If talk of processes has previously bored the pants off you, it’s time to put them back on. Preferably over the top of your clothes because getting a handle on your processes is going to turn you, and your business, into superheroes.
Hit the snooze button
Many business owners find the topic of processes dull but they also ‘hit snooze’ because it feels a little too difficult to address. There will always be time later to get our ducks in a row, right?
Not right. The sooner you can get robust processes into your business, the sooner you are ready to work more efficiently, grow faster and scale your business in terms of volume and people.
That’s because processes are actually about consistency: continually showing up and doing things in the very best way, to achieve the very best results. Think of a chef. If they run their kitchen to a tight process and churn out consistently excellent food, they could end up with a Michelin star. What greater accolade?
If I offered you the chance to do more of what makes you money, faster and still within the time you have available, would you want to grab a little more sleep before we spoke? I doubt it. It’s the holy grail for all business owners.
The benefits of having processes
The main reason for business owners being stressed is that they simply have too much to think about. Priorities are whizzing about in their heads, different stakeholders are demanding their time, and sales and delivery still need to be a daily focus.
It’s a known fact, backed up by science, that we can only hold 7 things in our memory at any one time. (If you’d like to know more, here’s the Wikipedia info). First discovered in 1956, it still stands, to this day, but obviously the world around us has become exponentially busier.
Putting processes into your business creates a more organised approach to delivery. In turn, this means systems can support you as you undertake the same tasks and activities consistently. Additional team members can also be consistent and learn more quickly. A larger team working on fixed processes will generate higher throughput and your business will grow.
The earlier a business designs and implements processes, the more managed – and sustainable – their growth is likely to be.
Why the bad rep?
As my title implies, though, mentioning processes too soon can have a client running for the hills. That’s most likely down to people’s experience mainly being in large corporate organisations where, unfortunately, processes often mean red tape and bureaucracy.
However, in contrast, for a small business (and especially its owner) a robust process will liberate rather than suffocate.
For me, the two most compelling reasons for putting processes in place are these:
- They give the gift of time: often, without a clear, documented process, you will waste time remembering the order of tasks you need to complete, or how you did this that one time when it worked really well. By documenting your process, you part-automate it and will complete it much more quickly. You will also have a clearer view of what stage you are at in the process so won’t waste time tracking what’s happened either.
- They allow us to show up as the very best version of ourselves every single day: imagine you have a particular day – or even time of day – when you are at your most effective and efficient. (Most of us do, especially when it comes to admin tasks or more active tasks such as selling.) If you can capture the way you do things during these top performing times, your business effectively gets to benefit from this whenever you approach a task because you capture your approach when you are most productive.
Your best day, every day
A process can be captured within a CRM system, for example, when you have time to drill down into the best way to run your business. How would you like to nurture a lead? How should you engage with a customer? How can you keep people in your pipeline and maximise the chance for upselling and cross-selling?
A system that delivers this for you frees your mind, gives you back the thinking time that you waste when you have to continually reinvent the wheel. And it goes further: you can batch up similar tasks and deliver them consistently when you are best placed to.
Finally, a good process means you can get a bird’s eye view of your business easily. If you are being pulled from pillar to post and things aren’t always done in the same order or in the same way, chances are your data and analytics will be chaotic too (hence the reference to spaghetti). With a clear process, and a system that serves this up to you, your data becomes all-powerful. You can slice it and dice it, make immediate decisions with confidence and share the impact of different ways of working with your team to educate them on the best way to work towards successful growth.
It might not have escaped your notice that, at Blake Consultants, we’re passionate about processes. If we’ve piqued your interest, why not get in touch and set up a discovery call to liberate your business and get the gift of time?