The way you are conducting business should be consistent. Consistently bad is easier to fix than having employees who conduct business transactions in ten different ways. When you started your business you probably developed processes as you went along. They may have been written, or may not have been. Either way, it worked for you. The problems start when you add employees. Employees need guidance and processes to follow. And since you're business' processes are stored in your head, your employees will be lacking that guidance. I encourage business owners to go ahead and document their processes even before they add staff. Having documented processes will help you add staff easier when needed, identify areas that need improving, ensure that operations will continue if someone quits or is promoted, and potentially earn greater profits because you have learned to operate smarter and cut mistakes.
Common Processes that Should Be Documented:
- Sales Process- How you are making sales to customers, from start to finish. What happens when a prospect calls? What happens when a sale is closed? How do we bill the customer? Should we follow-up after the sale? When should that happen? What do we do with customer feedback?
- Accounting Process- How you record your business transactions. When do we invoice customers? When do we pay bills? Who's responsible for recording transactions? When do we pay our employees? What technology do we use to make these things happen?
- Hiring Process- How we hire employees. Where do we find applicants? How many interviews will we have? What questions do we need to ask? Should we perform a behavioral profile? What characteristics should our employees have? Not have? What documents should new hires complete?
Keep in mind, this is an ongoing endeavor. Processes should not be set in stone. In order to improve, grow, and innovate you should constantly be aware of what's working, what's not, and how to make changes. Change is Good!
If you're feeling lost or overwhelmed, we can provide insight on setting up processes, or perform a complete process redesign to improve your operations.