Have you been feeling stuck in your business? You dream of growth, of managing a thriving team and becoming CEO, but it feels like no matter how much effort you pour into your business it just won’t budge forward.
Here’s the thing — in order to continually grow your business, it’s important to regularly assess your systems, processes, and workflows. (tweet this!)
The way you ran your business when you first launched will not (and should not) be the same way you run your business a year later.
With growth comes change, and, likewise, appropriate change can bring growth.
So how do we make a breakthrough in our business? We audit our systems and processes with a process audit!
What is a Process Audit?
A process audit is an overall evaluation of end results. Do your results align with your business goals? If not, a process audit will help you work backwards to understand where the hang-ups might be coming from.
All this is done in order to understand the effectiveness of your business practices — things like your communication workflows, your systems, policies, and procedures. Without this continual evaluation, important issues might fall through the cracks, any team members or assistants might feel overwhelmed, and business growth will ultimately remain restricted as your reach grows but old processes remain.
Do I Need a Process Audit?
We recommend doing a full process audit at least once a year, but there are a few red flags to keep an eye out for that could indicate a more immediate need for an audit.
If you’ve been receiving negative feedback from customers, clients, and/or team members, that’s a major sign that an audit needs to take place.
If your client base has had a dramatic change. If you had 5 clients and your systems were working well, but now you have 15 clients, you’ll need to take proactive steps in preparing for continued, sustainable growth as well as customer satisfaction.
You’re planning on hiring a new team member, virtual assistant, or business manager. You’ll need solid understanding and documentation of your processes so you can seamlessly onboard your newest addition.
If anything looks amiss in your finances or you find yourself asking, “Where is all the money going?” take a fine tooth comb to your finances. Have you ever looked at your subscriptions, for example, and find that you’re paying for two Netflix accounts, a Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video subscription? Looking at your money helps you define what is really important and what is worth taking money out of and putting more money into.
How Do I Run a Process Audit?
Okay, so now that you know you need an process audit, what does that actually look like?
Step 1: What is your current process for bringing in and managing clients, from beginning to end? Break out the colored pencils and color code what your current work flow looks like. Map out every single step, leave nothing out!
Step 2: Map out responsibilities and tasks. Who does what? What materials do they utilize? What is the output of time required? How does the client/customer receive the work?
Step 3: Now grab your highlighter, and make note of where things get bottle-necked. What currently takes 2 hours that should only take one?
Step 4: Now what? Start solving the problems. This could be mind mapping, re-structuring, system research, etc. Decide what changes need to take place to remedy those bottlenecks and map out a plan of action!
Step 5: Develop the new and improved process. Write out — from beginning to end — the flow of your new process with systems included.
Step 6: Re-assign each step of your new process to the appropriate team member.
Step 7: Continually monitor your KPIs (key performance indicators), like sales, client growth, etc.
Step 8: Determine how often or at what point in your growth you want to perform another process audit. Make it clear, give it a specific date, and put it in your calendar!
Now, depending on your business goals, there will be a point where your business will need to grow in its operations once again. This can look like hiring and managing an internal staff or outsourcing a team (like She Can Coterie!) to do all the stuff you don’t want to do, so you can focus doing your best thing… this is where you will find yourself moving from manager to CEO!