Putting structure and foundation into your business is extremely important. It allows you to formulize your infrastructure and means that you work in a consistently ordered way rather than in chaos.
Creating ‘process’ and ‘administration’ sheets will clearly reveal the action that needs to be taken on things that need to be done on a day to day basis. This enables you to create your operations and administration manuals. These are the policies, procedures and templates that you would use to ‘run’ your business effectively and efficiently.
Writing your processes down shows people (and your staff and even yourself) how you will conduct your business. Here are some of the steps that you can use to develop your own processes.
1. Name each process, for example – Client’s Quotes.
2. Make a list of the actions that are needed to complete the process. Taking the above example – exactly step by step what is done when you receive a request for a client for a quote on your product or service. For each action the name of the person (or the title of the office holder) who is responsible for performing that action, should be recorded. In the above instance if you have stock in house, George the warehouse manager may have to check to see if there is sufficient stock available. If there is insufficient stock then Jack who is in charge of procurement, may have to order some more in, or alternatively if it is a service, the availability of the person concerned may need to be taken into account. The amount of time it takes (or should take) to complete each action should also be stipulated. This will ensure that productivity can be measured too.
3. Once all of these are listed you will be able to define the process correctly.
4. The above steps need to be repeated for each process in your business.
Get your friends, family, colleagues to go through your processes carefully with you, to ensure that you haven’t left any important steps out and don’t forget to update them from time to time to ensure that the information is still relevant and correct.
Make sure that you keep it simple. The simpler the process or procedure, the less the opportunity for employees to commit fraud or forget the steps and the easier it is to remember.