If you step back and take a close look at how your company operates – whether over the long-term or on a day-by-day basis – you’ll find countless unique processes that the sum of which adds up to your fully-functioning business. The list could include your process for training employees, methods for sourcing and procuring raw materials, or even your tactics for reaching out to potential customers.

Identifying and working to further develop the processes you have in place is a powerful way to see huge improvements in your bottom line. This process planning can be done during a period of growth when your business’ needs are changing, but it can also be undertaken to optimize the processes that you’re already seeing success with. It’s much easier to improve something you’re already good at then to try and branch out into something new altogether.

Developing a business process plan can be broken down into four steps:

1. Identify the processes that have the biggest impact on your business. You can use process planning for any aspect of your company, but focusing on the ones at the core of your operations will garner the most results. For example, a small company with ten employees which solely produces a single product would likely benefit more from streamlining how they get their products to their customers than they would from using process planning on their hiring protocols, given they have no major growth planned in the near future.

2. Look at the facets of your most vital processes and see where the biggest opportunities lie. With employee training, you may have an effective program that fully prepares your new team members, but it could require two weeks of training to do so. Maybe you have a marketing system in place that brings in a large number of inquiries from potential customers, but your overall conversion rate is lower than you’d hope for.

3. Meet with the team members directly involved in the specific aspect of your business. Oftentimes the people who deal with the tasks on a daily basis are able to provide the most insight. Together, brainstorm alternatives to how things are currently being done, and weigh out the pros and cons of each different scenario. You may find that following up on inquiries faster increases your number of new customers, but would require bringing sales manager on board. If the increased profit from responding to clients faster is greater than the cost of the additional salary, ensuring a shorter response time makes sense.

4. Weigh how your changes will affect the long-term profitability of your company and its capacity for growth. A business process plan which lowers costs but decreases customer satisfaction may save you money now, but will wind up losing you clients in the long-run. Never make a decision that will harm your company down the road, just for the sake of making your current financial statements look better.

In the end, developing a new business process plan boils down to knowing what your company does and what your clients want, and how you can bring those two things closer together while reducing wasted time and resources.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.