I will tell you a story of two promising young professionals, who created a company. It was CleTo Associates, Inc. And they were happy, really happy until the pain of growing their business started…
They both had worked together in a big company, and they have had developed not only empathy and complementary skills but also a vision of a new company that could grow fast and strong.
In the beginning, they were directly working with their customers, providing an outstanding service. This rapidly became a strong demand, requiring hiring collaborators. Newbies were directly supervised by Clerius and Tommy, and usually working together, so the service was as great as always.
Tommy was really smart. Everything he analyzed and forecasted, ended as planned. Customer response to new services, growing ratios, funding requirements. On the other hand, Clerius was the enthusiastic, the team builder and the glue to keep everyone pushing in the same direction.
The business expansion seemed natural, without storms on the horizon. In fact, the felt they could press the throttle harder. And they did.
The pain of growing your business
They opened up a new office in a new city. Tommy moved there to lead the new operation. Two weeks later, it was clear that things didn’t go as planned.
Tommy was unable to build the new team, and at the same time, sell to new customers and assure the quality of the service. He has never thought about it, but now it was clear that everything was in their heads, and this simple fact was stopping them to scale up in this new location.
While Tommy was fighting trying to get the new house in order, Clerius was dealing with his own monsters. His sympathy and empathy simply were not enough. Customers began to realize Tommy’s absence, the service quality dropped and some key players started to feel uncomfortable putting their prestige at risk.
It was no longer the expansion that was in danger. The entire company became unstable.
Processes to the rescue
As in CleTo Associates, Inc, you can face (at least), 3 groups of pain when growing your service business:
- Team building: effectively and efficiently.
- Sales growing: to feed a bigger company.
- Service quality: to guarantee homogeneity.
It will be necessary to have formal, automated business processes that allow:
- Select people quickly, but effectively. A growing company must ensure that the right people are hired. The process must automate all possible tasks (how to ensure that the applicant sends all relevant information, coordinate interviews, notify the applicant of the resolution, etc.). This way, evaluators will be able to focus on choosing the right person, taking advantage of their time for what really matters. (Process Template: Employee Recruitment)
- Evaluations and non-conformity detection. The team must be committed, and for this, it is necessary to have formal evaluation processes, which start automatically from time to time. In this way, risks or disconformities in the team will be detected in time and can be resolved.
- Ensure that the induction of new people is complete, do not forget tasks, permits or training. A formal induction process ensures that each new member arrives at their job in the best conditions to perform their work effectively.
Psst: There are plenty of Human Resources related process. In this post, you can find several useful examples.
To sustain growth, we will necessarily have to sell more. And for that it is fundamental:
- Do not lose sales because of managing them over the email or forgetting to follow-up. We must have a process of detection of opportunities, and monitoring with alerts and timers to ensure that no sale is lost through our fault (Process template: Identify Business Opportunities)
- Optimize the time of the sales team, automate tasks that may be. Eliminate the excel spreadsheets and the exchange of information by e-mail, centralizing the information every opportunity in a single place.
- Adapt the processes to each type of business, to each type of service. It is useless to have a unique and generic process that does not attend to the particularities of our offer. It is necessary to be able to model (ideally using the OMG standard, BPMN) each commercial process with its characteristics.
Maintaining a homogeneous level of service is vital for achieving sustainable growth over time.
- We must ensure that all teams and collaborators carry out the same activities, and for this a formal process is essential. It cannot be left to chance or each person how to provide a service. In all locations, it must be of the same quality.
- There will be many new members joining the team. It is essential that they can quickly work according to the defined processes and therefore without affecting the quality of the service.
- Formalize the competitive advantage, in order to make it replicable in each team. That is not in the head of the people but in a repeatable formal process.
Growing pains in organizations exist and can be intense, even intolerable. A good part of them is due to the fact that there are no formal, automated processes that allow the business to scale. The formal processes also allow to preserve the know-how and replicate it in all the teams and locations of the organization. Until a few years ago, only large companies could access the discipline of business process management (BPM). But today’s BPM Suites in the cloud, such as Flokzu, allows processes to be formalized in very short periods of time (days or weeks) and at a very low cost.
You can also schedule a work session here to model a real-life process in your organization together.