The Basics Of Creating Internal Business Processes
Have you ever left the office (virtual or brick-and-mortar) feeling like everything about that day or week was chaotic? Alternatively, have you gone to work dreadfully due to some unhappy clients who were running out of patience? There is a possibility that you or your employees are experiencing burnout. Whether these negative emotions are caused by slow business growth or reduced profits, business owners or managers should not ignore these feelings.
Processes are a common term in the business world. It is, however, overlooked, forgotten, or pushed to the back burner. All of the above signs and feelings are classic cases of poor internal processes within a business. Regardless of a company’s size, every employee and employer should be regularly creating, auditing and improving their processes. Why? Effective internal business processes lead to:
- Improved outcome of work performed
- Fewer problems in the long run
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Reduced stress
- Satisfied and happier clients
- Consistent business growth
Who can’t agree that these are all great goals to achieve in the workplace? You have read it, understood it, and want those internal processes in place. Now what? Below are several questions to ask yourself and the steps of creating solid internal business processes.
Common Internal Business Process Problems
You could start by taking a stab in the dark and just creating processes for everything the company does. It is recommended that you start addressing major business pain points first, e.g., difficulties with attracting clients, maintaining customer loyalty, obsolete products, etc. This way, business owners can reap the benefits of healthy internal processes faster than before. Start by making a list of common problems that team members are facing and categorize them. Check out the examples below:
Taking On New Clients
Problem 1: Having to contact the client multiple times for answers, information, etc. to properly execute the job.
Problem 2: It’s too time-consuming to send proposals, quotes, or host presentations when trying to win clients.
Problem 1: Inconsistent quality of work.
Problem 2: Sporadic work delivery times.
Because these are basic examples, it is important to dig deeper and identify real issues that are bothering the company.
Audit and Internal Process Creation
Review and categorize business problems into two groups: Process in Place and No Process. Next, break down No Process items into smaller internal process problems to solve. For example, it might be the issue of taking on new clients.
Problem: The client does not provide sufficient resources to properly kick-start a project.
Questions to ask:
- Do you need similar information from all clients?
- What do you actually need before beginning a job?
- Does what you need vary by project, industry or client size?
The next phase is creating a step-by-step process of solving each problem your company is facing. As per the example above, this may involve filling up an intake form and deciding what to do with the data. This questionnaire could be tailored to each client or be a general one. Feel free to create multiple intake forms to achieve your internal process objectives
If the team is dealing with Process in Place problems, ask yourself these questions:
- What information or process is missing?
- What problems remain after an internal process is implemented?
Answering these questions provides a clearer understanding of what is working, what is not, and what remaining issues need to be addressed with a better internal process. It is important that these tasks are handled by persons involved in the project, i.e., no third parties. Another pro tip is to also start every process with a goal. If you know what needs to be accomplished first, you can take the right internal business process measures.
Test and Adjust Your Internal Business Processes
Implementation is the successor of creation. It’s important that all team members stick to the plan to drive internal process improvement. Conduct training sessions, hold meetings, offer recorded videos if needed. Do whatever it takes to make sure everyone involved understands why certain processes take place, what problems they will solve, and how to implement them properly. A/B testing comes in handy when fine-tuning your strategies.
Understand that new processes should be re-evaluated 3-4 times a year, for the first year. In addition, existing internal processes should be audited at least twice per year. Businesses, clients, and industry trends change constantly, so internal process objectives should be updated to maintain their overall effectiveness.