If you want your company to be able to move from a moderate level of success to an extraordinary level of success, you need to start thinking in processes. Most entrepreneurs succeed in the early stages because they have a “just do it” mentality. That mentality is still important, but it’s also important to add in systematic thinking once you reach a certain size.
Instead of just getting things done, it becomes important to start to document what, why and how things are done. You’ll gradually be able to map out your entire business’ processes.
==> The Benefits of Operating Through Processes
Why would you want to use processes rather than just get things done?
First of all, it’s much more scalable. Say you have a successful business based in San Francisco. What if you wanted to open a branch in New York? Would your team have to figure everything out from scratch again?
If you have processes, the answer is no. They’d be able to simply replicate the processes.
Processes are important for training new staff. Your first hire might know exactly how you want things to be done, but by the time you hire employee #10 and #11, you just won’t have the time to train them the way you trained employee #1. Your first employee probably won’t either.
Instead of having to backtrack and keep training people to do the same things, having processes makes the training process a whole lot easier.
Having processes also makes your company worth a lot more should you ever decide to sell or float your company.
==> How to Develop Business Processes
The process of developing processes is relatively simple. Just write down everything you do and have your employees do the same.
The documentation should be in a format that can be edited by everyone. Use tools like Google Docs or a company wiki to store your process documentation.
The first time you tell your employees to document their processes, they’ll probably go through with it for a while then stop. You need to really hammer home that this is important and keep tabs on employees to make sure they’re following through.
It might seem tedious at first, but in time you’ll have an extremely valuable asset in the form of process documentation.
==> Is it Working?
How do you know whether you’ve got your processes documented well or not?
The best way is to train someone new using just the processes that are documented. Anywhere that they get stuck or need to ask questions is an opportunity to improve your documentation.
That’s how you turn everyday business actions into repeatable business processes. This is an essential step for transitioning from a small sized business to a scalable medium sized business.