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In today’s video, we’re going to talk about five key processes that you need to map out in your business.
To save time, get everyone on the same page, and wow your customers. Let’s go.
If you’re new here, I’m Hazel, I run a plumbing business and a consulting business, I help trades become more efficient and more profitable process mapping the idea of mapping out your business processes, you can do this in a simple bulleted list.
Or you can do fancy flowcharts and diagrams. And it’s a way of really clarifying and writing down the processes that your businesses follow.
So why process map it can help you clarify what you do. And it can then help you minimise paperwork minimise chaos in your businesses, get everyone on the same page, it can reduce manual intervention and human error. And it can also lessen your team’s workload.
process mapping of any kind ensures that the process is followed consistently, so it guarantees that something is done the way it needs to be done.
So let’s get into the five process maps that your business needs.
So number one, the first one I’d recommend is that you create a customer service customer communications type map, this is often mapped out as part of a customer journey mapping process. But it basically covers all of the communications that are going to and from your customer. The mapping style that’s best suited to this kind of process is a flowchart, because there are inputs and outputs and the communication follows a flow.
So the second process that you need to map out is your sales and marketing funnel. This is a visual model that lays out your marketing process from start to finish, including all of your touch points and traffic sources, and your landing pages, the stages of your funnel, your customer touch points, and more. In terms of which diagram style for us here, again, a flowchart, that kind of approach can be quite useful. But you’re thinking about it like a funnel, you want to funnel your customer touch points and funnel your customers in through to make a sale, the diagram style that’s going to suit this the best is effectively a funnel. But it can also be a flowchart.
That process that you need to have fully mapped out for your business is your hiring, onboarding, an exit process for your staff. So no man is an island, you will need to hire people for your business, whether that takes the form of a VA, or virtual assistant, or a full time member of staff or even part time members of staff, you need to have it written down, how you’re going to find them, the stages you’re going to go through to hire them, how you’re going to onboard them, as in, introduce them to your business and let them know your culture and your preferences and take them through their training. And then when they choose to move on, you want to have a clear process for how they leave. So the exit process normally involves an exit interview. And there is an entire process around that. So this is really important because the faster you clarify this, the easier it will be for your business to expand. If you wait until you’re burnt out or overwhelmed before you actually write this down and get this into a diagram or a list, then it’s already too late. Because you can’t ask people to help you. If all the information about how you run your business is still in your head.
The visual style that suits this kind of process is actually probably more of a checklist. Because this is an HR thing. You need to make sure that you’re getting this right and you’re covering off all of the legal requirements as you bring somebody into your business. So one piece of software, I think will help you in this area is something called process Street. And they have a simple system of chat ready made checklists and processes that you can follow. You can customise and you can share with your team. But really simply you can write this list down. If you’re a service mate user, you can write it using knowledge articles. If you are not a service user, or even if you are, you can use anything from Google Docs, Microsoft Word, just have it written down so that you can follow the steps through.
The fourth process that I recommend that you map out is your knowledge map. And this is really an extension of the idea of standard operating procedures. So there will be a whole load of topics in your business that you need to write up and make sure you’ve either got process mapped or you’ve got written down. And so a knowledge map will help you see what you still need to create and And really you can get down ideas of things that that need to be documented within your business. Still, the type of diagram style that’s best suited for this process, in my opinion, is a mind map. Because a mind map really helps you throw down your ideas and expand upon each topic. one bit of software that I’ve come across that allows you to mind map for free, is a tool called coggle. Coggle gives you a number of keyboard shortcuts so that you can Mind Map and get everything out of your head as quickly as possible. And it’s a really good visual way of mapping out everything you need to write down for your business, or every process that you run in your business, or every kind of service that you offer in your business. It’s a great way of getting your ideas out of your head, and onto paper on to software.
So we’re on to the fifth kind of process that I think you should map and that service specific or product specific processes. So if you were a plumbing company or heating company, for example, you might want to map out and write down how your employees should do a boiler service. For example, you might want to map out how to do the diagnostics for a situation where an appliance isn’t working, or there’s a problem that needs to be solved. By creating a flow chart with choices then you give them the structure to work out what questions they need to be asking, and how to solve the problem themselves. In the heating industry, all of the boiler manufacturers have flowcharts in the back of their instruction manuals that take you through troubleshooting if there’s something going wrong. And this is a great way of helping the engineer or helping a member of staff help themselves. It gives them a nudge for what they should do next, what questions need to be asked, and really what order in which to do things.
If you liked this video, you might also want to check out my video on the profit first system and how I use that to run my plumbing business and my consulting business. I’ll put a link in here for you. And yeah, enjoy.
How long would your business survive for if you didn’t come in tomorrow? This is commonly referred to as the bus factor.
Everything you do is a process.
Businesses run on processes.
Process mapping is the idea of mapping out your business processes. It doesn’t have to be in fancy diagram form. It can be a simple bulleted list. but it needs to exist so that your business doesn’t depend on you.
Why process map?
There are lots of reasons why it’s important to clearly map out what you do:
- Gives you a clearly outlined processes and procedures that everyone can follow
- Minimises the chaos made by paperwork
- Shortens the time needed to do the most common tasks
- Reduces manual intervention and human errors
- Lessens the workload of your team
- Provides a consistent experience to all new hires / customers / staff
- Injects transparency into the process flow
- Allows you to step back from the day-to-day
By thinking about this early, you save your future self from getting overwhelmed and burnt out. It’s going to be much easier to explain to your future staff what you do and when you do it by just handing over a list, or a diagram, rather than having to talk them through everything and get it all straight in your head when you’re already at the point where you’re busy.
The 5 process maps your business needs
1. Customer Journey / Communications
2. Sales & Marketing Funnel
How you’re currently, or could be, using your sales and marketing levers to attract new customers and retain existing ones. With this kind of map, we’re documenting the various aspects of your sales and marketing – where your leads are coming from and where they end up.
This visual model lays out everything in your marketing process – traffic sources, stages of your funnel, customer touch points, landing pages, and more. ~ [upviral.com]
Type of chart best suited to this process: Flowchart or funnel diagram
Tools & Software that will help you:
3. Hiring + Onboarding & Exit Processes
With this, you’re documenting what needs to happen when someone joins and leaves your business. The faster you clarify this, the easier it will be to expand.
By the time you’re ready and able to pay someone new to join your fledgling business, you won’t want to spare the head-space to try to work out what needs to happen when.
Type of chart best suited to this process: Simple checklist, bulleted list, flowchart or swimlanes.
Tools & Software that will help you:
- microsoft word / google docs
- process street
4. Knowledge Map / Standard Operating Procedures
Start with documenting the knowledge that you need to write up. Then mark off what you’ve actually written up and have available in your business. Then work through each method, process and part of your business to make sure you have a full set of instructions. Think – Standard Operating Procedures.
Type of chart best suited to this process: MindMaps plus a word processor or notes tool.
Tools & Software that will help you:
5. Service & Product-Specific Processes
- You can build a flowchart for any specific service you offer eg – boiler service, boiler install, troubleshooting
- This is the method that boiler manufacturers use to help engineers work through troubleshooting problems with the boiler and/or system
Type of chart best suited to this process: Flowchart
Tools & Software that will help you:
How to get started
Simple pen and paper is enough to get started.
If you love your tech, then you can get started by writing notes on your phone or iPad (I love drafts and notion for this).
- Start by creating a simple list.
- Then go look to the internet for inspiration.
- Depending on which process you’re mapping out, you may then find that it makes sense to use one of the tools mentioned to get it all written up neatly.
- Put it somewhere that everyone on your team will be able to find it.
- (shout out to Servicem8 users – the Knowledge Articles add-on is designed for exactly this!)
Other resources to check out
Creatly have produced a great guide on different types of process map. It’s quite technical but gives a really good background and starting point in terms of structuring different processes.
There’s a lot to be learnt from the ecommerce industry when it comes to customer journey mapping. The data available to digital marketers means they’ve really been able to develop their skills and processes for exploring what makes their customers tick.
Want to use powerpoint or another simple presentation app but make it look pretty? You can buy ready-made templates that you can then customise to suit.
So there you have it! 5 processes that you need to have mapped out in your business. You now have the tools to get the steps out of your head and down onto paper or into digital form with recommendations of the tools and software that are made for this purpose.
Are you a small business owner and want more in-depth support and advice for topics like this?
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