Is managing inconsistencies an issue for your business?
One of my clients complained about the inconsistencies in delivery. Basically his team wasn’t delivering as they should, and based on the dips in productivity and income, he was sure that was the reason he wasn’t getting as much repeat business as he anticipated and why he could not expand his business.
He was right.
When I asked what he believed was the reason his team wasn’t delivering consistently, he wasn’t too sure. He mentioned training workshops with the team, and he provides support for the team, though if he’s not in the office though, his team waits for his return in order to proceed.
There’s a lot of value in training workshops, though there is a slight flaw in that as humans we forget, we become pre-occupied with what goes on in our daily lives – and that’s what influences consistency.
Instead of writing a business plan to use to apply for funding to grow his business, which is what he came to me for, I offered an alternative. I offered to write his business process and a training guide.
Provide reference points for your staff
The documented business processes (contains workflows and business rules) and training guides are used as a reference point for staff. The documented business processes give an overview on how the business operates and the standards expected. The training guides are specific to the role of the staff member – a step-by-step guide on how to perform the tasks and maintain the operating standards of the business.
The documented business processes and the training guide cost him R15k (this is for a team of 5 staff members). Since incorporating the use of the documented business processes and the training guides in the training workshops, he has noticed the following:
- Fewer complaints of inconsistency from customers
- Staff have guidelines on how to proceed if he’s not around, they only wait for his signature
- Increase in production as staff are more confident in what they are doing, they don’t have to worry about forgetting and even if they are pre-occupied with what is going on in their personal lives, they can still deliver – just by referencing to the guides.
- When a staff member is on leave, someone else can fill in for them and the guide ensures that the substitute can deliver as required.
Value is in the growth of the business
When I check on him now, he is calmer about his business, he has grown his team from 5 to 9 to cater for the increase in productivity and he is thankful that he did not need to apply for a loan or other funding to save his business. Instead he would rather want us to find ways to introduce a new service/product.
Use documented business processes as part of your plan in managing inconsistencies in business and to identify opportunities for your business.