5 signs that your processes are holding you back

04 October 2019


Processes are key to the success of your business. In fact, good processes are key to a more productive workforce.  A study suggested that American businesses lose over $550 billion every year to poor productivity. How much more profitable could your business be by improving your processes?

This article highlights the 5 biggest signs that your processes are holding your business back.


1) Your business is too reliant on you or key individuals

Whilst having the right people in the business is crucial, becoming over-reliant on individuals can cause serious issues. For example, take your business and remove one key person from the operation. What happens? Does your business continue as normal? Or is there too much reliant on someone in particular?

People are critical to any business, but it’s vital that the leadership extract the performance from any one person and use this as a framework for a process.

A salesperson is a great example. Your top performing salesperson must have a formula that works better than others; it’s important that you understand their process and build on this to turn it into a process for the rest of your team.


2) You’re duplicating your effort

Whether intentionally or not, you may find that you are duplicating your effort; entering the same information twice, having the same conversation with different people or sending the same reminder emails chasing overdue invoices every month. These are all types of process waste that is waiting to be eliminated from your business.

Automating the distribution of invoice reminders is just one way that you can save hours on your week. Most accounting software enables these auto reminders to be sent. You may be wasting valuable resources that could be better deployed in the business.

What about duplication of data entry? Are you recording sales information in one system and then having accounts add this information to a second system?

Duplicating your effort, whether on one task or numerous, represents a significant amount of time wasted that could be better spent on more essential business tasks.


3) There are no clear lines of responsibility

Do you know who is responsible or accountable for the different functions of your business? Do they? Assumed responsibility and accountability can cause your processes to stop working effectively. Sales and marketing may not align, service providers and accounts may not communicate correctly.

Without knowing where one department’s role ends and the next department’s begins, you could cause serious harm to your business through lost opportunities, incohesive marketing and sales efforts or even lost revenue.


4) You’re doing things because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”

Processes are import, but so is adapting and looking at ways you can improve your process. Just like developing your product or service offering, you need to evaluate how you are delivering your products or services. Is there a more efficient way you could be working? Or perhaps a way you can improve the relationships you have with your customers.

Ensuring your team are willing and motivated to challenge the status quo can have a huge impact on your efficiency and profitability. After all, who knows your processes better than the people delivering for you day in, day out?


5) You don’t know what your process looks like

One of the biggest problems with processes is the lack of process. Giving your team freedom to do the job in the way they see fit can have benefits, but this lack of standard approach can cause headaches.

Take our business for example; we use agile project management. This isn’t just for the efficiency gains, but it gives us a framework to practice and gain discipline. This discipline runs throughout the business; from product development to marketing and sales.


These are just a few examples of how your processes could be holding you back. As a small business, it’s vital that we deploy our resources to maximise the businesses potential, so why not ask yourself: where is the process waste in our business and how can we eliminate it?

To discuss how configurable business process management software can improve your productivity and profitability:

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