Why You Need to Systematize Your Business Process (And How to do it Right)
This is a guest post written by Owen McGab Enaohwo the CEO and Co-Founder of SweetProcess; see more about him and his company below!
Do you feel that you spend more time on some activities in your business?
Are there some repetitive tasks in your business such as product creation, customer service, or marketing that consumes a lot of time?
Do you think there are some tasks in your business that could be done without your direct supervision?
If your answer to any of these posers is a “Yes,” I have good news for you.
But before then, let me tell you this.
A lot of bigger corporations out there trade time for value. In fact, according to BP trends survey report, 96% of companies utilize some form of documented process within their business.
Truth is, if you are a startup, the do-it-yourself or hire freelancers technique may work for you.
But if you’re looking at scaling your business or you want to keep up with your attained breakeven point, it is important you systematize your business so that your time can be more valuable.
In this post, I’ll show you why you need to systematize your business process and how you can do it the right way.
Let’s get started.
Systematizing a Business Process: What Does it Mean?
When you systematize your business, you’re creating a document that contains the process or steps that you or your employees follow to deliver a particular task.
It will involve what the task is, how it’s being done, who’s responsible for the task, and how you maintain and update the process.
It could be as simple as how your employees communicate internally or within a department, or external customer interaction.
For instance, if you’re a social media marketing agency who helps businesses improve their online brand, your process could be something like this:
- The client fills an online form, stating exactly the kind of social media marketing service they want.
- The sales rep confirms the order, and sends it over to the customer support department for profiling.
- A customer support personnel reaches out to the client, outlining what the service entails, turn-around time, the information needed from the client, and so on.
- After getting the client’s confirmation, the customer support personnel proceeds to inform the department in-charge to start work on the client’s project.
- As soon as the department in-charge completes the task, they proceed to inform the customer support department.
- The customer support department notifies the client about the project’s completion.
To create an effective system for your business process, ensure that you include who will perform the task, what the task is about, how the task will be performed, and when to complete the task.
Now that you know what systematizing your business process is, why should you do it?
Why You Should Systematize Your Business Process
Picture the situation where you invest time, effort, resources, and your technical and analytical know-how to develop a new strategy for your business process.
As the business owner, you can’t be doing this same thing over and over again, so you need to document your procedures.
As you continue to use this system with your employees and getting feedback, you’ll eventually improve it to the level that a newbie can understand and use.
If you’ve set strategic goals for your business to meet global needs, here are some reasons to systematize your business to accommodate the changing patterns and exceed customers’ expectations.
When you systematize your business process, it:
- Helps you pay attention to details: By documenting your business processes, you’re creating a clear chart to spot bottlenecks and improve efficiencies. It helps you to realize where to eliminate or change tasks for smooth operation.
- Helps new employees blend into your business: Systematizing your business processes lets you onboard new employees easily. You already have an organized list of duties, timelines, and expected deliverables. So keying into a ready-made process for a new employee is less difficult.
- Eases your involvement: You and your business will never be a separate entity unless you systematize it. Having a business process in place means you can travel out of your business location while your business runs fine without any challenges.
- Infuses consistency into your business: With an effective system, your business will keep flourishing irrespective of who does what task. Your employees do not need to rack their brains to achieve any task. The blueprint is there—all they need to do is to simply follow it.
- Saves you cost: When you systematize your business operations, you’ll reduce redundancy and increase efficiency. Not only that, you’ll reduce the cost of training new hires and your employees will find your job seamless.
So now that the reasons are worth going for, how would you systematize your business process?
How to Systematize Your Business Process
To succeed with systematizing your business process, it typically involves the skilled implementation of a model or methodology that is well communicated and measured against real business benefits.
To do this:
First, make a list of all the regular functions under each category of your business.
For instance, under the customer insight category, you’ll have competitive analysis, market entry framework, market segmentation, and customer journey processes.
You can streamline this further by breaking down the tasks under each function.
To do this, you can put a dummy name or position to the process and ensure you attach milestones of task completion by time, be it daily, monthly, or yearly.
Now that you’ve created each task, you know who will attend to it and the endpoint of the task, write down in clear and succinct terms how the task will be done and the communication points.
Using Google Docs is okay for this, but you can breathe life to the tasks by using mind map tools.
Your outline becomes clearer after this stage. Those steps that need reorder, improvement, or total elimination will become obvious, and you will make the necessary changes.
The next stage of your business workflow implementation is to create each system on a separate document and save it with an easily understandable title.
You should also employ a hierarchical folder structure and upload on Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive so that employees can access it outside the office and you can find, share, or quickly reference it anytime.
Then do a test run of each process. When creating a business roadmap, it is easy for you to miss a critical step. That’s why you should run it through the gaps. When you do this, you’ll figure out repetitive steps or steps you need to break down further.
For a start, these steps may be enough. But as you scale up your business, you’ll need to add new tasks and refine existing tasks.
To do this effectively, you need to adopt and use robust and innovative business process management tools that’ll add value and fastrack the whole process.
By using the right software to manage your business process, updating your work process will be easier. Also, you’ll be able to match your documents with current operations and even do more like incorporating a knowledge base to it.
Business process systematization doesn’t happen all at once—it takes a gradual process which needs regular updates. Its long-term usefulness makes it one of the reasons that businesses use it to scale.
Once you do, your work process will flow smoothly, you’ll be relieved of the stress of daunting processes, and your return on investment will skyrocket.
About the Author
Owen McGab Enaohwo is the CEO and Co-Founder of SweetProcess; an easy-to-use and intuitive business process management software founded in 2013 that makes it possible for company executives and their employees to collaborate together to quickly document standard operating procedures, processes, and policies.
Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.Learn More