Streamlining your business processes is the key to unlocking growth and profitability. The best part is that establishing a business process may not be as hard as you think. In this episode, ProcessPro expert and empowerment coach Lisa Lewis shares how building a business process maximizes efficiency and profitability. With years of experience in optimizing business processes, Lisa shares valuable tips and strategies that can help you simplify and manage your business more effectively. Lisa believes that business processes are the foundation of any successful business. She emphasizes the importance of making processes simple, scalable, and easy to use. If you’re looking for ways to optimize your business processes and achieve greater success, then this episode is for you.
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Business Processes Made Simple: How To Scale And Grow Your Business With Lisa Lewis
We are here with Lisa Lewis of Business Process Made Simple. I’m so happy you’re here. Welcome.
Thank you very much. I’m thrilled to be here.
My guess is you have this because we all business owners make life more difficult. Is that true? Why do we do that?
Sometimes we don’t know better but I also think that we think it’s supposed to be hard and it’s not. It doesn’t have to be.
We’ve been told life is hard. You got to hustle. Before you figured out these simple processes, did you do difficult processes? Did you live a difficult business life?
I lived in that world for a long time and so did my clients. It wasn’t until I discovered the problem isn’t in the way we were doing business. It’s the processes we’re running to do business.
What made you figure that out? What was that a-ha moment where you’re like, “We can do this differently?”
I had an accounting business for 30-plus years and I had a great deal of success in helping my clients get their numbers in order but they couldn’t seem to get their processes, make life more simple for them and make business fun. I didn’t see the connection because the numbers worked. They were making money and things were going fine. What was happening is there were so many everyday breakdowns in their business and I couldn’t solve that until I got far enough away to see that they didn’t have processes.
Some of them had operating manuals but nobody was using them. Why? It’s because who wants to take that big heavy binder off the shelf and look and see, “Am I doing this correctly?” There’s the whole loss in translation, “I’ve been doing this for years. I know what I’m doing.” It’s not working. We decided to start taking a look at what are the processes and how can we make it simple for business owners and the people they hire to do the processes so the business owners get the results they want. That was a big light bulb moment. If you put good processes in place that people can run, they’re happier and you’re happier.
Do you come from a process background or did you figure out, “This can be simple and here’s how to make it more simple?”
My background is in business management and accounting but my business partner’s background is in HR services and processes. She’s a genius at processes. It was a perfect combination because my accounting work gave me the basis for business management. What we can do is help small businesses, entrepreneurs and medium-sized businesses as a whole.
We can help them not only with their processes around accounting but also HR. Most importantly, their everyday processes. The core processes that they need to run their business and be successful are the ones you have to map out first and foremost. If you can get those mapped out so that everybody’s doing the same things the same way every time, your business is going to thrive.
Let’s dig in to process. It’s a business-type word. For newer people who are starting, we all know what process means but they don’t know what it means. They might not even know what it means in the business sense. We don’t have any in place so we don’t know what it is or how it applies to us. What is a process? What do you mean by that word?
A process is the simple steps that you follow every single time to do the task that you want to do so that you can compare and contrast your results. Let’s start with a real basic one. You’re a consultant and you’re getting clients. If you set up a process, when somebody calls, you pick up the phone and do this exact script and then take them on this pathway that ends up with them becoming a client. Now you have a process.
Here’s the key. That process is running and you’re getting to whatever amount of leads you’re turning into clients. What if you want to improve that process? If you haven’t written it down or don’t have it documented, you’re not going to know what you could get better. People end up doing the same thing they’ve been doing over and over and they’re like, “What do I do? What’s up in my head?” How’s that going to get any better?
How do you work when you begin to work with the company? Do you figure out what their processes are already and how to fix them? I don’t have any processes but if you don’t think you have a process, you do like habits. If you don’t think you have daily habits, you do. You just don’t know what they are. I don’t know what my processes are. What do you say to me? How do we start?
It’s perfect. It’s easy. Give me the top three things that are the most important activities of your business.
Bringing people in.
How do you do that?
We have a yoga center and also that’s one way. A lot of them come to the yoga center. I put myself out there online. We’re on Facebook and LinkedIn. People find me. I reach out to people.
Each of those things has a process involved.
They don’t. I just do it. Can anybody relate to that?
What if you don’t want to show up for work one day? The yoga studio doesn’t open.
Luckily, you have to show up there every day.
What if you suddenly said, “I can’t show up?”
The process is we have a studio manager that comes in but I never called that a process before.
You taught them the process of opening it. What if the studio manager can’t come in?
I then come in.
If you want to scale and grow your business, the easiest way to do it is to have it all documented so that somebody can come in and say, “This is our process. All I want you to do is open the door and turn off the alarm.” They can do that without you having to be there. That’s double the time and money. Stuff then gets lost in translation with, “I told you to turn off the alarm first before you open the door. Now the police are here.” It’s all documented.
I did that once years ago in LA. The police came. It was crazy how you process it. They didn’t teach me that process.
It’s the process to lock up the business, talking to your clients and nurturing your clients. If you don’t have a process that says, “Every three days, we need to send another nurturing email,” now there is automation for that, which is great because those go in the process but somebody has to manage the process. The easiest way to do it is to have it in a computer system right on your computer. It’s a visual thing that then has all the details. It’s so simple. You don’t have to pull any big books off the shelf, try to flip to a page and say, “34 is missing. Somebody tear out page 34. What do I do?”
What do we do? How do we visualize this process?
You go on and write the process step by step. You teach somebody or go in like you haven’t done the process in a month. You go into your computer system, pull up the process and look in there like, “There’s my process. I got to do this and this. I know how to do it. How do I do that?” Click on it and it opens up. “This is exactly how I do it. Do I need to go to a link on another website and into my CRM?” It’s all right there.
Let me give you the best example. Airline pilots are notorious for having checklists. Do you think they don’t know what to do? Of course, they know what to do but every time they go flying, they have a checklist. Everything is so important. Why don’t we take responsibility for our businesses like airline pilots take responsibility for our lives?Why don't we take responsibility for our businesses like airline pilots take responsibility for our lives? Click To Tweet
What a great metaphor. Is your business as important as the airplane? If it’s not, get out of the business. Find something important enough for to you believe. Have that passion about it and love it. If it is, then treat it. Otherwise, the plane’s going to crash. We don’t want your business to crash.
Here’s the thing. Big businesses notice they have tons of all their processes mapped out. Why are the little businesses not doing it?
Here’s the question then. Sometimes you go into the big businesses and everything’s so mapped out. It gets too much and overwhelming. People will lead big businesses because of all the processes and procedures they lead the big business to go back to an entrepreneurial world or a startup world where it’s more fun and dynamic.
How do you find the balance between not turning into these behemoths, which then for many become boring? That’s the people that climb the ladder and are making their millions of dollars but hate life. They come to me for the self-love revolution because they’re not enjoying life, even though they’re successful. Where’s that balance between having that small business and that entrepreneurial nature, having enough processes in place but not too much where you can’t get anything done?
That’s an interesting comparison. If you’re the owner of that big behemoth company, you’re happy because you got all your processes mapped. You’ve got hundreds and thousands of employees doing all your work for you and you’re sitting up at the top. It’s a little bit of a contrast compared to somebody that has to run the processes of wanting to go out to be an entrepreneur. All of us entrepreneurs want to be business owners. We do want to have all these processes in place. We’re not going to be the ones running. There are people that want to run processes. There are people that don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit so we’re going to hire those people. We’re going to do the hiring and make sure that they love the attention to detail.
The beauty of doing this with small business owners and entrepreneurs is that we get to give them a leg up. You know when it’s time to hire, it’s an arduous process. A lot of people don’t look forward to hiring. They think they’re going to come to take their secrets and go off into their business or they’re not going to be good enough. They don’t know how to hire. There’s a process for hiring, firing and everything. Small business entrepreneurs would open their minds to take a look at what the processes are. They would be so empowered with the knowledge of how they can run their business if they choose to. They know they can hide and place them. They don’t have to but they at least have the option.
You cannot be too small that the process is in place. You have processes, you just don’t know what they are.
If you document them, you are going to grow more gracefully than most businesses. Most of the skeptic work knows they have processes. It’s clunky and hard to get it all done in retrospect. They’ve got 60 employees and they want to document all the processes. You go around that business town with somebody for a week and say, “What do you do all week? Let me take notes.” It’ll take forever. Why not start now?If you document your business processes, you are going to grow more gracefully than most businesses. Click To Tweet
This is true. We brought a new manager but we had to go to the old one. Her role evolved too. Even though we may have had a process, though we didn’t call it that at the beginning, we throw stuff at her. “Can you do this and that?” “Sure.” We then had to go, “Can you break down what you do now?” I have more for that. We were asking her, “What’s your process,” so we can have that. That is wonderful. Whatever size you are, have processes. If you don’t know what they are, write them down. You need them. How do they get in touch with you?
They can go to ProcessPro360.com or reach out to me at @Lisa360. It’s how they can get my information. I’m a speaker. I love processes and I’m also a high-performance business coach. I’m always helping entrepreneurs and small business owners make a bigger impact in the world.
You get the processes and a business coach who’s been through it and that’s going to help you grow and flourish. Thank you so much for being here.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
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