7 Tips for creating business processes for your small business
If you’re growing your business, then creating business processes is essential for you to scale and grow.
You and your business will struggle to manage increased capacity, increased content creation and expansion of your team without documented processes.
Your team will find it hard to complete the any task to your high quality standards if your business processes are not documented.
You and your team will provide inconsistent customer care without business processes documented.
You can start to see that small business owner that has journeyed over the hump of being a solo entrepreneur to having a small team will tell you that creating business processes is essential.
Why do you need business processes?
There a few essential reasons why its important to create business processes for your business growth.
The main reason you need to create business processes is that you can’t do everything and will need, or already have a team or a VA to help you.
Your business growth will slow down if you’re still the one pasting a blog link into your email newsletter, or scheduling your social media posts.
Once you have a team, you need to be able to give them the information and tools to be able to complete the work – to the high standards that you want, and so that it’s consistent every time.
When is the right time to start creating business processes?
In a perfect world, I would recommend as soon as possible! Any repeatable process you complete in your business can be documented.
If it’s still just you completing the task this is still important.
As a business owner, you have a huge amount of information, tasks, clients and ideas to manage, and it doesn’t take long for your brain to fill up.
If you’re keeping step by step tasks in your head, these processes are taking up space, and impeding your creativity. They can also slow down your growth and ability to improve them.
My experience in creating business processes
I would never have improved my business blog publishing process if I hadn’t started to document it.
I was so busy trying to remember each next step when I was drafting, uploading, formatting and publishing my blogs because each step was in my head.
Once I had documented it, I had more brainspace to see how I could add on additional processes before and after to improve my SEO and streamline my process, and eventually outsource everything except the actual writing.
So, I recommend starting to document as soon as you have identified a repeatable task. These are often related to content or publishing and are really operational. They don’t involve strategy and have a clear process to follow – hence you can start to outsource them effectively as early as possible.
7 Tips for creating business processes
#1 Video yourself completing the task.
You can use Zoom or Loom for this and talk your way through the task.
Rename each video and save it in a shared drive, so that you can start to create a bank of business processes that are easy to find, and simple to update.
#2 Break it down
If your business process involves lots of steps, then break it down into key phases, or steps, and then under each phase, dot point the steps in that phase.
This also helps someone else know where they are in the process, instead of getting lost in a long list of instructions.
If you’re improving the process or giving feedback to your team member, it can also be referenced and updated with more ease, instead of having to re-record the whole process.
#3 Use verbs!
As you do when you’re creating a to do list, or in a task management platform, steps in the process need action words so that it’s clear what action needs to be taken.
#4 Include the resources required
Reference the programs, passwords, templates, checklists that are required to complete the process too.
#5 Close the loop
If you need to approve the end result, add a task at the end to notify that the task is completed and ready for publishing.
If the task doesn’t need your approval, it still needs to be marked as completed so that you can see the status. This also saves a little time, as you don’t have to have a conversation about it – once it’s ticked it’s complete.
#6 Create a space for asking questions and giving feedback for the person completing your processes.
Especially when someone is learning a new process, or is new to your business, they will need an opportunity to clarify or ask questions. Make it clear where this is to occur for your team.
I don’t recommend FB Messenger or email. It becomes very difficult to track a conversation and tasks there.
There are great tool like Slack, or the chat in Asana or ClickUp (if you’re using those platforms) that are real slime chat and can be organised so that it’s not one thread.
#7 Use a template so that your business processes are consistent.
Save them in a shared drive, with consistent names so that they are easy to find and update.
Bonus points if you set a regular (bi-annual or annual) task to review them so that they stay up to date with your business practices and processes.
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She helps serviced based business improve performance by combining journey mapping, process improvement and productivity strategies through consultation, implementation and training.