If you run a business of any size, then growth is likely to be on you mind - a lot of the time. There are several ways you can grow a company, of course. But, all of them rely on one thing - improving your business processes. A robust set of processes will give you everything you need to build the platform for success. And, it will enable you to adapt to the inevitable changes that come with running a growing company. Let’s take a look at how to build your new empire by implementing better processes.
Write better business cases
First of all, for any process to succeed for your business, you will need excellent planning. So, concentrate on building business cases for everything that you do. Every project, every new hire, and every decision should have a robust business case for it - and it should be clear to everyone involved. It can take a while to develop a strong business case for all aspects of your business. But, the earlier the start, the easier it will be as you grow bigger. Great planning is the key to any success, and it’s the starting point for everything. Document all your processes, and underline why they are important. Finally, make sure that you can measure their effectiveness.
Choose the right areas
Of course, all business processes can benefit from improvement, so it can be tough to know where to start. If you are taking things from the beginning, then there are a few areas you could look at. First of all, find some quick wins. These will give you an instant boost, and set you up nicely for more improvements. Try to avoid tricky processes that are complex. Also, think hard about those that come with diplomatic issues, such as cutting staff work hours or terminating contracts. If you intend to grow, you will need staff to help you, so concentrate on those quick wins first and foremost.
Have clear objectives
When you attempt to improve your processes, it’s vital to have a clear goal in mind. It’s important to understand that it is a project, rather than a daily task, so having an end goal will help you achieve your aims quicker. Write down what you expect from the process improvement. For example, if you have noticed that your shop is suffering from long queues, then your process goal could be to cut customer waiting time in half. Once you have your goal and a measure of success, you can then hand out responsibility and look at budget needs.
Again, business process improvement should be seen as a project, rather than part of your daily workload. So, it’s important to remember not to take too much on at the same time. Try to stick to one - or maybe two - improvements at a time, or you and your employees could find yourself struggling. Only start the next stage when you have everything finished, signed off, and you are happy with the results. If you bite off more than you can chew, it will start to affect your usual business performance.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
With any luck, you will already understand the importance of business communication. But, when it comes to making any improvements to your business, it is, even more, important. You have to discuss everything in detail with anyone taking part in the project so that they are all aware of their responsibilities. They will also need to know how to report to you, and how often. And, of course, everyone needs to be on board with the understanding of the importance of their tasks.
Use planning tools
An excellent way of getting things done is to use planning tools or systems. They are a process for improving processes if you like. A good example if you are in the programming business is Agile. It will help your team focus on the important aspects of their tasks while giving you the top-down view of where they are with everything. It’s also a good tool for understanding that the result is more important than achieving everything on the list. It will give everybody a timeframe, help them push towards completion, and quickly remove things that are holding the process up.
Use data to make your improvements
It’s not good enough to have a great idea and hope it will all work out well. Instead, you should use data to drive your decisions. For example, if you want to improve your website check out performance, there are many things you can look at. Are people leaving their shopping carts without making a purchase? It could be a sign that your payment methods take too long for your customers to fill out. So, the data you see in your analytics can tell you a lot about where to make your improvements.
Choose the right people
The success of your projects will depend greatly on the quality of person you have in place. Make sure that you choose the right people to improve your processes, and you will get those tasks finished quicker, and more accurately. Nobody is great at everything, of course. But, if you can find the people that will embrace the work, it is an important part of making your project work.
Finally, we can’t stress enough the importance of documenting everything. Whenever you introduce a new or different process, it is vital to write everything down in a clear and concise way. Do so, and you will make it easier for people to avoid making mistakes, clear up any confusion, and give yourself a solid foundation for the future. The idea for any project is to achieve completion in as fast a time as possible. And, if you want to keep everything accurate, too, then documenting everything will help you avoid wasting time.
OK, so there you have it - some of the principles of using processes for better business growth. Use these simple ideas to improve the way your business works, and who knows? Perhaps by this time next year, you will be well on your way towards an empire.
What processes do you have in place that work for you? Let us know in the comments
Source: Vine 5