Guide: Processes

As a business grows, it is inevitable that it will need important processes well documented to scale profitably. Processes ensure efficiency, quality, and consistency across a business. Done well they can also increase enjoyment and safety for staff by removing uncertainty and chances of error. This applies to all business types, but is especially crucial for manufacturers who rely on both quantity and quality off the factory floor.

Processes relate mostly to the items at the bottom of the business planning pyramid we showed earlier. They are simply documents of words or pictures that help people do their jobs better and faster. A well-defined set of processes also includes templates and checklists.

Earlier on we also talked about the importance of the creative process needing good systems constraints to operate within. The rest of the business is no different. It’s unrealistic to think you can ever automate the entire business, but you do generally need to be more mechanic than organic, even if you’re a “creative business”.

If your business is weak in this area, then the easiest place to start is with common but simple processes such as how you conduct good meetings, or how you induct new staff into your organisation e.g. induction checklist, computers and logins ready, documents ready to sign, office tour, taken to lunch, time with all key people/teams.

Better processes shift the mentality from people running the business, to people managing systems and processes that run the business. The great benefit of this is that you a) remove yourself as the bottleneck b) remove key person risk and can replace departing staff with ease and c) your business will be far more attractive to potential buyers.