5 Benefits of Streamlining Business Processes
The benefits of streamlining business processes provide consistency, efficiency, and peace of mind in your business. This is true for any size business, whether new or established.
In our previous article, Small Business Process Improvement: 5 Areas to Streamline, we shared 5 areas you should document immediately if you haven't documented those processes yet.
This article will focus on the benefits of having an SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). You may have heard terms like “Standing Operating Procedures (SOP)” or “Master Business Manual (MBM)" without giving it much thought about the meaning or importance of having one.
Simply put, they are detailed, step-by-step instructions about how to complete a specific task from start to finish. While most of the instructions are written, you can add screenshots, a how-to video clip, templates, checklists, and any other form of content designed to execute a task or project.
Let's look at the 3 examples below to see how beneficial it is to streamline your business processes:
- For instance, you decide to add a new product to your existing offerings. By having a step-by-step documented process for creating new products, you can maintain the quality, flow, and consistency your customers expect from you.
- What happens if a customer has questions or experiences a problem? Your customer service desk can ask them a series of questions to resolve the problem within minutes. This happens because you have streamlined that process so they can follow and handle customer service issues.
- Imagine that you just hired a new contractor. Training them is easier because you can give them a checklist and a process to follow from your SOP. Plus, it will cut down on their learning curve while giving the new contractor confidence in their ability to meet your expectations. Win-win for everyone!
These are excellent examples of real business situations where having a documented process can mean the difference between chaos and efficiency. Therefore, standardizing all of the areas in your business should be a no-brainer.
Hopefully, this article will inspire you to document and streamline business processes if you don't have them already.
Why Your Business Should be Streamlining Business Processes
As stated before, standard operating procedures are documented step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task from start to finish. They are vital for your business to maintain efficiency and consistency.
In fact, if you are the only person doing everything in your business, you must put all of your processes in place immediately.
What would happen if something happens to you?
As part of your emergency plan, someone needs to be able to step in and manage the business on your behalf. That means having an up-to-date SOP in place. Many solopreneurs never give it much thought, but they should.
If you've worked with a VA and she leaves, do you have her duties documented? If not, ask her to use your SOP template to document everything she does for you.
5 Benefits of Steamlining Business Processes
1. Maintain Quality Standards
Your SOP is your quality control. When it comes to production, marketing, sales, and customer service, your goal is to maintain consistent quality throughout your business.
You and your team are more efficient and confident. As a result, tasks and projects can be delegated with confidence.
Let’s face it. There will be times when something goes wrong or a customer needs special assistance. By having your business's daily operations documented, a team member can step up to evaluate and solve problems.
Keep in mind that if a problem arises that isn't covered in your procedures, make note to create a process built around that issue in case it happens again.
#3 No Guesswork Necessary
When your processes and procedures are documented, it prevents making poor decisions. Problems are handled properly and efficiently.
Team members will know your expectations and can easily deliver!
#4 Reduced Learning Curve and Errors
Thinking about hiring a VA or other team member? With your SOP, it is easier to train them. As they learn your business, there is a lower risk of errors. As a result, they will feel confident in their role because you have detailed everything their job requires of them.
#5 Financial Perks
Managing finances, handling the bookkeeping, and filing taxes will be easier to maintain.
Another financial perk is that when everyone is working efficiently with minimal errors, means they are saving you time and money. That's always a good thing!
SOPs can’t cover everything, although you should strive to. Your VA or team should have a firm understanding of your company vision, mission, and goals. Make sure that your VA and team have access to the sections of your SOP they need to perform their job effectively.
I cannot express this enough! In order to experience workflow efficiency, you must streamline every process in your business with step-by-step documentation.
As your business grows, your needs will change. For example, that free autoresponder you used when you first started your business may not be able to handle your growing business today.
When you upgrade that out-dated autoresponder, you need to create a new process for your new autoresponder. That holds true for everything you use in your business.
SOPs are never finished. It’s a work in progress because conditions are always changing. If you change any policies or procedures, marketing strategies, promotion cycles - well, you get the idea. Updates are critical to maintaining standards. At a minimum, review your SOP twice a year.
Maintain Quality Standards
When reviewing, revising, or adding processes, remind everyone involved of the goal with the SOP. When one area of your business undergoes several revisions, it can become confusing and, as a result, lead to errors or inconsistencies. Clarify and confirm that the documentation achieves its stated purpose.
In conclusion, don’t be intimidated by creating your documented processes. It’s something that MUST be done. But, the good news? There are plenty of templates and examples you can find to create your SOP, so you don't have to build something from scratch!
Are you interested in learning how to set your business up for success and achieve higher profits? Creating your SOP is the beginning of setting your business up for success. Regardless of your business's size or how long you’ve been in business, focusing on your business operations is vital for growth and success.
Every month in the MyNAMS Insiders Club, we focus on a foundational topic all businesses need to create sustainable, long-term income. February is our Business Operations Challenge. If you need you to focus on building your business on a solid foundation, join us now for just $1. You'll get access to all of our workshops, challenges, courses, templates, workbooks, monthly PLR, plus our weekly mastermind! It's the best deal for growing your online business.
Need Help With Your Business Operations? Join Us - We Can Help!
This month, the MyNAMS Insider's Club Challenge will focus on Business Operations.
You don't want to miss it - every business needs this.
If you're not in the Insider's Club, you can check it out for only $1!
Come join us and be a part of a supportive community with access to tools, training, and weekly Mastermind calls. Plus the monthly challenges that focus on one topic that your online business needs!
David Perdew is the CEO and founder of NAMS - the Novice to Advanced Marketing System. He’s a journalist, consultant, and serial entrepreneur who has built one of the most successful and fastest-growing business training systems online today called the MyNAMS Insiders Club.
The Novice to Advanced Marketing System is a step-by-step system focusing on Team, Training and Tools to help novice to advanced business people build a Simple, Scalable and Sustainable business.
He took a year off in 2003 to personally build a 2200 square foot log cabin in north Alabama where he and his wife and two dogs and a cat live on 95 acres of forest with four streams and 60-foot waterfall.
The NAMS team includes his daughter, Jen, who is an email marketing and automation specialist. Jen runs the day to day business and is one of the primary trainers in our MyNAMS Insiders Club.