As founder and fractional chief operations officer (COO) of Meta Viable Solutions, I have realized the Power of Process and how it can benefit businesses regardless of size. Process is integral in building a strong business from the ground up. It allows you to provide efficient business models that will help your business produce, grow, scale and profit.
Process also allows you to pivot and tweak your business, when necessary, as all systems don’t work all the time. As a leader and visionary in your company, process allows you to execute your great ideas into tactical, approachable steps to reach high-level goals.
A Business Path to Better Precision and Perspective
The 4P Model for a Business Path to better Precision and Perspective allows business objectives to be realistic and manageable. This model helps with effectiveness and efficiency when managing your team and avoiding employee burnout. It infuses your company with productivity, motivation, ingenuity and progress.
The 4P Model consists of Planning, People, Process and Projects. These four elements are all interrelated and must work together for you to be successful. You can’t have new systems and technologies without people.
There needs to be planning, process integration, training and special initiatives or projects to get ideas and plans off the ground. One can’t exist without the other.
- Planning is key before embarking on a new initiative. We often refer to this stage as strategic planning. It allows you to put the required people, budgeted finances, and time in place
- People are one of your most valuable resources. You will need people both internal and external to your company to achieve your goals. What roles and expertise do you need to accomplish your business goal or project?
- Process is needed to integrate different business functions, experts, systems and operations in your company, so they are working well together. How will you get to where you are going? You will need to ensure everyone is working together and the right communication processes and workflows are implemented.
- Projects are a means to the end goal if they are planned, managed and executed well. Your company may have several business initiatives occurring simultaneously. How do you prioritize, track and manage them? Projects allow a way to assign responsibility to team members, evaluate goals and identify special projects to focus on initiatives that drive you toward professional growth and business goals.
Delegating people internally or hiring a team, consultant or Project Management Professional (PMP) can help create manageable and practical projects to reach your business goals.
Successful Businesses Realize What Process Can Do for Them
Let’s take a minute to focus on number three, PROCESS.
The EOS Traction method recommends that all you need is 80 percent of your six core processes documented at 20 percent. It suggests that every company has at least six core processes: Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Accounting and Customer Retention.
Well-documented and communicated processes are invaluable and beneficial to your company. Whether you are a one-person business or a 250-employee company, you have processes within your company. You have a method and technique you have developed to work internally and externally with others. These “processes” may be documented, or they may be in your head.
The question is, are they effective, and is everyone working off your built-in processes?
Effective processes save you time, money, and resources in the short and long term.
Four Benefits of Establishing Processes
- Clear processes create a clear direction for your employees, customers and strategic partners. It develops transparency and sets expectations of how policies, procedures and tasks are to be performed. Everyone involved understands how matters will be handled before proceeding with a task. Process mapping, documentation and training are best practice tools to communicate your processes to all those involved internally and externally.
- Process ensures better quality assurance. Having clear processes allows for more consistency and less variance in errors. It allows for productivity and efficiency. Process helps your employees understand their role in the larger context of the company and better meet company standards. Additionally, customers can expect a certain positive level of customer experience when it comes to customer care. Process allows similar quality standards, so your team is accountable, responsive, and meeting a certain standard with your product, service and professionalism.
- Process allows you to build systems and capacity. It is a foundational element (a part of the 4 P model) to integrate different functions and people within the company. It allows for consistency across multi-sites and helps you expand your business once you develop a successful, efficient process model (one that works for you and your customers).
- Process saves you time and money. Everyone is on the same page and understands how things are done, avoiding the loss in time and “figuring things out.” You will experience higher employee and customer satisfaction and better external strategic partnerships with established processes. Process allows you to be resourceful and less prone to liabilities.
Oftentimes, business owners and leadership feel lost and overwhelmed when starting or pivoting a business. Consider Fractional Leadership. Hiring a Fractional Leader can help bring your team and business forward.
If you found these concepts helpful and would like a deeper dive into strategic, practical tips and an easy-to-follow guide on building a stronger foundation for your business, pick up a copy of my book, Striking Business Gold: Build, Scale, Profit for Success.
About the Author
Sasha Lalite, MPA, PMP, is the owner and Fractional Chief Operations Officer of Meta Viable Solutions LLC. As a Fractional COO & Strategic Operations Advisor, Sasha provides expertise to businesses on an outsourced, part-time, or project basis. Connect with Sasha here. She can also be reached at email@example.com or 347-470-7901.
As a CEO or small business owner, you may find yourself wearing many different hats from time to time.
I worked with a home services business owner who hired a team of people at varying levels to support his marketing, sales, finance, and operations. However, he was even busier than before he hired them, working late every night and on the weekend. This happened because he had not yet come to trust his team. A big reason for not entirely relying on them was because so much of how he wanted his business run was still in his head. He felt like he needed to be involved in each step of the process to make sure it was executed correctly.
Now back to you. You are the CEO for a reason. You can see the big picture and know where action needs to be taken. However, sometimes this means you end up in the weeds. Perhaps you find yourself spending hours working on marketing materials, or you blew half a day managing your sales team.
If you ever get the chance to come up for air, you could take a step back and see that this is not the best use of your time and expertise. But how do you manage this?
Here are three steps that you can take right away to make a difference.
Leverage CRM and Automation Technology
First of all, properly leveraging technology is one great way to streamline processes and take the workload off yourself. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and marketing automation are two great tools to increase sales and save time. There are a lot of questions you need to ask when selecting a CRM. Check out these eight considerations you should keep in mind. Do any of these sound familiar?
- It doesn’t track the information you need
- The team doesn’t have the time to learn something new
- It doesn’t match your process
- Salespeople prefer tracking on spreadsheets
- It’s just for data storage
- You’ve been working OK with it for years
- It’s too cumbersome
When selecting a CRM, ensure that it provides your team with a unified, integral platform and that your team is fully trained on and vested in the product.
Consider Delegating to a Fractional Leader
Next up, delegate. Sure this sounds simple enough, but do you have someone you can trust to do the job, right? As a CEO, you need people who work with you, not just for you. If you look around and don’t have the right person on your team, consider hiring a fractional leader. By hiring an experienced professional to be part of your leadership team, they can collaborate, lead and drive execution around a specific core function of your business.
Develop and Implement a Sales Process
Finally, develop a sales process and enforce it at all levels, including lead generation and tracking. This is a big one — it will take the time you likely do not think you have to put in place. However, in the end, it will make all the difference for you, probably giving you back weeks of your time every year. Who doesn’t want a couple of free weeks, so you don’t feel obligated to work on vacation?
What happened to our busy business owner?
After bringing in a fractional chief operating officer, or COO, and a fractional chief sales and marketing officer, or CSMO, our business owner was able to get all of his processes documented by his team so that they understood and followed them. Plus, he and his team began leveraging the technology and framework the fractional leaders put in place. His home services business grew since he could focus on the big picture again and even take some time off to celebrate his accomplishments with his wife and children!
Follow the three steps above, and you too can go back to doing what you love to do and not what you feel obligated to do.
About the Author
Kristen Diviney McGarr, the co-founder/CEO of Infinite Insights and founder/fractional CSMO of Adroit Insights, has more than 15 years of experience as a sales management and business executive for small businesses and Franchise 500 companies. Learn more about Kristen here.