You need a process and a system
A typical ‘starting out in business’ story goes something like this.
Someone sets off to start-up on their own because they are good at what they do, because that is all that they know how to do, or because they have spotted the proverbial ‘gap in the market’ that they can fulfil. From that point on they go and work out how they are going to provide this product or service and then start looking for a few customers. The lucky ones already have a customer or two and simply start working.
Orders come in and the owner gets busy doing their ‘thing’. Then they spend their evenings and weekends sorting out the paperwork and before you know it they have created themselves a job. And usually a far more stressful one than the one they had working for someone else. They may even, eventually, employ someone else to help in the fulfilment process and perhaps a part time admin person. But the busyness continues and before long our enthusiastic entrepreneur has fallen foul of the age-old working ‘in’ your business instead of ‘on’ it syndrome.
The reason for this one-way path to stressfulness is a lack of process…
Creating a process in a business starts by addressing the questions which cause the influx of administrational activities, actionable events and paperwork. Questions such as:
- When someone makes an enquiry – what is the most efficient and effective way to handle it?
- After an order is taken – how can we deliver a great customer experience every time?
- If something goes wrong – what would be the best way to ensure a satisfactory resolution?
- After the sale and fulfilment – how can we keep in touch and make that customer a fan?
- Can all or most of the above be automated or simplified?
There would of course be more detail and a number of steps involved in the answers to these questions, and that is why you need a system to manage your process. The reason companies get too busy and start to deliver stress to their owners and staff is that these questions are not dealt with by a process.
But there is another very important eventuality resulting from a lack of process…
A company with inadequate processes and systems will eventually hit that inevitable activity ceiling where it simply cannot grow any more. And at that point – the only way is down. It is an established truism that there is no status quo – your business must either be growing or it will decline.
The key to avoiding the two major pitfalls of any business – too busy and no way to create and manage growth – is to implement a process and a system to manage both of these requirements. The more automated that you can make this the better and the sooner it is implemented the less reengineering of the ‘make it up as you go along’ scenarios is necessary. Simply work out what you are trying to achieve: generating prospects – turning them into customers – taking orders – fulfilling orders – managing the administration – building ongoing relationships.
Simple, efficient, automatic and freeing up everyone’s time…
This methodology will enable a business owner and their talented, enthusiastic staff the freedom to deliver the very best services, delight customers and build a growing, sustainable business for many years to come.
If you need more information about systemising and process management… just get in touch.