How would your business grow if you if your internal policies and procedures were slick and efficient? Just think if you had step by step instructions listing how things needed to be done, would this make a difference? Consider the efficiencies and the extra work that you could potentially manage as a result.
We work with lots of different types of businesses, who are at varying stages of the growth cycle. As a result, we find that most businesses grow quicker than they expect. It is usually the reason why businesses do not have structure in the form of policies and procedures in place. It is one of those tasks that may even be on your ‘To Do’ list though never reaches the top.
So other than the points I mention what is holding you back? Do these scenarios sound familiar?
- I am a creative business, I do not like structure
- Having worked with creative businesses, we find their lack of structure is holding them back. The way they do things is inefficient and does not allow them to grow
- It will cost me more money than I can make, it is not worth it
- Initially there is a cost, though in our experience the benefits outweigh them. We have worked with many clients who work evenings and weekends to get things done. Would you like a life back?
- I just do not have the budget for this right now
- Many business owners assume that accessing experts is too expensive. They are surprised when they understand how affordable and flexible it can be made for them
- What benefit will be having processes and systems in my business make?
- Every business owner has different priorities. Recently a client said “without having processes and systems, I wouldn’t have had a buiness, thanks for protecting mine”
We find that it is not until after we have done work with clients that they recognise the true value that structure will add. As a result, we regularly see that our business relationship continues. We move on to support them with new and evolving processes, as the business goes from strength to strength.
Why is structure important?
As the buiness grows you need to bring in people to work for you. It is important that they understand the correct work process to ensure that the service maintains high quality.
Policies and procedures provide a guide for meeting buiness objectives and describe the steps that your team take when delivering a service.
This ensures consistency in practice and helps to maintain service quality.
A policy will set the expectation for your teams’ behaviours and the procedure outlines the steps for it. For instance, if you are managing a virtual workforce, a policy may dictate the frequency for which to have virtual meetings. Supported by the procedure that will outline how those meetings will be accessed, facilitated, and attended.
Is structure worth it?
There are both short and long-term benefits to implementing policies and procedures in your business. Here we have picked out a few to share:
- Policies clarify expectations
- Your team come to work with the intention of doing a good job. It is the buiness owner’s responsibility to set expectations for behaviour and productivity. Policies communicate what the buiness expects for behaviour but also its approach to dealing with work processes.
- Procedures specify the steps
- A procedure lays out the required steps to perform job tasks or provide a service to a customer. Detailing the procedure for delivering great service to customers is what contributes to a great service environment.
- Process consistency
- When procedures are followed, there is consistency in practice for work processes. This consistency ensures that things are done the same way, every time, and that all the procedural steps are followed.
- It allows you to streamline business processes by cutting out redundant or inefficient tasks, as well as automating any sort of menial work.
- Reduced costs
- A direct result of higher productivity within a business is reduced costs. With the efficiency you’ve gained from streamlining business processes, you’ll either have a bigger output for the same process costs, or the same output for lower costs.
Overall policies and procedures give an owner the ability to look inside their buiness. It allows them to understand how each business process works. This greater understanding can lead to savings in costs, making more money and improvements in buiness efficiency. All of these in time, which will help to protect your business for the future.
The value of structure during and after a pandemic
If you are like most of us, your business became virtual literally overnight. This pandemic has upset even the most diligent businesses and still has many unanswered questions about how soon life as we knew it will return.
Managing remote workers is simply another challenge small business owners face in these very uncertain times. Writing business policies and procedures can help ensure service quality. And during the current pandemic crisis, it helps to keep team members on the same page.
Unfortunately change is not easy and many business owners struggle to embrace it. Unless your business is used to changing and adapting on a regular basis, you will have a hard time doing it when your business is on the line. On one hand policies and procedures allow you to create processes that are flexible and easier to change. On the other hand, it develops a culture of innovation within the business, making change something common and welcome within the business, and not something to be feared.
For businesses with policies and procedures in place, this has allowed them to be flexible and adaptable. Over recent months we have seen many clients, make the move successfully. And yes including those who always said that there buiness would not go online.
We find the deadliest enemy of any business is the failure to innovate and change. In fact, that exact thing has been the grave of all too many businesses. Make sure this is not the case for yours.
Would adding structure to your every day business practices help you to grow?
Our clients have shown that it has for them. If you would like to have a chat about how it might help you, please arrange a call.