Want to Know about Your Business Skill? Sell or Stay? – Part 2

Let’s continue our discussion about how to implement repeatable processes into your company. When we left off, we started to cover the significance of repeatable processes in attaining scalability. Today, I want to elaborate on how to do this effectively.

Some good ways to implement repeatable processes is to write them down, document them, observe them and refine them. Don’t expect yourself or your staff to remember something after hearing it once. Common to ensuring repeatable processes is an Operations Manual. Remember then to hold team meetings to review that manual and put its principles into practice. Robust systems are vital, but they’re useless unless people actually follow them. “It’s important to constantly strive to improve and maintain consistency in all aspects of your business,” says Australian entrepreneur Gianpaolo Federici. “Eventually you pull together a very tight business that rewards you big time.”

 

Processes are about little things done right. One retailer used coloured stickers on price tags to indicate different sale discount percentages. There were signs up in the shop to advise customers of the colour codes, but these were not visible at the cash register. Therefore, the sales staff were making mistakes trying to remember which colour indicated each respective discount. Of course, customers became cranky when the discount given on the sales receipt was less than what was advertised in the shop. Fortunately, the error was picked up through the shop’s discount checking process. Putting a list of colours and their discounts in writing alongside the cashier solved the problem.

 

That is an example of a process being improved—taking a customer enquiry and adding value for the customer. Note that the process also provides a staff tool: the ability to look up and see what’s available. Now the staff member, combined with the appropriate tool, results in a new, workable capability.

 

Another key benefit derived from a workable process is that it gives your customers a consistent experience. If a customer’s first visit has 3 benefits in service, and the next visit only 2, then you have deprived your customer of an expected service. This is an emotionally poor experience. The same principle applies if you give one customer a discount and not the other. Hello! Customers talk to each other; either as friends or through social media. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot with inconsistent service or product quality.

 

Believe me, it’s these simple little processes done right that make a big difference in both the performance and profitability of your business. The logic chain is along the lines of this:
Supply reliability leads to increased customer satisfaction. This in turn leads to increased positive word of mouth, which then leads to increased market share. Finally, increased market share leads to higher profits.

So when you have a defined standard, you can measure actual performance. You can measure how well you are making that product to the standard you’ve set for yourself, and keep refining it to build your supply reliability. Zero defects; zero deviation.

 

So to recap: you need to be able to measure performance in order to choose the best process and capability set. Once this is done, you need to repeat the process over and over again. “If you cannot measure, you cannot repeat. If you cannot repeat, you cannot scale.”

Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy
www.nextepeasy.com

 

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