Process is a bit like paying your taxes: inevitable for just about any business, rather painful but something of a relief when it is at least well-managed. Most people regard process as a necessary evil, but good process can actually add value to a company, no matter how large or small. For the business owners and senior managers, the perfect process is one that runs smoothly, efficiently and almost without being noticed.
The problem with perfect process is the amount of time and effort required to create it. Even for well-organised businesses, streamlining procedures can be a significant up-front resource commitment. Which is why so many organisations continue to run with inefficient practices that cost time, money or both, year after year. You know what it’s like: you’d love to do some streamlining but you spend all your time putting out fires. Even though there’s a little voice in your head telling you that a better process would stop some of those fires starting in the first place.
And as your company grows, you will have less and less time to spend on documenting, monitoring and optimizing those annoying processes. So maybe it’s better to take a deep breath and start right away? Laying out and documenting basic procedures around invoicing, recruiting and suppliers’ contracts, for instance, can help identify areas of financial exposure, reduce risks and enable any new employees to hit the ground running. Additionally, this will minimize that sense of impending chaos when a valuable member of staff decide to leave your team.
Business processes need not be over-complicated and require expensive state-of-the-art software or cloud services. There are some great tools and applications* your business might benefit from, but the most important input is your own time and commitment to be able to identify and streamline your best practices as your company evolves.
And if you need any support in making a start on process improvement or development, help is available. Simply give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help.
* Feel free to read our previous posts at https://virtual-office-assistant.co.uk/category/technology/ where from time to time we share free apps and affordable software that are used by other small businesses.