. Document all processes possible and systematize anything that needs to be streamlined. This will help calm the area down and make it less chaotic.
From here, you can tackle the next most chaotic department, then the next, and so on.
I have basic processes documented; where do I go from here?
Many businesses have a few basic processes documented. These could be anything from a basic sales process to the invoicing procedure. Whether you have a few processes documented or have done a thorough job of systematizing, you can utilize the following ideas.
a. Test existing processes to make sure they are useful and accessible.
All processes and procedures should be accessible to anyone who needs them. That means, if your processes live in a Word document on someone’s computer, you will need to create a system around accessing, storing, and creating new processes. Likely, that will mean taking your business processes and procedures from a local space (on a computer or in a binder) to an intranet or cloud-based platform.
Additionally, when systems are created, they need to be tested at regular intervals. Make sure to run through processes and procedures regularly to ensure they work and are being used.
b. Expand systems to include more processes and procedures.
If your team has documented basic systems, take another look. Are there other areas or departments that could benefit from documentation of specialized processes and procedures? For example, if you own a hair salon, you may have customer greeting, payment, and rebooking documented. But what about cleaning tools or a process for employees covering one another’s shifts? Do you have processes for ensuring a particular cut or color is completed, and the quality checked before the customer leaves?
Using processes creates consistency across your business – even if it’s something as simple as ensuring the hairdresser writes down that the client wants a blonde balayage and not the ombre they discussed in a previous conversation.
c. Get your team documenting the processes and procedures they regularly perform.
You are not the only person in your company who should document and implement systematization. Get the whole team on board with process documentation. This will lighten your load and make documentation part of the company culture.
No matter where you are in systematization, Business Success Consulting Group can help! Contact us here and let us know about your business systematization goals.