No matter what size of business you run, it’s made up of a series of processes and procedures. These form the backbone of your business and, if documented and followed, can help your business grow and flourish.
However, if you don’t know what processes and procedures are involved in your business, you’re going to struggle. It’s impossible for you to remember everything that happens in your business and the exact ones involved. Not only does this leave you open to making mistakes and forgetting things – but it also makes it virtually impossible for your staff to do a consistently good job, as well.
This is why processes and procedures are so important for your business!
But what exactly are they – and which ones should you be using?
What are processes and procedures?
It’s generally good business sense to have them documented in a Procedures Manual, so everyone can access them when needed. But for this to happen, you need to know what they are!
A process is an overview of everything that happens in your business. Essentially, it’s a series of tasks, elements and methods that go together to produce what you do and/or enable you to provide the service you offer. A process gives an account of what input goes in and what is the resulting output:
- What you do/product
- Who does what to make that happen
- What’s the end result
A procedure, however, breaks it down into further detail. It’s how we complete the processes and all the steps needed to do them.
Why are they important for my business?
There are so many different ways processes and procedures enable your business to run smoothly! They not only showcase the steps needed to do what you do, but they also highlight any areas that may need improving and changing.
If you’re looking to grow your business by adding team members, it’s the documented processes and procedures that will help make training easier. They help ensure you cover everything that your new team members need, as well as ensuring they’re both happy and clear in what’s expected of them.
Processes and procedures also come in handy for maintaining standards, improving efficiency, decreasing costs and increasing sales. And, if you’re looking to sell your business, having those processes and procedures documented will make your business more desirable and valuable to the buyer.
What does my business need?
Regardless of the size of your business, there are certain processes and procedures you’ll automatically use. These include processes around:
- Finance and accounting
- Sales and marketing
- Quality and delivery
- Product creation and development
- Technology and IT
These can then be further broken down into processes that cover:
- Financial analysis, management and reporting
- Content promotion
- Online and offline marketing
- Customer attraction, onboarding and retention
- Customer service – relationships and strategy
- Product development
- Product and/or service delivery
- Human resources (including employee recruitment and development, job satisfaction, health and safety, as well as complaints)
- Computer and website maintenance/management
As you can see, processes and procedures are important for your business! By following the above advice, you’ll be able to make a start on documenting the procedures and processes used within your business. Even better, why not create a Procedures Manual – as it will prove invaluable to your business (no matter how big or small it currently is). And if you need help creating your own – we’ll have some great tips for you in our next blog post!