The 5 things every good business process will contain

Nishi Patel here From N-Accounting here and in today’s video what I wanted to talk about is the five things every good business process should contain.

What I’ll do is I’ll quickly just start off with explaining what a process in a business is and then I’ll go into what the five things are. A process in a business is almost like a set of instructions that people can follow to achieve the same result every single time. The reason that you want to achieve the same result every single time because you may have heard the saying, cash is king, but actually a saying that’s way more important than that is consistency is king. If you look at pretty much every successful business model in the world, one thing they’ve all got in common is they can produce the exact same result every single time and that is down to the quality and accuracy of their processes. The good thing about having processes in the business is once you do document them well, what you’ll find is actually you can reduce your staff costs quite a lot because you can have more junior members of your team doing more complex stuff just because you’ve got it laid out in a way that’s easier for them to follow.

Let’s talk about the five things every good business process needs to have. Firstly, when you’re writing a process, you can write multiple ways. I’d recommend maybe doing it in a Word document. But one thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to say what the process is. Some people will just start off writing loads and loads of instructions but don’t miss the bit at the top, the title, what is the process? Give it a sensible description. That’s number one, the sensible description because that’s just something that when your team are tired and they might not be a 100% focused because they’ve got all this other stuff going in their business. When they look at that process, they have got to see, they’ve got to be absolutely clear when they read that first line, what the process is about because the worst thing you want people doing is following the wrong instructions for the wrong job. That’s why you need to be really clear at the beginning. That was the first thing.

Let’s talk about the second thing that every good business process will have. As with anything in life, you catch more bees with honey, I believe that’s the saying. What I mean by that is help your team understand why it needs to be done. It’s not good enough in terms of leadership to just say to them, “Hey, I’m your boss. I’m telling you to do this, just do it.” Or, “It’s your job. Just do it.” Help them understand why what they are doing, in that particular activity, why it’s important to their business, why it’s important to them, why it’s important to their customers. That’s the second thing that a really good process needs to have. As you’re working down your Word document in your business, go into why it needs to be done. That’s number two, really important.

Number three, this is the most common thing you’ll find in a process document, step by step instructions. Every good process should have step by step instructions and no level of detail is too much. What that means is even if it’s something really simple, like take that piece of paper from that printer draw and put it into that printer drawer, you need to document it. And if you want to go the extra mile, what you should really be doing is taking pictures or screenshots of what that particular section of that process looks like and then putting it into the document. That’s what step by step instructions looks like, accurate descriptions of everything needs to be done plus the screenshots or the actual photos of what every step looks like.

And then what we need to do after that is help whoever is following that process understand what success looks like. If you’re running a hotel, take a picture of a finished room that’s been made up so people visualize exactly what that needs to look like. If you’re running a restaurant, take a picture of the finished food so you can see exactly what it needs to look like. I know McDonald’s half the time it never looks like the menu picture but the whole point is if you help people visualize what the end result needs, then they’re more likely to use their initiative if they need to work outside that process for whatever reason.

And then the final bit, stage number five in what every good business process should have is some sort of follow up procedure. If the process was about doing something for your customer then there should be a follow up. It shouldn’t just be, this is what success looks like, this is how you know you’ve done a good job. What we need in every single business process is okay, well put a note in your diary three days later to call that customer and make sure they’re delighted with the results or get any feedback in case they’re not. That is the final thing.

If you don’t have that final bit, the follow up, and you are missing a big trait because that’s the opportunity for your business to get the reviews, get the testimonials, get the recommendations, if you’re looking for more word of mouth, that’s when you can follow up and say, “Oh great, you are happy with that. By the way, do you have any friends that need that kind of support as well?” The follow up is so important because you just built by following that process and doing it well, you built a lot of good will with that customer, especially if it was customer facing. That’s why you then need to do the follow up and capitalize on it.

Those five things, what I’ll do is quick recap actually, because I have been talking for a bit. Firstly, what is the process? Secondly, why it needs to be done. Thirdly, what are the step by step instructions? Number four, what success looks like. And number five, the follow up. When you build a process in your business and actually you should build a process for every single thing in your business, then those are the five components that you should have. The sixth component which we won’t go into now is checklists but we will talk about that another time. But in theory, checklists part of the step by step instructions so we’ll cover them in another video.

What I’d like to do is just, if you found this video useful, I’d really like to invite you to join me in a free strategy meeting, we can talk about how to actually build the processes within your business and get it ready to scale up so you can keep making more money, enhance your profits without having to do lots and lots more work. If that’s something that’s interesting for you, then please get in touch and take me up on that offer and I will see at next video and don’t forget to like, share, follow, describe if you found it useful.

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