Processes/procedures, policies, systems – do you need them?
If so, why? What will they do for your business?

Benefits of Systemising

By creating procedures you can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your business. Here’s how –

  • Develop a knowledge base
    • step-by-step documentation on exactly how you get tasks done in your business
    • great for onboarding new staff
    • good planning for selling your business
    • necessary for accreditation
  • Enable delegation of tasks to your team members
    • frees up your time
    • creates accountability and responsibility
    • ensures best fit of the task to the employee skillset
  • Ability to focus on growing your business
    • you’ll be able to work more ON the business instead of IN the business
  • Quality control
    • easier to check where faults are being made
    • consistent replication of work

Do I need a process for that? Although many business owners may understand that processes and systems are beneficial to the running of their business they may get stuck on where to start, or, which of their tasks they should be documenting.

One way I often advise people to begin is to simply take note of what they are currently doing, and how long it’s taking them. This can be as simple as keeping a task diary for several weeks. Patterns should start to emerge regarding how your time is being consumed and which tasks are recurring.

Once you have a clearer picture, round it off by adding any tasks which you know occur but haven’t during that period – these could be quarterly, yearly or infrequent. Then, ask yourself these questions to determine whether a process should be created for each

What tasks require a procedure?

1. Is this task required for the business to function?

YES – create a procedure for it

For example,

  • Attracting new clients
    • Social Media, Advertising, etc
  • Delivering results
    • either the services or products that the business sells
  • Customer communication
  • Staff onboarding and training
  • Invoicing, receipting – other bookkeeping tasks

NO – If the task is not required for your business to function properly, then it may need to be eliminated.

2. Does this task occur regularly?

YES – create a procedure for it

For example,

  • Inbox management – sort, responding to, and filing emails
  • Scanning, filing, faxing
  • Managing finance – accounts payable and receivable
  • Letter writing and other regular communication
  • Social media posting

NO – If the task does not occur on a recurring basis because it’s a one-off task or project then you don’t need to create a procedure for it.

Note – Exception management

As part of this differentiation – try and recognize exceptions occurring in your business. These can be costly in terms of time and/or money so it’s good to eliminate them. If they are increasing consider systemizing them (accepting that they are regular! , or, eliminating them)

3. Does the task have repeatable steps & a start and end point?

YES – create a procedure for it

For example,

  • Event planning
    • may relate to online or physical events
  • Connecting with new prospects – e.g. lead generation on LinkedIn

NO – If the task does not have repeatable steps and it’s always changing then it’s not predictable enough to create a procedure.

NB – it may be worthwhile recording these types of situations to avoid completely reinventing the wheel – e.g. ad-hoc design tasks that may have similarities.

4. Does the task prevent you from focusing on income generating activities?

YES – create a procedure for it

If executing the task by yourself consumes your time and prevents you from focusing on those activities/tasks which generate the most income for your business, then then you should create a procedure for it.

For example,

  • Adding or updating products on an e-commerce website
  • Report generation – reflecting the KPI’s of the business
  • Drafting client agreements

If executing the task by yourself does not prevent you from focusing on those activities/tasks which generate the most income for your business then you are on the right track and that you are using your time wisely.

5. Could the task be handled by another team member or outsourced?

YES – create a procedure for it

For example,

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Website updates
  • Blog writing
  • Content creation
  • Social Media promotion of your content

If executing the task by yourself is actually the best use of your time then it means you are on the right track.

Even though your answer to this question is “no”, for peak performance it can still be valuable to create a procedure to use for your own personal use to ensure that you achieve the same results whenever you handle this task by yourself.

Ok, so you’ve asked yourself “Do I need a process for that?” and decided which tasks to create a process for. Great! Read further for the “how-to” on writing them. Good luck and let me know if you need any help!

Business Evolution through Automation
Business Evolution
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Increase your profits by increasing
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System is not a 4-letter word
System is not a
4-letter word

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