Friday, November 27th, 2020

Grow Your Business by Improving Your Procedures

By Catherine Rocheleau on Oct 26 2011 • Filed under Business

Grow Your Business by Improving Your Procedures (photo)As I work with entrepreneurs, I frequently experience times when they are overwhelmed and not able to move their business forward because they don’t know what to do. Does this sound like you? As I tell my clients, I have "been there and done that" too! It’s a frustrating place to be, particularly when you are an entrepreneur and an idea person. Not being able to move from NOW to FUTURE is frustrating and tiring.

The What, Who, Where, and Why

A common challenge faced by many entrepreneurs is systems. What are your systems? They are the steps you take to accomplish the tasks and procedures in your business. What needs to be done, who needs to do it, where is it happening and why is it important. When you create strong systems, a strong foundation for growth is created.

For example, when you are a solo-preneur, you are essentially the chief-cook and bottle-washer. You do everything in your business. When your time and energy is stretched, and growth is on the horizon, if you haven’t documented your systems, and know that they can effectively assist others to follow in your footsteps, growth will be challenging and frustrating.

Take a Step Back

When I work with entrepreneurs I find that taking the time to think through procedures, identify the best place for tasks and responsibilities to be delegated and create an environment for solid growth can be challenging. It feels like you are going backwards. Sometimes this is true, other times it is a fabulous opportunity to make some adjustments to make improvements in efficiency and productivity.

You are the expert in your own business. When you are close to the processes, you may not see where inefficiencies lie. Always ask yourself a few critical questions – Why do we do it (whatever it is) this way? Is there a better option? Is the right person responsible for this task? Are my clients best served with this model?

Three key factors to keep in mind when reviewing your systems:

1. Ask your staff/contractors where bottlenecks occur in your current systems and how they think these can be resolved. Like you, your staff or contractors may be just as frustrated as you are, and they can offer great insights. If your team performs the tasks, they are a great resource for you in identifying what can make things better.

2. Do your systems capitalize on the interests and best skills of the people completing the tasks? Often we delegate tasks to people because of their position, instead of their skill-set. Taking time to identify which team member has a key skill, or is better at completing specific tasks or managing responsibilities can improve productivity and employee satisfaction.

3. Focus on your client experience and determine if the procedures you have in place or are about to implement best meet your clients' needs. Do these procedure improve their experience with you? If not, what needs to change? Everything you do should be focused on creating a positive client experience in the most efficient and effective way.

Review, Revamp, Rejig

What steps will you take to review your internal systems? If you are unsure how to proceed, or if creating strong systems that allow you to grow are not your strong suit, connect with a coach who can be that external, impartial eye. Sometimes you, as the business owner, are too close to the problem to clearly see the solution. Sometime, your business is "your baby" and it is hard to make the necessary changes because you have always done it that way. With growth, things will change – usually for the better. You must be open to change and willing to undergo the instability that accompanies this change in order to be successful.

Change is a constant in our lives and businesses. It keeps us on our toes. Our systems allow us to grow and expand and breakthrough the overwhelm. As Susan Jeffers says, "Face your fear and do it anyway!"

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