You own and operate a business in the professional services industry. Perhaps you work as a manager, an accountant, a sales rep, an architect, a computer specialist, an engineer, a therapist, a social worker, a lawyer, an artist, a teacher, a pilot or any number of other roles.
You work hard – that’s not a question. But is there anything that can be done to make your life easier? More productive?
The Power of the Process
As University of Alabama’s Coach Nick Saban tells his football team, “The process is really what you have to do day in and day out to be successful…”.
As the ‘coach’ of your own business, once you know what your process is, only then can you focus on how to make it better, more efficient, and ultimately more positive.
So, to get (and stay!) ahead of an increasingly demanding and competitive workplace – while still keeping your sanity – it’s essential that you follow these tips to improve your process:
Tip #1 – Have a Playbook
In football, a playbook provides a variety of specific plays that can be utilized throughout the game. In the service industry, your playbook should be your process manual that guides your day to day operations. An effective process manual should quickly answer common questions, address how to handle exceptions, and be a quick reference guide that serves to increase consistency throughout your organization.
Tip #2 – Reduce Audibles
In the service industry, each customer you work with is going to come in with a different set of concerns and perceptions that will influence the way you handle their business. However, like a quarterback calling an audible – a last minute change to the play called– process variations should be an exception, not the rule. Using standardized methods and repeatable service processes support a consistent customer experience outcome, improve efficiency and increase service quality.
Tip #3 – Conserve Your Energy
It would be ludicrous for a football team to attempt to walk to their away games, instead of simply riding a bus. Not only would it take an excessive amount of time, but the players’ energy expended on the effort would likely ensure the loss of the game before it even began! And yet, many organizations attempt the equivalent by failing to utilize the technologies and resources available to set them up for a win. Aim to improve productivity and eliminate variations by automating processes or outsourcing appropriate pieces of the process whenever possible.
Tip #4: Maintain Consistent Performance
What would happen if each wide receiver performed the same play call differently? The entrance of various players into the game would surely create chaos and frustration! The same scenario can be true for the way calls are handled through each of the various methods of communication that customers can now utilize to reach your business.
Technology has significantly increased the methods by which your customers can expect to get in the game – in person, over the phone, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and more! When a customer contacts your business through any one of these various platforms, do they receive the same level of response? Do each of these communication methods result in the ‘play’ being run the same way for the customer?
In order to meet customer expectations, it’s important that every process is thoroughly examined through each method of communication in order to correct any flaws or variations in performance.
Tip #5: Obtain a Home Field Advantage
Being able to play a game on your own home field is known to provide a leg-up on the competition. Teams are able to have a familiarity with the environment, ensure proper placements of resources and support, and exert a level of control over the general atmosphere of the space. These factors can play a major role in influencing the outcome of the game!
Many business owners in the service industry today run successful businesses from their garage, a table at the local coffee shop, or even from the passenger seat of their car. But when it comes time for a ‘big game’ with a client, a competitor or a potential investor, it’s important to have access to a professional office space that can provide you with a clear advantage.
The Huntsville Hub: Cheering You On
As a business owner, you may have identified key area(s) where you could improve your process, whether that involves:
- Developing a manual to guide your staff’s day-to-day performance
- Standardizing the methods for providing customer solutions
- Outsourcing or automating efforts that consume too much of your time
- Ensuring the consistent performance of all your communication inlets, or
- Establishing a business location that gives you a clear advantage.
Perhaps you are now ready and looking to recruit a new piece of the puzzle to help move your team closer to the goal line — That’s where The Huntsville Hub comes in! As a Class A Office Business Center, our dedicated and virtual offices, meeting spaces, coworking services, (and much more!) are available to take your business to the next level!