SOPs

What Is A Business Process? The ABCs of Running a Successful Business

Any process that helps companies carry out a set of tasks is a business process. When optimized, these can help meet organizational goals.

Introduction

Your employees are struggling to meet productivity targets. And senior management is telling you to go back to the drawing board. Re-evaluate; and figure out what went wrong.

The first thing you need to think about here is business process optimization.

Do your employees have a set of standard operating procedures in place? Are they able to easily cross-train each other? 

If your answer is no, then it’s time to get your business processes in order. This way, you can ensure the business sticks to a quality benchmark.  

What do we mean by “business processes?” Read on to find out. 

What is a business process?

Business processes are a set of tasks that when completed, fulfill the goals of an organization. These include marketing, human resource procedures and product development. 

You need to take many factors into account when setting benchmarks and key performance indicators for your business processes. These include your business goals, company’s stage of growth and strategy. 

Some of the most commonly used ones include:

  • Engagement → Page views, session length social media insights
  • Conversion → Calls booked, revenue, bounce rate 
  • Loyalty → Churn, multi-channel adoption, timely payment
  • Marketing → Traffic, visitors campaign reach 

Examples of important business processes

News flash: There isn’t one set of business processes that you must follow.

The ones you need to prioritize will vary according to the industry. Say you’re in the hospitality industry, your customer relations processes will have the spotlight. 

On the flip side, those in marketing would focus on creative processes over customer service. 

Here are six examples of business processes you’re bound to come across in any industry: 

Human resource processes

The core human resource processes include planning, recruiting, training and onboarding. Performance management is yet another integral aspect in HR processes: It entails evaluating work quality, efficiency and productivity of an employee. When you’ve got these business processes in order, it will lead to improved retention rate, satisfied employees, and higher efficiency. 

Social media management

Social media management is an inexpensive and easy way to help your brand reach a wider audience. Especially when compared to other forms of traditional media.

This includes a whole gamut of channels—from Twitter and Instagram to Facebook and Tik Tok. 

Some examples of such processes are creating influencer briefs, hiring copywriters and coordinating with designers.

The primary goal behind it is to engage with the target audience and generate leads through influencer marketing.   

 Marketing

To put it in simple terms, marketing involves attracting clients and potential customers to your product or service. It does this by building brand awareness, top-of-mind recall and buyer trust through various strategies. These include sponsorships, community building and advertising.

The key goal of marketing is ensuring that a company grows. 

Product development

Product development follows a service or product from its conception stage till when it goes to market.

These processes include market research, feature prioritization, user research and the actual product manufacturing.

These processes aren’t common in service-based industries. 

Customer service

The job isn’t done after you’ve developed your offering and converted enough customers.

You need to provide constant support to your client base to prevent churn. Companies often set a dedicated department for this, to ensure all customers are properly attended to.

Setting up your customer service processes leads to better communication with the customer. It also guarantees consistent messaging and support. 

Optimize your business processes with automation

Think about all the processes in your business—from onboarding and training new hires to sending out invoices and data entry. Every single one of them can be optimized through automation. 

For example, Scribe can help automate process documentation by creating visual step-by-step guides. Simply capture your workflow with the in-built feature.

The software will do the rest. This helps reduce human error, improve productivity and even customer service (through user manuals). 

You can also set and document standard operating procedures to cut down on support tickets and streamline everything.

Make sure to create a knowledge base by collating everything into a centralized source. This will help preserve your institutional knowledge. Consider including the following categories: 

  • Onboarding documentation. 
  • Quick reference guides.
  • Troubleshooting steps. 
  • Company policies.
  • HR documentation.

Documenting your business processes can take you a long way. Not only does it reduce time spent on training, but it improves business productivity, boosts ROI and prevents financial drain.

While documenting your business processes, account for factors like scope, organizational data and software tools.  

5 Best practices while managing business processes

Business process management (BPM) is a tedious task. But it helps businesses adapt quicker to customer needs.

Apart from easing compliance, streamlining processes and reducing costs, of course. Some of the primary BPM models include: 

  • Business process modeling notation.
  • Role activity diagrams.
  • Flowchart technique.
  • Role interaction diagrams.

Choose the model that suits you best, and implement it after getting buy-in from your stakeholders. To ensure your execution is on point, follow these best practices: 

Decide on which processes to work on first:  

Schedule a meeting with your team to analyze your current organizational flow.

Note down any gaps you spot and narrow it down to a list of yet-to-improve processes. This way, you’ll be able to evaluate whether they can be automated later on.

You may find that your marketing processes are being efficiently run, but there’s room for improvement in the HR department. Create a list of these identified inefficiencies. How can they be improved upon in terms of speed, efficiency or profit?

Look for software tools that can optimize the processes you shortlisted earlier. This could include tools for data entry, process documentation, L&D, attendance checking and the like. 

The needs of each business are unique, so this should be accounted for while brainstorming your strategy. 

Delegate responsibilities to colleagues

A ship needs a team of talented sailors to sail through choppy waters with ease. Similarly — you’ll need a reliable team to help manage your business processes.

This way, you can focus on high-level tasks that need immediate attention. When done efficiently, delegation can speed up timelines, improve productivity and even ensure high-quality offerings.

Delegation gives your employees the chance to shine and actively contribute to the project.

Assign each category of processes to one team lead. This lead can then hire relevant talent. While doing this, take into account each person’s strengths, limitations and capabilities. 

Train new hires

Always remember: when a new hire joins your team; they are completely clueless.

They don’t know how to operate the attendance portal, or add an out-of-office message on Microsoft Teams. So, teach them. Document all these onboarding processes (with Scribe!) and give it to them when they join.

Whenever they run into a roadblock, they can refer to these guides to help them through the process.

This helps them learn quicker—meaning team members can focus on their work instead of guiding a trainee through everything. From scratch. This saves up on time, resources and energy. 

These training manuals should be easy to access (in a centralized location) and available throughout the employee’s tenure at the organization.

This way, in case there is any confusion between two team members over a particular SOP, you can refer back to the guide.    

Building a knowledge base

Think of your company’s knowledge base as a massive repository that contains information about every single business process.

This also helps codify all the knowledge of your current employees, so when they leave, new joinees won’t be left in the dark. 

Knowledge bases generally contain answers to FAQs, troubleshooting guides, product information and how-to manuals.

These centralized resources can significantly improve the onboarding and training process for employees. And on top of this, it improves customer experience as well by reducing chances of error by providing detailed instructions. 

While creating your knowledge base, get feedback from different members of the team. Ask them to make active contributions, include tips to follow and document their workflow to a tee. 

Employee contribution to a knowledge base can give new joinees an opportunity to understand the goals of an organization through a peer’s perspective.

Zero in on KPIs

In a nutshell, key performance indicators (KPIs) refer to a series of quantifiable measures that are used to gauge the overall long-term performance of an organization.

Creating KPIs can help you determine the financial, strategic and operational achievements of the company. You’ll need to establish two types: 

  • Short-term: Real-time indicators like the time an employee takes to complete a particular task
  • Long-term: Uses a larger time frame to gauge business productivity—say six months

By setting up these key performance indicators, you’ll be able to access real insights into how your team is progressing in terms of achieving milestones, meeting targets and even upskilling.  

Manage your business processes with Scribe!

Without effectively managing your business processes, you won’t be able to grow as an organization.

Not only will it lead to miscommunication and human error, but employees may also get frustrated with the lack of direction. 

The easiest way to start with business process management is to document everything.

Workflow automation tools like Scribe can help here, allowing you to create easy guides for employees to use. This helps retain top talent, improving the quality of work and customer experience. In turn, this also helps the company achieve its long term goals.

Once you’ve identified what processes within your business need automation, you can focus on the more important parts, like delivering the best and outperforming your competitors.

To learn more about how Scribe can help optimize your business processes, sign up with us for free!