How often have you heard internet marketers use the term “rinse, and repeat”. Do you know what this means? In the most simple terms – create a list. Follow it. Start back at the top. It’s a proven path to success.
But business processes are more than just lists. Business processes define every aspect of the business, from how training is provided to how new hires are brought into the company to how sales works to the final closing of the contract. Although businesses are dynamic, and situations change from day-to-day the underlying principles are the same, so if processes are defined it make it easier for anyone coming into the business the quickly get up to speed and hit the ground running.
Business processes are normally defined for various reasons – it may be due to outside forces, such as clients or potential clients or they may be regulatory. However the process is usually implemented and enforced because of the simple reason – it works. It provides an exceptional audit trail and clearly defines how specific tasks need to be handled.
Every business out there, whether it is private, public or not-for-profit employ business systems in their operations. Think about your college or university days. You had to register for school, then you registered for specific classes. Even if you were going to audit a course, you had to register for it. Why? That’s the system that is in place and it works. It brings order to an otherwise chaotic event.
A couple of days ago, Richard Lee posted an excellent item to his blog entitled “Create Successful Business Procedures By Using Standardization“
Last place I worked, my company developed software for the blood/plasma industry. Very little-no competition for our company, so we could have done things however we wanted to – however because we sold our software into the US we were regulated by the FDA.
That meant SOP’s for virtually everything we did. There were SOP’s for training, how to record training, how to keep training records. You name it. The FDA was also very diligent in auditing us, as were our clients. We never failed an audit or were cited for irregularities.
We often joked “where is the SOP to go to the washroom…”? They must have missed that one.
Our company succeeded due to having solid business processes in place that everyone had to follow – no if’s ands or buts.
Although at times you felt like taking short-cuts, the penalties for short-cuts were severe (we could get shut down) especially if those short-cuts were made in critical systems.
The SOPs held the company and the team together. Everyone took extreme pride in ensuring that they were following an established business process because it actually made the work easier.
Read Richards’ post – Create Successful Business Procedures By Using Standardization - it’s short, sweet and to the point. It will be the best 5 or 10 minutes you spend today to help build your business.