The word "process" doesn’t get many small business owners’ hearts pumping. It is the seemingly boring yin to the much more exciting yang of thrilling customers with your product or service. However, it doesn’t take long for you to realize that, in your rush to provide excellent products and services to your customers, your business has turned into an unwieldy beast. With any measure of success you likely are starting to feel the pressure of having to do everything in your organization. The business simply doesn’t operate without you at the helm – of every detail.
This is where the power of process can set you free and set your business on a path to scalable growth. Codifying your core business functions into repeatable processes can allow you to hire employees, scale your business, and even take that vacation that seemed like a mirage not so long ago. While you should consider applying a process mindset to every area of your business, there are 5 core functions that every business should turn into a process, regardless of industry, size, or length of time in business.
We will explore the first two today and wrap up with the final three in part two of the series next week.
1. New Hire On-Boarding Process
New hire on-boarding is the process you have (or should have) to equip your new employee for the job you hired them to do. While it may seem like a lot of work to do, the payoff is substantial. According to research conducted by Glassdoor, organizations that developed a good on-boarding process improved retention of new hires by 82% and their productivity by over 70%.
In addition to the obvious statistical rationale, standardizing an on-boarding process is an excellent way to ensure that each new hire gets a clear picture of the mission and values that are important to your organization. This is your opportunity to shape the impression that your employees create of your business which, in turn, shapes the impression they will give to your customers.
It is important to keep the focus on people and not just process. You want to make sure the new employee feels welcome and comfortable in a way that allows them to lean into their training and put out their best work on day one. Building good process is the vehicle to make sure that this people-focused effort is comprehensive and complete each time you hire someone.
Suggested Components to Include:
· On-Boarding Plan Preview
· Job Description Review
· Company Values Review
· Supervisor Expectations
· New Hire Goals
· Co-Worker Introductions
· Key Software Orientation
· Employee Sponsorship (assign an existing employee to show them the ropes)
· First Day Lunch
2. Sales Process
We all know sales are the lifeblood of any business so it’s not surprising to see it make the list. In fact, according to the CRM company Pipedrive, 47% of high-performing sales organizations understand their need to build a sales process. So what are nearly half of sales organizations seeing?
Building clear sales processes help to harvest key data to inform your investment into different marketing and sales strategies. When you can map out your sales process you begin to understand your cost of customer acquisition and lead to sale conversion rates so you can improve your sales program or move in an entirely new direction. It also helps you begin with the end in mind. If you know your stage conversion rates and how many sales you need each month to make budget, you can simply do the backwards math to understand the leads needed in the top end of your funnel.
Building a sales process also shields your business from depending too much on any one sales representative. According to LinkedIn’s Get Closer to Your Sales Teamguide, 20% of decision makers change each year and 25% of sales representatives change roles each year. This kind of turnover in such a vital role for your business should be of concern to any business owner. A good process for “how we do sales” is something that can be taught to anyone, learned by anyone, and can be a foundation for continued professional development.
Suggested Components to Include:
· Lead Generation Sources
· Lead to Prospect Conversion
· Prospect to Client Conversion
· Quote Generation
· Quote Follow-Up
· Follow-Up Expectations
· Sales Fulfillment Steps
· Warranty Considerations
Next week we will look at three more functions you must turn into a process in part two of 5 Small Business Functions You Must Turn Into a Process.