Do you have effective business processes in place? Or are they at the bottom of your ‘To-Do list? In this article, we explain the importance of business processes and how to write them.
What Are The Advantages Of Business Processes?
If you are a small business owner, you may be thinking that business processes are only for the ‘Big Boys’ but you couldn’t be more wrong. If you are looking to grow your business, getting effective business processes in place NOW is the best time. Then as you start to grow, any new member is already aware of the expectations and methods to use from the start, which can reduce training time dramatically. So whether you are an entrepreneur or Managing Director of a multi-national corporation, business processes are invaluable. Here are just some of the advantages:-
- Standardise Regular Business Activities – Having processes in place for those regular activities ensures that all participants work to the same standards and follow the same steps to complete the task.
- Improves Efficiency– Processes act as a great guide to show new members how to carry out a particular task and the standard expected of them. This can increase productivity and efficiency throughout the workforce. This is particularly effective when recruiting new employees.
- Knowledge Transfer – If you know how to do everything but don’t write it all down, how can you expect someone to step in and complete the task effectively if you are ill, on holiday, or out of the office for a period of time?
- Future Improvements – When writing down how activities are performed, you may realise that there are more efficient ways to do something and this allows for improvements and streamlining of the business, which can ultimately result in better trained staff, more sales and better customer retention.
What Attributes Make An Effective Business Process
There are 4 essential attributes that make up and effective business process.
- Clearly Defined Steps – Every process should have a starting point, each step to be undertaken and an end point.
- Repeatable – Every process should be able to be run over and over and still work efficiently
- Adding Value – Writing a process for the sake of it or adding in steps that are not necessary is the quickest way to get people to ignore them. Processes are there to make an activity easier for the user and some are even required by law
- Flexibility – As your business grows, you may need to update your process to streamline the activities further. A good process allows for any necessary updates to be made without having to rewrite the entire document.
How Do I Create A Business Process?
Although processes for different areas of the business may vary, the format remains the same for all. Here are the 7 easy steps to take.
- Nominate an SME (Subject Matter Expert) – Who knows the most about the activity? Make this person responsible for writing the process, monitoring its effectiveness and making any necessary adjustments.
- Define Your Goals – What is the process expected to achieve? How will you monitor its success? A clear understanding of the objective helps you to define the steps needed within the document and how you will measure its success.
- Identify To Steps – Ask your SME to write down every step that is taken to achieve a particular activity. This will outline the process and can then be formatted into a way that others can understand and follow easily.
- Test – Test the procedure with a member of the team that is unfamiliar with the activity and measure their level of understanding and success. This will determine if tweaks are needed to the process.
- Train – Once the process has been successfully tested, ensure that all relevant members are made aware of the process and show them how to follow it accurately.
- Implement – Implement the process and ensure that all relevant members are following it
- Monitor – Monitor the performance and review the results. Confirm if the process needs further adjustment as the business grows.
- Repeat – If the process is working efficiently, use the same format to create processes in other areas of the business.
So now you know how to create effective business processes in 8 simple steps. What processes have you implemented in your business? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.
Do you need help writing your businesses up? Then we are here to support you. Contact Lyn on 01329 481202 or click the ‘Request Call Back’ button below and let’s talk about how we can help to streamline your business.
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