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3 Tips For Building Scalable Processes

January 27, 2022

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When it comes to growing your business, you need to make sure that anyone can run your day-to-day operations. And that means having repeatable processes that employees can learn and implement quickly and efficiently.

But actually documenting those processes is easier said than done. Whether it’s because there are multiple “best practices” for getting things done or there’s just too much information to capture, developing the processes to scale your business can be tough. 

But luckily, in a special session from Playbook 2021, we had the chance to speak with 3 of our business process consultants about what it takes to build scalable processes. 

They shared their tips for how business owners and leaders can make documenting their processes easier than ever. And how even simple processes can help you scale your business growth.

👉 Want to check out the rest of the Playbook sessions?Register for access to free replays!

1. Make your processes clear

Maybe you have a business that is just starting to think about introducing processes to your employees. Or maybe you want to make sure that the processes you have in place are actually helping your business operate smoothly. 

Either way, according to our experts, you want to make sure you practice clarity. For Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens, clarity is one of the most important ingredients to building processes for a scalable business.

“Get really clear on where [your business] is going and what your vision is. Because that clarity will provide the rest of your team clarity on how their role fits [into the business].”
<blockquoteauthor>Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens<blockquoteauthor>

When you have that foundational clarity on what you’re trying to achieve with the business, you’re providing information about why you need certain processes. And how they fit into the scheme of things.

Founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory Christopher Gwinn, agreed with the importance of clarity in your processes. “It’s really critical that you’re always communicating the ‘why,’” Christopher shared. “The ‘why’ is really what starts to resonate the most and makes the most sense in [your employees’] minds.”

Christopher Gwinn, Trainual certified consultant and founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory.
Christopher Gwinn, founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory

Meaning, your employees need to know why processes are important and why they should be the go-to procedure for your business. Because when they know the “why,” they understand how they help your business function.

And that way, your employees will be happier using these processes. And be more aligned with your business.

2. Practice patience

As a small business ourselves, we know what it’s like to want to make progress faster. We want to help our customers faster, build our teams faster, grow and scale faster.

We’re excited about getting our services and products out to those who need them. And we know that if we move too slowly, we can miss out on chances and opportunities to reach a bigger audience.

Josh Fonger, Trainual certified consultant and CEO of Work The System.
Josh Fonger, CEO of Work The System

So, to hear that we might have to slow down our fast-paced style to build processes can seem like a bummer. But according to Josh Fonger, CEO of WTS Enterprises, taking the time to develop important processes is crucial to scaling your business.

“It's kind of hard to get everyone to buy into this, to use the new technology, to use the systems, to write down what they do,” Josh said. “But they underestimate the ROI (return on investment) [of building processes].”

Because once your team can get your processes documented and realize that using these processes is how you actually do business, the results of all your hard work will pay off. 

Your processes are your tools. And when they’re written down, these tools are now accessible to everybody. The more people who can use these tools, the more ways you can do the work that you do. 

Setting aside time and energy to document your processes may seem like too much work for too little reward now. But think about your long-term goals and how you’re going to reach them. Because the sooner you start documenting your processes, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits of having those processes at work.

“[When building processes] owners expect it to get done faster and easier than it does, but they also underestimate the impact it's going to have on their team, on themselves, on their future.”
<blockquoteauthor>Josh Fonger, CEO of Work The System<blockquoteauthor>

3. Get buy-in from your entire team

This tip might go without saying, but the idea was important enough for each of our 3 consultants to bring it up: get your team on board with your processes.

“You need to be able to document your process, but you also need to make sure that it's being followed by all. So, it's super important that you do receive that buy-in from not only leadership but from everyone in your company.”
<blockquoteauthor>Christopher Gwinn, founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory<blockquoteauthor>

Typically, it’s the business owners and leaders who are interested in documenting processes. Because they know that to get repeatable and consistent results, there needs to be a standard way of operating inside your business.

But some employees think that documenting their best work practices means their roles are replaceable. And that leadership sees them as another body to do whatever’s necessary. But that’s just not true.

Yes, writing down the process means that other employees have a reference for how to do that job. But having these systems in place means that the business runs more smoothly. And when processes become more streamlined, employees have the chance to grow their careers along with the business.

To get your team to understand the role that processes can play in improving your business, try starting with a single department. Once other teams see how well processes work in real-time, they’ll be more excited about introducing processes into their own departments.

Get buy-in from a single team and grow from there. Or, as Tamara said: “infect the team from within.”

Tamara Kemper, Trainual certified consultant and founder of The Process Mavens.
Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens

But to truly get your team involved? Be a leader. It also falls on leadership to make sure that processes are actually being used. Because if a business’s leaders aren’t going to follow through on using processes, how can they expect the rest of their team to do so?

“If you don’t have clear leadership,” said Josh, “a whole pile of procedures isn’t really going to help you a whole lot.”

Final advice

Their last piece of advice for business leaders interested in building scalable processes? Bring in a process consultant.

The advice is a little biased, perhaps, but it comes with great intention. Business process consultants are experts in their field, and there’s a huge value in talking to someone who knows so much about the process of building processes.

A process expert’s outside perspective will help you identify exactly where you need to start building processes so your business can scale. Or help you identify what needs to change if your growth is stuck at a certain level. 

Plus, with a consultant on board to develop your processes, you can free up bandwidth for your team, who are already focused on running the day-to-day operations of your business. 

Whether you bring on a consultant or not, having defined processes for your business can help you scale. And taking the time to build clear processes while getting your team involved will make your growth path all the smoother.

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Article

3 Tips For Building Scalable Processes

January 27, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

When it comes to growing your business, you need to make sure that anyone can run your day-to-day operations. And that means having repeatable processes that employees can learn and implement quickly and efficiently.

But actually documenting those processes is easier said than done. Whether it’s because there are multiple “best practices” for getting things done or there’s just too much information to capture, developing the processes to scale your business can be tough. 

But luckily, in a special session from Playbook 2021, we had the chance to speak with 3 of our business process consultants about what it takes to build scalable processes. 

They shared their tips for how business owners and leaders can make documenting their processes easier than ever. And how even simple processes can help you scale your business growth.

👉 Want to check out the rest of the Playbook sessions?Register for access to free replays!

1. Make your processes clear

Maybe you have a business that is just starting to think about introducing processes to your employees. Or maybe you want to make sure that the processes you have in place are actually helping your business operate smoothly. 

Either way, according to our experts, you want to make sure you practice clarity. For Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens, clarity is one of the most important ingredients to building processes for a scalable business.

“Get really clear on where [your business] is going and what your vision is. Because that clarity will provide the rest of your team clarity on how their role fits [into the business].”
<blockquoteauthor>Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens<blockquoteauthor>

When you have that foundational clarity on what you’re trying to achieve with the business, you’re providing information about why you need certain processes. And how they fit into the scheme of things.

Founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory Christopher Gwinn, agreed with the importance of clarity in your processes. “It’s really critical that you’re always communicating the ‘why,’” Christopher shared. “The ‘why’ is really what starts to resonate the most and makes the most sense in [your employees’] minds.”

Christopher Gwinn, Trainual certified consultant and founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory.
Christopher Gwinn, founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory

Meaning, your employees need to know why processes are important and why they should be the go-to procedure for your business. Because when they know the “why,” they understand how they help your business function.

And that way, your employees will be happier using these processes. And be more aligned with your business.

2. Practice patience

As a small business ourselves, we know what it’s like to want to make progress faster. We want to help our customers faster, build our teams faster, grow and scale faster.

We’re excited about getting our services and products out to those who need them. And we know that if we move too slowly, we can miss out on chances and opportunities to reach a bigger audience.

Josh Fonger, Trainual certified consultant and CEO of Work The System.
Josh Fonger, CEO of Work The System

So, to hear that we might have to slow down our fast-paced style to build processes can seem like a bummer. But according to Josh Fonger, CEO of WTS Enterprises, taking the time to develop important processes is crucial to scaling your business.

“It's kind of hard to get everyone to buy into this, to use the new technology, to use the systems, to write down what they do,” Josh said. “But they underestimate the ROI (return on investment) [of building processes].”

Because once your team can get your processes documented and realize that using these processes is how you actually do business, the results of all your hard work will pay off. 

Your processes are your tools. And when they’re written down, these tools are now accessible to everybody. The more people who can use these tools, the more ways you can do the work that you do. 

Setting aside time and energy to document your processes may seem like too much work for too little reward now. But think about your long-term goals and how you’re going to reach them. Because the sooner you start documenting your processes, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits of having those processes at work.

“[When building processes] owners expect it to get done faster and easier than it does, but they also underestimate the impact it's going to have on their team, on themselves, on their future.”
<blockquoteauthor>Josh Fonger, CEO of Work The System<blockquoteauthor>

3. Get buy-in from your entire team

This tip might go without saying, but the idea was important enough for each of our 3 consultants to bring it up: get your team on board with your processes.

“You need to be able to document your process, but you also need to make sure that it's being followed by all. So, it's super important that you do receive that buy-in from not only leadership but from everyone in your company.”
<blockquoteauthor>Christopher Gwinn, founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory<blockquoteauthor>

Typically, it’s the business owners and leaders who are interested in documenting processes. Because they know that to get repeatable and consistent results, there needs to be a standard way of operating inside your business.

But some employees think that documenting their best work practices means their roles are replaceable. And that leadership sees them as another body to do whatever’s necessary. But that’s just not true.

Yes, writing down the process means that other employees have a reference for how to do that job. But having these systems in place means that the business runs more smoothly. And when processes become more streamlined, employees have the chance to grow their careers along with the business.

To get your team to understand the role that processes can play in improving your business, try starting with a single department. Once other teams see how well processes work in real-time, they’ll be more excited about introducing processes into their own departments.

Get buy-in from a single team and grow from there. Or, as Tamara said: “infect the team from within.”

Tamara Kemper, Trainual certified consultant and founder of The Process Mavens.
Tamara Kemper, founder of The Process Mavens

But to truly get your team involved? Be a leader. It also falls on leadership to make sure that processes are actually being used. Because if a business’s leaders aren’t going to follow through on using processes, how can they expect the rest of their team to do so?

“If you don’t have clear leadership,” said Josh, “a whole pile of procedures isn’t really going to help you a whole lot.”

Final advice

Their last piece of advice for business leaders interested in building scalable processes? Bring in a process consultant.

The advice is a little biased, perhaps, but it comes with great intention. Business process consultants are experts in their field, and there’s a huge value in talking to someone who knows so much about the process of building processes.

A process expert’s outside perspective will help you identify exactly where you need to start building processes so your business can scale. Or help you identify what needs to change if your growth is stuck at a certain level. 

Plus, with a consultant on board to develop your processes, you can free up bandwidth for your team, who are already focused on running the day-to-day operations of your business. 

Whether you bring on a consultant or not, having defined processes for your business can help you scale. And taking the time to build clear processes while getting your team involved will make your growth path all the smoother.

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3 Tips For Building Scalable Processes

January 27, 2022

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