Are you documenting core functions and processes?
This is the second of a five part series that discusses the business pillars that lead to a well run and prosperous business. This month we are talking about the operations pillar. This is a pillar based on production and fulfillment.
The goal of the first pillar, your sales and marketing pillar, is to bring customers to you. Next, you will need to fulfill the service or order they have placed with you, the operations pillar. This is a very process orientated pillar that will need to run efficiently in order to ensure client satisfaction. These processes could make or break the client experience. A bad experience could not only deter future purchases, but result in negative word-of-mouth. You’ve worked hard to bring them in the door, you’ll want to make sure the experience is exceptional! A positive experience will not only result in a customer for life, but also a community advocate for your product or service.
So, how do you define these processes? Every business has core functions. As a small one-owner shop, processes are generally made-up as you go along and often stuck in the owner’s head. But in order to grow your business, hire employees, and improve efficiencies to become more profitable, you will need to begin to document and refine these processes. These definitions should ultimately be adaptable to varying internal and external circumstances with the ability to be fine-tuned over time.
Don’t waste time and money printing them in some kind of book that will no doubt become outdated once it’s printed! Instead use a software or online resource that allows you to make updates when needed in realtime. OneNote from Microsoft, Evernote or even Google Docs are popular choices. The core functions that you define form what are known as ‘company systems’. These systems allow any employee to fulfill the nontechnical aspects of production and fulfillment in your operations pillar. With established, well-defined systems, your operations will become efficient in delivering a great customer experience which will lead to business growth.
I would love to hear about your operations pillar. Is it weak or strong? What are you working on to strengthen it? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts. And click here to follow along with our other pillars of prosperity discussion topics. Or click here to learn more about our business coaching and advisory services.