The next step in your Simple Business Plan is your process (Part 6). Your Process is how you do things. It is the methods and values, by which you produce a product or provide a service. Consistency in your process promotes consistency in production and service. You have the same quality for each item you produce or provide. How do you ensure that you have consistency in your process?
You have to begin by identifying your primary processes. You may refer to these are core processes or main processes or “how we do things around here.” Whatever you refer to them as you must first know what they are. You’ll have processes for all kinds of activities in your business. These could be:
- Sales/Marketing – how do you inform your potential buyers of what you do, what you sell, and how do you sell to them.
- People – Your HR processes, from recruiting to benefits, pay, rules, etc.
- Operations – how you make or provide your product or service
- Financial – how you manage money as it moves into and through your business
- Customer Service – how you take care of new and existing customers.
The next step is to document how these processes are done. Step by step, you want to write down or otherwise document how each of the key processes you identified above is performed. This serves multiple purposes. Among these are
- You can repeat the process
- You can follow the process to identify areas of strength or needing improvement
- You can train employees on how you do things
You won’t want to do this with every process you have. You will want to do this with the key processes; those that are either performed most often or those that provide the greatest revenue or cost.
Tools that you can use for this are tables, lists, flowcharts, mind maps, and a myriad of other ways that help you identify steps in your process.
This simple flowchart is an example of documenting a process.
The final step is to put all of these processes together in an easy to use package such as a binder, manual, file in your computer system, or any other location where the information can be easily retrieved and used. Packaging your processes in this way provides the needed support for both training and the execution of your processes. It helps ensure that everyone in your business follows your processes, reinforces your brand internally and externally while giving consistency to your product or services.
Next week we’ll address the final steps as we help you design, develop, and execute your business plan. If at any time you decide you’d like professional help in developing your business plan that is scaled to your business, simply click here for a no-obligation initial phone conversation.
The Series So Far: