There are certain milestones businesses universally go through as they scale, regardless of what industry they operate in. On the journey from six figures to seven, you probably realized the importance of getting a team in place to help your business continue to grow. You had to recognize that, at a certain point, you simply didn’t have the time, energy, or resources to continue doing everything by yourself.
Likewise, as a business works its way up from seven figures, designing consistent and repeatable processes becomes an important part of the growth journey. Processes aren’t just about automating undesirable tasks, they’re also about documenting how things should be done, ensuring consistency, and making sure that everyone on your team has ownership of their responsibilities.
But what are the business process development steps you need to take to make certain that your processes are streamlined, effective, and easy-to-understand? How do you get the knowledge you have in your brain out into the world and on paper?
I recently enjoyed an enlightening conversation with Chris Ronzio, founder and CEO of Trainual. Trainual helps businesses automate their onboarding and training by documenting every process, policy, and procedure in one simple system. Chris is an expert in designing and implementing processes, and in our discussion he explained the important role processes play in turning entrepreneurs into CEOs. Plus, he outlined the right business process development steps that are a crucial part of the ongoing work of getting the right processes in place for your business.
A Guide to Business Process Development Steps
Getting processes in place for your business isn’t a one-and-done exercise. It takes time and intentionality. As Chris explained, the first step is to take stock of where your business is today and truly understand the roles and responsibilities in your business. Next comes identifying what tasks you want to delegate or automate.
One way to do this is to consider what parts of your daily work are beginning to feel monotonous or tedious. The parts of your work that you feel passionate about are likely the areas where you shine and that truly move the needle. But the parts that feel like the “daily grind”? Those tasks are ideal for automating or delegating.
Once you know what processes you need to create, the next step is to actually set about creating them. Each process should have several parts, according to Chris:
- Name – What is the process called?
- Owner – Who in your business is responsible for ensuring that the process gets done? Is there a backup owner who can take care of the process if necessary?
- Necessary tools – What does the process owner need to be able to complete the process?
- Frequency – How often does the process need to be done? Daily? Weekly?
- Duration of task – How long should the process owner set aside to complete the process?
- Why it matters – What impact does the process have on your business or the work you do?
- How to do it – Finally, what steps should the process owner follow to ensure that the process is completed in the same way each time?
By following these business process development steps, you can ensure that your process is easy to understand and follow, and that the steps are clearly documented. That way, if something happens in your business such as a key employee leaving or a role changing, the process can quickly be taught to its new owner.
New Employee Onboarding: Your First Process
Chris recommends that the first business process you put into place is new employee onboarding. This ensures that new hires get a comprehensive understanding of your business that is clear, consistent, and shared by everyone else on your team. Getting everyone started in a consistent way is great for ensuring that you set your new hires up for success by acquainting them with your company Culture and Values, the leadership team, and any other important information.
Because new employee onboarding and orientation is so crucial and impacts everyone in your business, it’s the ideal first process to create and automate. New hires will be able to hit the ground running, with a firm understanding of who your organization is and what goals your team shares for the future.
By following the business process development steps outlined above, you help ensure consistency in the work your team does, you document key knowledge that keeps your business growing, and you set your employees up for success while streamlining tasks. It is important, ongoing work that can help you increase productivity and smooth the path ahead for your business.