As explained in my last post, processes, procedures and systems are very similar. To make it easier, let’s just say it’s how you do the stuff you do. If you think about this from an admin perspective, an example would be how you onboard a new client or customer, or how you manage your quotes or invoices.
Common things I have heard as a business and an employee about processes are:
That’s how I have always done it
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
There’s not enough going on for it to be a problem, so we will review it later
I’ve got an employee/VA/spouse/child who deals with that side for me
The top two there are the ones that upset me the most. When I say upset, I mean they make me roll my eyes inside, I am in no way crying about other people’s businesses whilst inhaling a bar of Galaxy. I just wanted to be clear on that!
Just because it’s the way you’ve always done something, doesn’t mean it’s the way you should always do it.
Just because it isn’t broke doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
If you haven’t got enough work/clients/business going on for streamlining to be a problem, chances are you never will do, because your admin workload will be in the way.
If you don’t deal with a task in your own business, you should at least know how it all works so that you can make sure it is working for you.
Why do an analysis?
Another misconception about analysis is that this can be simply looking at it. And as a business owner (especially when in a small business) chances are you see the process every day, while you are doing it. So why bother doing a separate analysis when you are looking at it constantly? I’ll tell you why, because when you are doing the process, you are not looking at it with a critical mind. You may not even be seeing the full process, especially if you have employees, subcontractors or suppliers that have a part to play in it.
Sounds like a waste of time…
“Will it take a long time?” is a question I have heard a few times. And the answer is yes, if done properly, it does take a long time, which is why I charge my prices as it is labour intensive. But that’s not the real question is it? The real question is “Is it a waste of time?” and the answer is a big fat NO!
It’s true – while you are analysing processes, your day-to-day tasks will remain undone. Being a micro-business owner, I completely understand how it seems crazy to prioritise this when you are doing literally EVERYTHING else. In fact, it may be that your normal stuff gets delayed heavily while you focus on it. But the transformation of your processes will be worth it.
Transformation? Sounds fancy!
Well, to be honest, the processes will change but it will transform your business. Simple, efficient, effective processes can result in great things for you, the business owner.
You’ll feel more in control
You’ll spend less time doing admin tasks
You’ll be able to drive your business forward
You’ll have more time to spend on things way more important – like your family, your friends and your plans to dominate the earth
It’s not just you, just think of the impression you’ll leave on your clients or potential clients when everything runs smoothly. Think how much better their experience of buying your goods or services if you have more time to focus on them. You can create new products and services to grow your business further to serve more people. And that’s another thing…
Do you want to grow?
Is your business scaleable? Could you handle your sales if they doubled or trebled next week? Chances are if your processes aren’t streamlined then you wouldn’t be able to. It is much less intensive to look at process analysis when in your first few years of business or are still relatively small, as opposed to trying to tackle it when your business is growing and taking on more work.
So I hope I have encourages at least one person to analyse their current ways of working. It really is time well spent. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, you know where I am. Get a call booked in here and we can discuss how we can work together.