What is a process?
‘A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.’
Three Core Reasons Why We Create Processes:-
Be More profitable
A good process is like a checklist that ensures the right things get done by the right people at the right time.
When you formalise a process, you think about the workflow with productivity in mind and it makes it easier to execute and thus more profitable. You are not spending time thinking about what comes next, or creating the next step, as its already been created and tested
If you have a process for every part of your business, and everyone follows this – the client will get a consistent level of service every time.
Are you thinking that you may have staff one day are you wanting to sell your business as your end goal? If everything is in the owners head it will make these two growth options impossible – by creating a process, a step by step guide for every part of your business – it means that the right people can carry out the tasks instead of you – making the business more valuable.
There are three types of processes every business needs and within each three there will be a variety of further processes for example:
Operational / Core / Primary Processes:
The Key Operational Processes are the daily functions the business must conduct. How does your business generate value and make its income? What does your business primarily do?” •Developing and creating a product or service •Marketing the product or service •Sales and After-sales service and support
Supporting processes :
Support the management and operational processes. The company relies on these processes to prop up the planning and doing parts of the business. •IT •HR (hiring and firing processes) •Accounting
While these are not money generating activities, they facilitate the main revenue stream.
All processes require planning, coordination, monitoring, and control. Management processes also include measuring overall results and dealing with opportunities and threats that could help or harm your business.
It’s also up to management to ensure that regulatory compliance, budgets and targets are met.
Although management processes don’t directly generate income, they optimise income generation and ensure the continued survival of the business as a whole.
When a process is documented on paper (or hopefully, digitally), it’s done in the form of a standard operating procedure (SOP) document. they make processes easy to understand, distribute, teach and carry out.
An SOP can contain: •A header with the title, date, author and ID •A step-by-step list of instructions •The team or individual responsible for executing each task •The resources (equipment, money, time, supporting teams) that the user will need •Location of documents to support the process
The right way to create a process:
A bad process means you won’t be able to carry out the task by following the instructions.
1.Carry out the task
2.Note down how you did it, not leaving any of the steps out (even if you think someone should know to click ‘next’ don’t presume – write EVERY step down.
3.Follow the process exactly, not deviating from it or using your own knowledge.
4.Make edits to anything that needs to be clarified
5.Give the process to someone who needs to use it and have them run through it, making comments on it where it’s unclear.
Formally implement the process.
Be prepared to edit/amend the process – especially when eg legislation changes dictate a change to how you carry out your task.
Creating a process is about working ‘on’ your business, making improvements to how you work – becoming more efficient. But how do you find the time in your busy day when you need to be working ‘in’ your business!
The first will be to look at your time spent. Spend a day, two days or week – writing down everything you do and recording the time spent. Analyse this and identify where you can make time savings.
A default diary is when you book in blocks of time to do specific tasks at specific times. The theory behind this technique is that you develop habits to plan for and complete specific tasks on a regular basis. This, in turn, prevents a build-up of tasks and (of course) the associated stress.
It will help you to become more organised and find the time to dedicate to your business – whether its time to do marketing, processes, your bookkeeping or just time for you!
Workflows are the first part of your process – its like a checklist on how to do a job. Its more of a heading rather than a detailed listing of next steps to take. From the workflow you then create a training manual. The end result is to create a system that means new members of staff have something to refer to and that you can step away from the day to day tasks knowing staff can deal with the business for you – doing it in the way you want it done and ensuring consistency for your clients.