Thursday, March 13, 2014

Control Quality In Your Business

In the past 20 years we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of business franchises available worldwide. But what is a franchise really? At its most basic level, it is a method – a system- that can be replicated and each task in the business defined and able to be carried out by anyone, with minimal experience and at the lowest cost. That is to say, that a 16 year old with no experience can come into the business, follow the steps to deliver the same quality product as someone who has been doing it for many years and with great experience. 

Of course you may not want to be employing juniors and you may not want to start a franchise empire but the elements of a franchise – the thing that makes it worth the money they command - is a proven business model that is captured, documented and to which employees adhere. What does that give you? It means that you have a framework for training new employees and a consistency to your service that allows you the business to perform in a reliable and predictable way and an end to having to ‘make it up as you go along’.  Employees know the answers to anything they could need to know, and you are not caught up in spending time telling them over and over the same things. 

For the customer, it means they can rely on getting the same standard of service from your business next time they visit you. This reliability is a comfort and reassuring for customers and it is a money saver for you the owner, as well as being a marker toward your business being optimized and sale-ready all the time. In real terms, that means you own a business which is more desirable to a buyer, a higher sale price you should command when you do want to sell, and a more profitable business every day. 

You don’t want to franchise? You don’t have to go that route to have good systems. Your current business model, with your existing policies and procedures are the starting point to creating your own system to manage and optimize your business. If you have some policies and procedures you can use them as they are, or tweak them as you develop your system. Where there are gaps in the current model, these can be filled and additional components added as required and any procedures or policies modified as better ways of doing a task is developed. This provides you a framework to deliver consistent results but does not hamper you in any way. 

Some business owners think that because they are a one-off and creative kind of business that policies and procedures don’t apply to them. In reality, the most creative businesses also need procedural structure for some elements of the business. These systems let the creativity happen where it is required, and the support mechanisms in the business to free up time, deliver good back up and assist with the delivery of the more creative elements. Very often good systems mean the business is able to scale in a way that was once impossible. 
 How are you managing the processes in your business? Could they be improved?

Areas For Procedures And Policy Review To Consider:

  • Administration
  • Operations
  • Internal relationships (employees, HR, recruiting, performance)
  • External relationships (suppliers, JV partners)
  • Financial
  • Marketing
  • Web and Social Media 
  • Management + CEO responsibilities
  • Training
Good systems let you manage more effectively, save time and cut needless duplication as you maintain a consistent and high level of productivity that every successful business needs. 

 For more information download 7 Steps To A Growing Healthy Business Here no strings attached.

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Hunter Valley Hampers said...

Lindy - I agree it is easy to get lax with some aspects of quality control - I have a weakness for some areas of client admin that is taking a while to shake. Great solid posting.

lindyasimus said...

Thanks for your comment. I love feedback so I know someone is getting something from these posts.

The difficulty with control is to implement a standard, then you know what has to be done, without having to 'decide' all over again, will I do this, will I do something else at a given time.