It's extremely important to measure progress in your small business. There are so many ways…
The Only Checklist You Need for Booming Business Processes
“You’re too busy.” “You have too much work.” “You can’t always follow up.”
These are the most common complaints I hear from business owners who don’t have effective processes in place. The first question I ask them is, “Why haven’t you built a process to handle that?” Sadly, the most common answers are “I don’t have time” or “It’s too complicated.”
Now, we both know that neither of these answers is the true reason. In fact, in almost every case, I find that they have attempted to give their virtual assistant or staff some sort of process and the problem has come about because they simply lack the experience to translate what they know into an accurate written version of the processes for the tasks they are outsourcing.
This checklist should give you a simple plan to easily build processes into your business, in just a few minutes for each one. Remember, well-designed processes that support your business activities can make or break your business when you’re under pressure, in the times that require concentration and a clear focus. In simple terms, ‘plan now to succeed tomorrow’.
First, let’s define what a ‘process’ actually is: A process is a written plan you follow to ensure something is done the same, right way, every time.
Here is my checklist for building processes into your business; processes that support your business, rather than hinder it.
Pick out your top 3 to 5 key products or services that you offer and run them through this checklist:
- Do you have a list of your products and services and the number of sales and profit per unit each one makes (either per sale or per week/month/quarter/year)?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you find leads and make sales?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you take payment for sales?
- Do you have a written process for how you support customers after they pay?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you handle complaints?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you handle returns?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you process refunds?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you train new team members?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you manage your bookkeeping?
- Do you have a written process to describe how you manage your business finances?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you comply with any industry/government or overarching management body in your industry?
- Do you have a written process that describes how you review and check on the efficiency of your other processes?
Now, if you answered “No” to any of these, then you need to highlight these so that you can start building the processes, to set that right, for the future.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Break down your products and services into a list of your bestsellers and highest profit products or services for the last few months or years, depending on your business.
- Take the top performing 3 to 5 products or services and list them down.
- For each product write a simple description on how you find customers/generate leads/close sales.
- Then write the description of how you undertake making the sale/info sheets/presentations/demonstrations and instructions, etc.
- Next, write out the process of how you take and bank payment.
- Write the activities or responsibilities you undertake to manage the customer once they buy; such as support calls, deliverable services, warranties and guarantees.
- Then write out the administration procedures; such as bookkeeping, document handling, accounting and reporting you may use for that product
Produce a single document for each of these major steps, including any variations that arise for differing products and services.
Start now and get your business on track and ‘free the thinker’ within you.
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