As business owners, we know that processes are needed, but sometimes actually documenting them falls lower on our priority list. Reminders come from everywhere (every business book, the media, courses, etc) and we always think “later”. As much as we try to not think about it, processes are important, and really help to improve the flow of our businesses.
3 Reasons Processes Are Needed
1. Consistency for Clients
If you have your process in place, you’ll look more professional. You won’t forget to add that attachment to your email. Rewriting the same type of email will be lessened. With processes in place, your business will run smoothly and everyone will have what is needed on a timely basis.
2. Serve More Clients
When your processes are in place, you will be more organized, more efficient, and less frazzled. This extra calm in your day will allow you to serve more clients.
3. Easily Add Team Members
If you are just starting out, you might not be thinking about this possibility yet. Sometimes businesses can grow quickly and before you know it, you’re hiring team members to help alleviate your workload. If you have your processes in place, it could be a matter of sharing documents or links to your processes and letting them help with training your team members. If you’re hiring team members to alleviate your workload, you won’t have time to create your processes. You don’t want to have to write them while you’re already under time constraints and stress.
Starting out on this task can seem overwhelming. Just like everything, it will be easier to start out with one piece at a time.
Think about your business and how everything currently flows. You’ll probably notice that you are completing several different functions based on status or time. I’ve broken down my processes by status: prospect management, onboarding new clients, renewing packages/retainers, client evaluation, and client project closeout. There are some more, but you get the idea. Just take one subject area (or in my case, status) and write down all the tasks you do.
Examples of Tasks:
- Receive meeting request notice from TimeTrade™
- Send Confirmation email with Pre-Consult Questionnaire
- Review Pre-Consult Questionnaire
Of course, there could be several more tasks. Look at your tasks and determine if anything can be automated or simplified. For example, you could have an already scripted confirmation email saved that just needs a little personalization. Don’t rewrite your message every time.
If you use a task management system or CRM, see if it has the possibility of creating task templates. Then assign that template to a prospect or client. My CRM will allow me to assign a template and set dates for the time between tasks and then sends a reminder at the appropriate times to follow up (i.e. after 60 days with a client, ask for an evaluation).
Start here for now. Try just setting up one process, clean it up, and try it out. Notice how easy things start to feel. Update it as necessary. Processes are always changing – just like your business. When you’re feeling good, try setting up another process.
You can do it!