A very happy Thanksgiving to all! ? We here at Sandbrook have much to be grateful for. We have the opportunity every day of serving our clients and their businesses. Sandbrook was established in 2005—that means we have a big anniversary coming up on June 1, 2020! Fifteen years in business. As I look back from start to now, we have evolved in so many ways! I started as a sole proprietor—as many of you did. By the beginning of the third year in business, we incorporated as an LLC and eventually as a Sub Chapter S corporation. Along the way, we received some good advice, some not so good advice and sometimes, no advice and just winged it! You know what I mean…
Today, with the guidance and input from business advisors, accountants and legal, we are constantly reviewing our processes to be more efficient and better able to serve those who depend on us daily.
That brings us to the first of the “3 P’s”- PROCESSES
Whether you are aware of it or not, you have daily processes you go through for the successful operation of your business. What’s more important, is that you and everyone on your team need to be aware of those processes. Having team meetings on a regular basis can keep the lines of communication open. What is working and what isn’t? What can be improved upon? Where are you hitting the mark and where are you missing it? Input from your team is invaluable as well. These are the folks who are in the trenches for you and your business every day—without clear direction and processes, things fall by the wayside, don’t get done, or get done poorly with corresponding results. So, what is your STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE?
A process streamlines everything and, like everything, needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. If you or your staff are saying “but that’s the way we’ve always done it”, you may have an antiquated and ineffective process on your hands! Change is always hard and sometimes, the team will balk at changing things up. My late husband, Joe, used to love to look for new technology for us to use. I literally would wake up in the morning to find my cheese was moved! Now that isn’t always effective with your team, they probably won’t appreciate that! I know I didn’t, and my assistant didn’t either…but the point is, technology and other tools for business are constantly changing. By keeping up on these and other methods that may come your way, you can limit disruption in your business and further streamline your processes.
The next important item on your processes is to have them recorded somewhere! Remember Sally, the office manager who’d been with you for 20 years and ran everything in your office? Well, the day Sally doesn’t show up, there will be a mad scramble to figure out what she does, how she does it and where exactly are all those passwords! An Operations Manual is a must for every business and keep it up to date. If your employees have protected passwords for critical functions for your business, have a secure application that you have access to store those passwords.
Communication is critical if you are changing your processes—make sure the team is read in on the change, why you are changing it and when it will occur. How many times do we hear that business was affected by a change in technology—we have a new system and we are all swimming upstream! If there is training involved, be sure to allocate time for that training—don’t send your team in to sink or swim. It will cost you valuable production time in the long run.
Another important part of refining your processes is, stay in your wheelhouse! Don’t try to overhaul your processes and add new technology by yourself. As business owners who have the bottom line in mind, we are tempted to do everything ourselves. Unless you are an expert at this, be sure to bring in proper training, online training and YouTube can tell you just about anything about everything, right?!
Once we set up your goals for a succession plan, we immediately dig into the daily processes for our clients. Sometimes that 20,000 view just isn’t visible to you as the business owner. After all, you’ve been “doing it this way forever”! That’s it’s important to take a “FreshVue” of your business. Outside eyes can many times see what you have overlooked. Don’t be resistant to suggestions for change, keep an open mind. And yes, the old dog can be taught new tricks! If you are looking to one day sell your business, these processes are critical in increasing your value of your business. It makes it much easier for a new owner to step in to a smoothly running business and not have to recreate it all. And guess what else will improve-YOUR PROFITS!
Well, as this year draws closer to the end, now might be the exact time you need to review your STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. We would be happy to assist you with that! Reach out to us today.