Ask any entrepreneur what they want from their business and without hesitation, we’ll all say, “I want success.” We all have different definitions for success, but we have a picture in our heads about where we want to be. If someone was following you around for a week and watched you work, would they see someone who is laser-focused on success or would they see someone who is keeping success at arm’s length by avoiding follow-up or putting off reaching out to leads? Maybe you’ve got a good excuse for why you haven’t done those tasks. Maybe you don’t have a great email to send and you need a few hours of uninterrupted time to get that written. Maybe your perfectionism is just procrastination playing dress-up. What’s the solution? Processes.
A business process is a system for completing tasks that is clear, precise, and easy to duplicate each time the need arises. The development of processes is important as you start your business so that you’re not wasting time typing the same message repeatedly. It’s equally important for more established businesses to create processes any time they discover inconsistencies from project to project or customer to customer or when they find a place in the workflow that sailing smoothly. One of the easiest ways to tell if you need a process is if you’re struggling with miscommunication or confusion about who is overseeing some aspect of a project.
Creating processes is simple. The development of a process is about breaking things down into steps, assigning the steps, and creating a method of communication to keep each person involved in the process informed, especially when it’s time for their contribution.
For example–when I get a new lead, we have a process in place to move step by step from the first contact to the assignment of a new process.
A designated team member sends the lead a questionnaire and the link to schedule a clarity call using an email template that is personalized for each lead. You can do that here: https://wendymanganaro.as.me/claritycall Leads may be generated by email, website, social media, phone call or networking event, but the process remains the same.
The call is automatically added to my calendar by Acuity. The automated system is part of the process which makes it easy for everyone on the team to know what’s happening and what’s next.
I am responsible for each clarity call and after each call, I decide what services are most appropriate for the candidate and thus which process they belong in. That’s the objective of a clarity call, to ascertain if and how we can best serve the potential client.
I communicate the plan with my online business manager (via Asana) so she can begin coordinating the next process
By having simple steps that are taken every time we receive a new lead, we all know what to expect, we understand who is responsible for each step, and we’re clear on what has been done and what remains. Having a process keeps our clients and potential clients on our radar so I’m not assuming someone else is taking care of things while they are assuming I am. Having systems in place saves your business time and frustration. No one is searching for emails to find the lead, we’re not having to drop everything to locate the link for the scheduler, and our training process is simple since tasks are assigned, given a due date, and are marked completed in Asana so that no one is out of the loop.
Can you identify a place in your workflow that needs a system put in place?