It’s time to create a process.
First, I love process. Why? It frees my brain to think about more important things. Sure, I need to send that email, set a follow up meeting, add someone’s contact info to my random spam generator…
But I don’t need to think about what I must do next. Or worse, try to remember what I need to do next. That’s where a process comes in.
Here’s the thing, you have a lot of processes at your business. If they aren’t written down, they are in someone’s head. I’d prefer to have them written down, so if an employee leaves I can just hand them over to the new employee. The better your processes are documented, the smoother the transition will be when someone leaves.
So, how do you go about creating a process? Assume the person knows nothing about what you’re asking them to do. You can’t say “can you fill out and submit the XYZ application” because they don’t know what it is, where to get it, how to fill it in, where to upload it, etc.
Using the application as our example:
- Go to the ‘Applications’ folder, it’s in G://Network Share/New Customers/Accounts/Applications
- Select the document NewAccountApplication.pdf
- Take the New Client Intake Form, and fill in all the fields.
- In Section 13, it’s asking for a (random specific thing in your industry), either put X, or put Y if (some way they can easily distinguish which is which).
- Once completed, it needs to be sent over to the NewAccounts@yourbusiness.com.
- If done correctly, you’ll see a new account in 3 days. You can check new accounts here: www.youbusiness.com/customers
I won’t go in any further detail, but what I’m trying to show you here is the depth of the process. It’s easy to forget that we’ve been doing it so long that it feels easy. Most people don’t know anything about your processes.
Here is one of the final steps. Have someone who doesn’t know how to do it, use your process. Stand over their shoulder and makes notes about every question they ask – because it’s not apparent to them. If one person has questions, another person will too. You do not want to have to teach each person you hire.
As a side note, I have my lovely and extraordinarily patient wife do this for me a lot. If you’re reading this, thanks love. (Let’s be honest, she probably will never read this). If your partner is patient and doesn’t mind helping, it’s a great place to start.
Lastly, steps in a process change over time. Make sure whoever is responsible for doing the process updates it as it changes.
Here are some questions for you regarding how you create a process:
- Do you have any process documented right now?
- What tasks would you take off your plate if you could? These might be a great place to start documenting your process.
- How do you currently handle employee turnover and training?
- Do you have any software that allows you to create a digital workflow?