Workflows, processes, SOP’s…what does it all mean?! We hear the buzz words all the time and deep down we know this is an area of our business that we should probably be putting more focus on. But let’s face it, who has the time when we’re busy working with our clients to make their wedding dreams come true?Yet, the important thing to note about creating workflows for your business is that creating them will actually save you time, so that you have more to serve your clients as well as market your business to bring in new clients.
So, what is a workflow exactly? Workflows (also sometimes called processes, or SOP’s meaning “standard operating procedures”) are a set of steps or rules that you create to carry out the operations of your business. Essentially they are the step-by-step manuals for everything you do in your business.
Why do they matter? Each time you do something in your business, it takes energy, time, and focus. And, it will take more energy and time if you are reinventing the wheel or starting from scratch each time you do it. You have to spend additional time thinking about what the steps are, as well as prioritizing what to do first. Not to mention if you don’t have workflows in place, it’s easy to forget steps or miss details, and then your quality of service can decline. So, while it takes time to put workflows in place, they are imperative to your business’ success because you’ll be able to get things done faster, automate areas of your business, keep track of all tasks and details, and get back to being the CEO.
What workflows do you need? As many as you can think of! Start by thinking through each area of your business – what steps or tasks do you repeat? Start with each service that you offer and list out a step-by-step guide of how to take your client from point A to point Z. Go through your entire journey of working with them and be sure to note any specifics such as emails that you send or documents you give them, and what’s included every step of the way. Pretend that you are going on a fabulous vacation and you are handing over your company to a trusted employee or friend but they’ve never worked with a client before. So, you need to give them every detail they need to do an amazing job in your absence. The more detailed your workflow, the more useful it will be. Once you’ve created detailed workflows for your service offerings, create workflows for your on-boarding and off-boarding processes, your sales process, your marketing and content creation processes, anything you can think of that is repeated in your business. This will take time, but if you aim to focus on one new workflow per month, you’ll have your business backend organized before you know it.
There are some amazing tools and systems that can help you keep track of your workflows such as Process Street, Sweet Process, or you can keep track of them in your business management tools like Aisle Planner! Be sure to integrate your new workflows with the features in Aisle Planner such as the checklist and templates so that you are able to give the same great service to every client!