What are Business Processes and why are they important?
Everything we do is a process, the way we buy our groceries, wash our hair or pay the wages all follow some sort of process or routine. Some people naturally follow processes quiet rigidly, doing the same things at the same time in the same way. For others, they take it as it comes, changing their routine and habits daily.
While this may be ok in personal life, when it comes to running a business or doing a job effectively it’s not the most efficient approach. Having a standard process, a workflow to follow will maximise time input and ensure that things are being done the best and simplest way.
The processes you should implement in your business will depend on the type of business you are in but most small businesses will benefit from the following 5 processes.
Main Business Process
Whether your business is fixing leaks or creating software, you need to understand the main business process. Mapping your process will identify areas for improvement and highlight inefficiencies. Understanding your process will avoid the “this is the way we have always done it” syndrome and ensure that things are being done for the right reasons. You can also map your process from a customer perspective, mapping the customer journey from first recognising they have a need for your product or service until the interaction is complete.
A lot of companies that are product focused do not have an identified sales focus. They expect the product to sell itself. Creating a sales process will help to encourage sales and ensure you are maximising all opportunities that come your way. Using a CRM such as OnePageCRM will help to follow a well proven process for sales.
Marketing is one area of small business that can soak up a lot of time. Without a well planned marketing plan, many hours can be wasted on un targeted marketing and social media. Having clear goals will help to plan the process, once the goals are clear it is easier to decide on the tools that you need to use and the customers you want to target. The steps in the process will be easier to identify once the bigger questions are answered.
Most small businesses don’t have a HR department and rely on general employees to recruit and interview. Creating a process for recruitment will help non qualified individuals to recruit more successfully and not rely on instinct to get the best woman for the job. You could use an independent HR consultant to help you create the process that you can use moving forward.
Customer support process
One vital thing you need to remember is without customers you have no business. You are in business to solve customer problems and minimise their pains. The customer support process should be ever evolving, improving on the service that the customer receives daily. You should also create a process that includes customer feedback into future product development.
Implementing processes will always benefit your business but it is important to remember that processes can always be improved on, they should never be rigid or stuck. Following a process is important but make sure your employees are aware that their feedback is encouraged and suggestions to improve on the current process always welcome.
If you want to create processes for your business you can start with some simple processes in word or excel but using a recognised piece of software such as process.st will hugely boost your efficiency and ensure that everyone in the organisation is following the same process.