Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve shared some of the lessons I’ve learned in almost a decade of motherhood and business. This week, I’m talking about another one that applies just as much to life as to business.
Have you got a process for that?
I consider a process to be a series of specific steps taken to achieve a particular end. Usually, the steps remain the same, and so once a procedure document is written up, it doesn’t require changing unless the task itself changes. For example, we have a particular process for receipting and packing orders at Oz Baby Trends. These tasks aren’t likely to change any time soon, so the process is printed and taped near the packing station in the warehouse.
So… what can a good process do for you?
- A good process makes outsourcing a breeze, rather than something to cringe about and procrastinate over.
- A good process ensures that everyone is on the same page, and that there is no confusion over the outcome of the task, or the way to achieve it.
- A good process is the most important form of communication between you and the person who is undertaking the task – everything that needs to be known in order to complete the task successfully should be in that process.
What does a process look like?
Sometimes my procedure document is actually a written document. A great way to keep these processes is in Google Docs, as they can be viewed online and updated in real time by others with access.
Other times it’s a video, because that might be a quicker and easier way to show people how to complete a task. I use Camtasia to record screencasts and can simply run this when I am doing a task that I want to have recorded to outsource.
If you run a business, you can start by opening a word document or recording a video while you do your next business task. Do this for every task that you undertake over the next couple of weeks and you’ll quickly have a library of processes that you can use when outsourcing.
You can create business processes for blog writing and scheduling, graphic design, bookkeeping, inventory management, advertising, customer service, email administration, web maintenance, media outreach, affiliate management, newsletter writing, list building… essentially any and every task you do for your business can and should have a process attached to it.
In the home, the processes have a slightly different purpose. Whereas in business, they’re designed to help someone else take over a task, in the home they’re created to help the family work more effectively as a team.
You can easily create a morning routine for your kids, a meal plan for you and a cleaning roster for the family. These processes become a secondary means of communication within the family, and will save you lots of time repeating yourself or trying to remember what it was you had to do!
Without any exaggeration, processes help me break free from the “have to do it all” mentality. They promote a peace and calm because everything is under control. I can take something off my plate without the world crashing down!
So, if you don’t currently have processes in place, I would highly recommend starting today! Share with us in the comments – what ONE task can you take today and turn it into a process?