Identifying business processes is one of the many skills that you need to possess as a business owner. You’re probably wondering how you should approach the practice of identifying those processes and, perhaps more importantly, why you should do it.
We’ll go over the process and importance of knowing just what your business processes are, so that you can drive your company towards the kind of prominence that you envision for it.
Business Process Identification and Management: How and Why You Should Do It
From inception to execution, you put everything you can into the development of your company.
It all starts with a simple idea that eventually becomes a business plan and, ideally, a successful business. But then the question becomes one of what happens in between points A and B.
During the development and running of your business, several different things happen simultaneously to make your business the unique entity that it is, and those things are your processes. These can range from how you deal with customer orders to how your company processes its payroll, but each one has some kind of impact on the way your company is shaped.
So, how do you go about identifying the processes that make your business run?
- Communication is Key – If you work with a small team of people within your company, then communicating with them efficiently is essential to making sure you know what your business processes are. You may have people within the company who specialize in a particular skill and, as such, may have a range of knowledge that’s above and beyond your understanding of that area. This is something that you want to keep in mind when trying to determine just how a process affects your company’s development.
- Visualize It – Whether you work solo or with others, you may have an easier time of identifying business processes if you create a chart of the different things that keep your company going. Charting business processes (or simply putting them in writing) will give you a clear idea of the “connection” between your processes and your ultimate delivery to your clients. It also may make you more aware of areas of your business that you might not give much thought to otherwise.
- Look at Your Expenses – There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be keeping detailed records of your business related finances. With that in mind, it makes sense that your company’s financial records should provide some strong insight into your business processes. If your record-keeping is thorough enough, then the money you bring in and the money you spend, will be tracked down to the last dollar. This makes it easy to determine where you can cut costs, improve operations, or reinvest in some other way. Your finances have a symbiotic relationship with your company’s operations, so using your various financial reports for the purpose of identifying business processes is one way to make sure you are operating as efficiently and profitably as possible.
These are three of the best ways to identify your business processes and make sure you know what’s truly going on in your business. But how does practicing this benefit you?
- You Become a More Well-Rounded Leader – No one can truly know and do everything in their business; but by modeling the different processes in your business, you can have a pretty good idea about exactly how your business runs (down to the smallest detail). This knowledge can prove especially useful when you need to readily answer questions from people like lenders and potential investors.
- It Leads to More Rational Decision-Making – Identifying business processes give you the advantage of more informed decision-making when it comes to developments that can affect the entire company. As you move forward, the last thing you want to occur is a misstep that comes from an uninformed decision.
- Improve Customer Relations – At the end of the day, it’s all about the customer, so you want to do everything you can to improve your relationship there. Identifying business processes allows you to shape your company in such a way that you can more efficiently serve your customers, listen to their needs, and provide them with products and services that deliver massive value. The delivery of massive value should make your customers turn to you for repeat business and hopefully, refer others to your business.
Knowing what your business processes are and improving upon them is all about optimization and getting the most out of your business. By following some of the steps listed above in identifying business processes, you can be sure to prosper in your business for years to come.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
For more ideas on how to grow your business profitably, please check out our website at www.portalcfo.com.
Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that helps his clients successfully navigate the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses enhance their results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, organizational development, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at email@example.com.