If you’re like me, most of your day is made up of the same things you did yesterday, and the day before that. Mundane, routine tasks like email and phone calls, proposals and scheduling.
Meanwhile, the occasional fire pops up requiring your immediate time and attention. If the routine stuff in your business is standardized with a process, you can put out the fires without your operations grinding to a halt.
Don’t recreate the wheel every day. Processes are how things get done consistently and seamlessly.
Here’s how to implement and optimize a process for your business, based on a real-life client example. (A process to create a process, of course!)
1. Identify a Repeatable Task
Prioritize the task whose repetition is causing the greatest pain in your business and has the greatest upside potential for time and money savings if it were streamlined with a process.
A video production company starts several new projects each month. Onboarding new clients was taking the team an exorbitant amount of time, with team members wanting to pull out their hair. After a week where the team easily spent 10 hours on the back-and-forth of client onboarding, they had had enough.
2. Map it Out
Write down every existing piece of information, data, and scripting related to the task, as well as everything that is not yet existing, but should be.
I sat down with the owner and project manager to whiteboard the onboarding steps.
3. Create Templates, Scripts, and Checklists
Using a list, graphic or flowchart, order the info from step 2.
The team was already successfully using estimate, invoice and agreement templates. We created online forms for prospect intake and production scheduling to ensure that everyone on the team had the information they needed to do their job each and every time.
4. Communicate and Train
Train your team on how to execute the process. Make sure to cater to different learning styles and always lead with the, “why”.
Each member of the team was trained on the process as a whole, as well as his or her piece(s) within it.
Complete a test run of the process in order to identify gaps and redundancies.
For two weeks, the team tested the process. What became quickly apparent was that communicating via email was causing huge delays. The solution: a project management system for communication tracking, task assignment, and file storage.
I use and recommend Pipdrive to my clients as a CRM solution.
6. Implement and Monitor your Process
Make sure there is a system in place to ensure the process is being followed. Hold yourself and your team accountable, with positive reinforcement for following the process.
The team put the process to work. This step was executed with “Taking Care of Business” playing in the background. For the next 30 days, each team member who used the process consistently was entered into a drawing for a gift card.
Refine your process with a feedback loop. A process is a living, breathing entity that needs to be tweaked and updated as your business grows and changes. Consider how feedback will be collected, how frequently and by whom it will be reviewed, how often the process will be revised and how updates will be communicated.
The team tweaked and refined the process quarterly. After all, a process is a living, breathing entity that needs to be updated as business needs change.
Stop feeling like every day is Groundhog Day. Processes are how things get done efficiently in business, without a daily expenditure of time and energy.
Thanks to Sarah Krivel for being our first guest poster! If you’d like to guest post on the Ghost Browser blog, please visit our Guest Posting page.