Every business, from a multi-million-pound enterprise to a one-man band, has a way that they prefer to do things. As you grow, these preferences will get lost, muddled or out of control, unless you write down how and when they need to get done.
Like it or not, you’re now entering the dreaded realm of ‘formalised business processes. But it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. But instead of trying to implement a hundred policies at once, you should be asking yourself one simple question – what is the minimum that I need? Then just implement one process at a time, starting with the things that are most critical to your business and working out. To help you out, here are 5 business processes that every growing business needs.
Even if you’re the one doing the work, creating the products or delivering the service, you should have documentation to support it. This should include outlining the creating process, requirements for delivery, the features of the product/service and the metrics it should be measured against. This is important when you’re implementing yourself, but when you grow and start to outsource, it becomes critical. You need a document that outlines how you want your product to be created or your service to be delivered, so that you can keep up your high levels of service and quality.
Managing Human Resources
As you grow, you will need to start thinking about recruiting, hiring, paying and training others to help you run your business. There is a lot involved in this business milestone, and the last thing you want is to go into it without a plan and process in place. This one actually splits down into several processes, including developing a recruitment, onboarding, training and HR data management process.
Most businesses now can’t function without a good IT plan in place. That means you need to know how you will acquire, implement and utilize IT to run your business. This includes things like how you access the internet, what servers you need, applications, how often you do data backups and more – all of it needs to be written down and maintained.
Billing And Revenue Collection
Whether you provide an online subscription service or sell products in a physical shop, you still need to consistently and economically sell your product / service, and collect payment from it. Without that basic process, your business is unlikely to survive. You may even need to train others to take over this function for you in the future, so the more detail, the better.
Manage Financial and Physical Assets
If you run a business that buys a lot of assets or spends a lot of money, you need a way to track it. While it sounds basic, your business needs a way to trace the physical asses within your business, and manage how much money you’re spending. Most businesses do this by using a simple accounting tool like Quickbooks or Xero. This allows you to input each transaction and generate reports that show you exactly where your money and assets are going. You may also want to document when in the month you should input and reconcile transactions. This should be one of the first processes you need.
Documenting the way your business works may sound like a lot of effort, but if you break it down, it’s really not so bad. All you need to do is identify which are the ‘business critical’ processes, and start by writing down each step involved in those. You may even find that by doing this you reveal some gaps in the process that can make your business even more efficient! And if you’re not sure where to start, we are always here to help.
If you would like to know more, please get in touch with us today.