… and they are taking over my life
It’s true to say that no one knows your business like you do. You, the owner, understands all its components, inside and out. The phrase that springs to mind is that ‘you live and breathe your business.’ We’re also discovering it’s a very common response amongst owners, when we ask where their business processes are: ‘It’s all in my head.’
Storing your process in your head can certainly have its advantages, for example:
- You’re a start-up business or solopreneur and don’t need any outside help
- You have complete control and you are able to perform many, if not all, of the various aspects of your business.
- It is quicker for you to do the work, as you have the skills, knowledge and expertise
- You can foresee potential problems that may arise
Have you outlived the process in your head?
However, there are various stages that a business can go through, whereby the ‘in your head’ process can outlive its purpose. For example, you may find that your business has grown very quickly in a short amount of time. Subsequently, you can’t remember the last time you had a day off, let alone a holiday. As a result, you’re feeling overwhelmed with being the owner, whilst managing the operations and you need to outsource. Or you may want more time to help your local community or to see your family, but there’s no one to hand over the reigns to.
Sometimes, the processes stored in your head can feel like an immovable force that has a tight grip over your business and your personal life. Furthermore, if you just think about this seriously for a moment, there could be a massive element of risk for any growing business choosing to operate in this way.
Efficient business processes are important
Aside from protecting your business, there are many areas that your business will benefit to having clear documented processes.
Assessing the risks in your business is a good starting point, as this enables you to pre-empt and mitigate risks to you and your business proactively.
Another process is to look at, is how your business can survive without you, unless you plan on being a healthy workaholic! Think of your business like a franchise model. It needs to have the ability to be lifted and dropped. Coupled with clear and simple processes in place, so that anyone can follow them, should they need to. Also, never rule out that as a business owner, you are human and you may be unwell from time-to-time. So with this in mind, factoring in an emergency plan is a smart move.
In addition, having a documented process can help you to identify areas for improvement, where you can minimise time, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Ultimately, a contingency plan to mitigate risks and implementing efficient processes for a successful scalable business is essential.
Saving you time and money
We partnered with a business recently, who in their own admission, spent far too much time manually inputting invoices into their system. To them it was the norm. We were with the owner for just a couple of hours and during that time, we ensured that we had fully understood their process and explored all of the options. In conclusion, we identified that the process could be more efficient and that they could also minimise errors. More importantly, we could also save the business time and money.
As a result of our findings, we proposed one simple change. Upon implementation, the benefit of this one change was that they were able to automate the process and reduce the time and cost of processing an invoice by 50%.
Take back your personal life
We also find that having all this information in an owner’s head can affect their personal life too. We spoke with an owner who ran a financial planning business. He openly admitted that during family time he was not fully present. His mind was preoccupied with the jobs that he had to get done and he was worried about the process, as it was too wieldy.
After a short time with him, we quickly identified that his clients were not providing the information he needed to manage their query and potential application. With some simple changes to the process, he received the required information. Thus allowing the owner to enjoy and be present when it was precious family time.
Where to start
We find that many business owners think that creating business processes is going to be a big complex piece of work and they just don’t know where to start. The owners are the experts within their own field. Documenting processes can be a specialist job and having someone who has the right skills and expertise to do this, can make owners lives feel a lot easier.
It’s so easy
After completing just one session with a new client, their feedback was “I wish I had started this sooner. You have made this so easy for me and by not having everything in my head, it allows me to focus on making strategic business decisions.”
What we find amazing, is the number of business owners who feel the exact same way. Documenting a brain dump of the processes in your head into a well-organised easy to use process, frees up your time and mind. Thus allowing you to think about areas for improvement and to be more strategic.
We love business process
Creating and improving process in your business is our speciality. We do this by:
- Being your expert process management partner
- Mapping out the process as it exists today
- Identifying and assessing areas where process can be improved
- Implementing the process improvement solutions
- Monitoring and reviewing the revised process
Our Virtual Operations Managers are qualified Project Managers who have experience of mapping and improving processes. We want to make your life easier and protect your business. As well as safeguarding your business to ensure it’s cost effective, proficient and has the capability to grow successfully.
Need some help lightening the load and getting your processes out of your head?
Talk to us, we regularly work with clients who see the benefit of documenting their processes, and as you might expect, have our processes to help.