A process is a series of strategic steps taken to achieve a particular goal. In other words, a process is a template we can follow time and time again to produce a predictable outcome.
Now, the outcome of these templates can be as simple as making an omelet, or as complex as generating 10% more SQLs in the next quarter for your business.
Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner, by implementing strategic and high-functioning processes, you can increase the level of efficiency, performance, and revenue for your business.
So, let’s build a process.
How To Get You (And Your Business) Organized
The first step to a successful process is organization. By auditing your current processes, you can polish them to be more effective and efficient. Organization is key because having an organized process will provide you with clarity on what is working in your business, and what is not.
Start by identifying all of the products and services you sell.
These products/services can be anything from “selling bread” to “providing legal services.” By identifying these products and services, you can then identify all of the steps that go into making it possible for you to have a product to sell. (Hint: This is your process).
For example, if you sell T-shirts, identify the steps to make a T-shirt, from designing a graphic to shipping the product to customers. Make a list of the steps, create a spreadsheet, or even draw your ideas. The goal here is to have a tangible piece of content that documents your process.
By organizing all of the pieces of your process, you can identify the parts that are working and those that are not. But, most importantly, an organized system allows you to see the big picture.
How To Increase Efficiency
Once you’ve identified all the pieces of your process, you can start making decisions about what steps to modify to increase productivity.
An efficient process means a system that produces maximum results with minimum effort.
For example, think of the easiest way to make lemonade. You get some lemons, extract the lemon juice, add sugar and water, and voila! Right?
While this might not be a very costly process (it can take up a little bit of time, especially if you do it one glass at a time). If we buy a commercial lemonade machine instead, we could produce more lemonade in less time. Or in other words, we can have a much more efficient process.
We’ll cover costs (and ROI) in the next section, but for now, think about efficiency. Look back at your (now organized) process and analyze each step of this process.
On each step, ask yourself whether or not it is an essential step, and whether or not it can be improved upon. If you find that a step in your process is not essential, remove it. And if a step can be improved to increase productivity, refine it.
How To Maximize Your ROI
Now that you have refined efficiency in your process, let’s talk about costs. Maximizing Return-On-Investment (ROI) is by far one to the most difficult tasks for any business.
The key to maximizing the value of your processes and minimizing their cost is diversification.
Take a look at stock investments. When building your investment portfolio, you can opt from conservative, moderate, and aggressive types of investments. But investment professional often recommended you have a mix of these investment styles on your portfolio to generate higher revenues and minimize losses.
Like portfolio investments, ROI cannot be predicted, but diversification is a key. Complex and sophisticated processes require higher investments; these are also more likely to provide higher ROI. And the opposite stands true to more simple processes. The lesson here is to find a balance.
If you are a growing business, use simple processes that don’t require much investment. When you are ready to scale up and grow, inject higher investments into your processes to generate higher revenues and consequently higher ROI.
When comparing ROI to industry standards (or competitors), it is especially important to look and differentiate short-term and long-term investments. Both of these are necessary to achieve growth, but they must be strategically allocated according to the size and growth rate of your business.
I hope you found this information helpful. Now go on and increase the efficiency of your processes, and maximize your ROI!
Thank you for reading! Comment below or reach me out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to give me feedback or ideas on what to write next.
Illustrations by Carlos Aguirre, @carlosaguirre__ on Instagram.