At the Small Business Centre, we often get questions about the “right” way to do something in a business.
- Related to book keeping, people will ask if they should use QuickBooks or if an Excel file is good enough for record keeping.
- They may want to know if they should use a modern iPad app for issuing invoices and collecting receivables.
- In the sales process, an entrepreneur might want to know how to write up a sales order.
- They may want to know if social media work should be done in house or if it should be sent to outside service providers.
More often than not, I find myself telling my clients that there isn’t one single right answer to any of these questions. In fact, in most cases having a process -one that is defined and repeated for every transition of that type – is more important than having the one solution that is “right”.
- If it suits your style, preparing invoices in a hand written carbon copy notebook from your local office supply store will allow you to keep records of your revenue, just as a modern software application on a tablet computer or smartphone could for someone interested in including more technology in their business.
- Having an inbox tray where you place purchase receipts to be entered into QuickBooks every single day is a system that works, but an accordion file with a folder for each type of expense that is tallied at tax time is also an acceptable process, just as scanning a digital copy of a receipt to be shared with a professional bookkeeper for monthly reconciliation would work.
Defining in your operational planning who specifically does what, in addition to when and how those tasks get done will positively impact your business in a number of ways:
- Decrease in missed opportunities caused by slow or incorrect responses to a prospect’s needs
- Increase in efficiency, especially in the mundane administrative tasks
- Decrease in stress caused by bad records or missed regulatory filings
- Increase in customer satisfaction by responding to their requests efficiently and consistently
- Increase in sales by confidently guiding the customer through your sales process so that they can be confident in the decision to buy from you
Planning the processes for your business should focus on Triggers and Responses.
When a brand new prospective client calls or emails you out of the blue (trigger), what do you do (response) to effectively and efficiently guide them through the sales funnel in order to close the sale?
Identify a list of common processes – things that need to be done repetitively and done well in your business,
For more information, check out our upcoming seminar schedule, including, Financial Basics.