Processes are critical to the successful management of a business. They guide staff, allow easier management of the business, reduce confusion and need for additional staff, and allow more time spent on business development and quality client interactions. The use of processes ensures staff aren’t wasting time reinventing the wheel, communicating ineffectively, or wavering from business standards. And the payoff of creating processes is magnified and liberating for growing businesses that seek to manage a lean team and maintain strong profits. Here is a simple primer on the jargon, methods to start building, and get team buy-in on using processes.
Processes and workflows are, at their most basic level, a sequence of steps that tells staff how to complete a task. These processes can be built for just about every task undertaken, from on boarding clients to the client annual meetings. So, for example, when the business brings on a new client, a process can be triggered that tells the staff what to do, when to do the work, how best to do it, and which staff member owns each step of the work. I equate a process to an umbrella and the workflows as the spokes.
HURDLES and SOLUTIONS
While businesses agree that processes are necessary to build a thriving business, processes are far from universally adopted for a number of reasons:
Fortunately, here are some solutions:
The Holy Grail is to create automated workflows so the technology is doing the work, not you nor your staff. Automated workflows allow the team to focus on meaningful client facing activities and business development. This saves a business a significant amount of time and money and provide mistake-proof methods to operate. Follow the same steps by asking your vendor, employing a staff member to build an automation, or lean on outside parties to help.
SHIFTING STAFF TO RISE UP
If you implement processes properly, there is a shift in staff’s responsibilities and workload. The goal of effective processes is that everyone is working at their highest skill level. This evolution of rising skills and use will allow executives to delegate work with confidence and shift their time to work ON the business. And while processes require continuous review and improvements, the return on investment is measurable and rewarding. The staff now have processes to guide them, which reduces management and mentoring time and eliminates operations and staff headaches.
Our Final Word
Processes, workflows and especially automated workflows are very important to scale a thriving, profitable business. They allow continuous reduction of work, staff working at their highest skill level, and comfort knowing the business is running smoothly.
We wish you the best as you continue to look for better ways to manage your business.
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