When starting a business, you naturally focus on a few things… what you are passionate about (sales vs. operations vs. marketing vs. management, etc.), how to fund the business and manage cash flow in the early days, who your clients are going to be, how much money you can make, etc.
Oftentimes, you neglect to think about the mechanics and inner workings of the business operation, or at least, you have gaps that you learn about the hard way.
To ensure early success, you have to build a solid operating system that helps you to stay organized and effectively manage your time. This foundation creates great habits that will help you as you grow your business, and will ensure that your future employees have a framework to function within.
Build organized and structured systems
You will build assets for your business in the form of documents, procedures, protocols, policies, marketing materials, proposals and agreements. Keeping these assets organized and streamlined will ensure that you never waste time searching for, recreating or potentially losing them. Building the system and the discipline to follow the system is crucial for your productivity and the efficiency of your team. Pro tip: develop a naming and storage convention for your assets to make things easy to find and consistently managed.
Develop an onboarding process
The first days and weeks of a new employee’s time with your company will set the stage for their experience over the long term. Vagueness and a lack of clarity result in a lack of productivity… every time. Consider your employment brand as you onboard new team members. How do you want their first week to feel? How productive and motivated will they be if they don’t have what they need in the early days? Nobody wants to feel unimportant, uninspired or uninformed when starting a new job, so you have to indoctrinate them into your culture, into your business and into their role. A solid onboarding process ensures they have what they need when they need it. It also ensures a consistent experience for all new team members, an experience that you can audit and improve over time. Start with a checklist of every piece of training, protocols, policies and administrative item they will need and then use that checklist to develop your system.
Utilize your resources
The operations team is generally the “glue” that keeps the internal business mechanics together. To achieve operational excellence, you must make use of and maximize your resources. Operations are generally very task-oriented and not always predictable, so you need to develop strong habits and systems to ensure that tasks and projects are being completed. Building solid processes that are repeatable ensures your operations people can maximize productivity and efficiency.
Want more tips on how to improve business operations? Watch the video below where Driverseat’s operations expert, Brittany Rogers, shares her advice on how to achieve operational excellence!