A company’s Core Processes can provide a competitive advantage in accelerating it beyond its competitors. Far too often, a business struggling to grow neglects this key aspect of business. We see this frequently in small businesses where the owner can see the scope of the business. He or she often assumes that their employees know what to do and how to do it. This assumption typically leaves each person to figure it out on their own. As a result, the process gets modified, the outcomes become variable and the competitive advantage is compromised.
In order to solidify this competitive advantage, the top processes that will move the company forward cannot exist in the owner’s head alone. Leadership teams must first systematize the Core Processes by identifying, simplifying, documenting. Secondly and most importantly, it’s up to company leaders to ensure processes are being followed by everyone in the organization. This work on The Process Component™ is one way Resultants Business Advisors help the Leadership Team accelerate the organization toward its goal.
How to Start Implementing Processes
The first step is to identify what processes are core to your business and provide a competitive advantage. In every business, there are a few (typically 6-10) processes that are critical. These often include processes in marketing, sales, operations, human resources, finance and accounting. These processes are both critical to success and, in combination, help differentiate the business from competitors.
Simplifying the processes is a very important next step. Far too often, the tendency is to over-complicate especially when responding to mistakes and problems. Each iteration of “improvement” to the process adds another step that often adds little to no value. That extra step can compromise quality and slow down the process. You can fix this by digging into the entire process and eliminating steps that don’t add value to the customer.
With the process simplified, documenting the process should be easy. Documentation both increases the consistency in the process as well as builds value in the business as the process is now on paper rather than locked in the mind of a leader.
Ensuring the process is being followed by all is the last and typically most difficult step. This requires changing behaviors and holding people accountable.
When business leaders identify, simplify, document and get everyone to follow the Core Processes, your business will go further faster!