Ok, so I know that most people think of Marketing as the more glamorous side of business. It’s creative, pretty, and compelling. But nerds like me will tell you that you can have a business without marketing but you can’t have a business without Operations.
Sure, operations can be boring and mundane. Depending on your personality, they might even be the last type of work you want to engage in… which is ironically a lot of business owners. Ha!
I mean, most companies went into business to sell or serve a certain niche. Their passion lies in the deliverable. They do NOT want to care about “boring operations”… but they’ll care when they realize they can’t have a successful business without them.
Business operations, also known as ‘ops,’ are the daily activities, systems, procedures, and tasks that support a business in delivering its products and services to its customers and clients. It’s all about the foundational activities that keep a business running. If these activities are running smoothly, operations are key to growth, efficiency, and profitability. However, if ignored, they can create a chaotic environment for everyone involved.
The fundamentals of business operations are:
Financials – Your company’s financial health is more than just cash flow, profit and loss, and gross and profit margins. It’s also about metrics, which help track and measure your financial performance over time. Using this data, you can identify inefficiencies and ensure that your finances are not only consistent but also growing within your business’s capacity.
Operational Efficiency – This refers to the processes that keep your business running smoothly on a daily basis. These include documentation, SOPs, flowcharts, decision trees and project management tools. Technology can provide a significant advantage in achieving operational efficiency by automating certain tasks. This not only saves time but also ensures that current and future employees can operate the business with ease. Consider this scenario: If your entire team had to leave abruptly, could you bring in a new team to take over quickly and efficiently without needing to work overtime or deal with unnecessary stress? The ultimate goal of operational efficiency is to optimize day-to-day activities with the least amount of output from your or your team.
Team – If your operations are running smoothly, your team will have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They should also have access to all the tools necessary to perform their jobs efficiently. This doesn’t mean your employees are completing random tasks unrelated to their role just to pass the time. Instead, they are tracking their KPIs, feeling confident in performing their jobs and receiving the necessary support from management. This also means they are satisfied and confident in their roles and therefore motivated to perform their job effectively. An informed team can reduce employee turnover, which saves time and money. A comprehensive onboarding system is a critical component of an efficient team. It ensures that your employees receive the necessary training in your company culture, vision, and expectations.
Customer Client Experience
Customer Client Experience – While pretty self-explanatory, it’s vital to regularly evaluate how your customers interact with your business. This includes implementing methods to measure their satisfaction, so you can make necessary adjustments to your approach. After all, your business won’t thrive if your customers don’t buy into it. Ways to keep track of customer satisfaction can include collecting feedback through reviews or surveys, measuring engagement whether on social media or through purchase trends, and assessing customer-employee interactions to determine whether service, problem resolution and communication are all acceptable. Remember, happy customers are loyal customers!
Growth and Development
Growth and Development – There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve more than just breaking even and financial stability. Setting goals is a crucial step in driving your business forward. Without them, you risk missing out on opportunities to take your business to the next level. Clear goals, solid metrics, and established plans are vital in ensuring the success of your business. By utilizing these strategies, you’ll be able to elevate your business and achieve greater success.
So why should you pay attention to your business operations? Your business operations are critical to the foundation and efficiency of your business. The goal is to increase productivity by reducing the time or cost associated with a task. Smooth business operations allow you to have the freedom to take time off when you want to because everything isn’t resting on your shoulders. Additionally, effective business operations contribute to how efficiently your team is managing their tasks. Regularly assessing your operations helps to identify areas that are not streamlined. By keeping in touch with your employees and monitoring KPIs, you can identify which tasks need improvement or updating, or getting rid of when they become redundant and not effectively adding to your business’s needs.
Staying informed in the business world and doing research is a great way to learn new strategies, streamline your operations, and improve your bottom line. By tracking data and analyzing trends, you can identify areas where you can cut costs or invest more resources. This can help you make decisions on hiring employees, investing in new technology, or even expanding your business. Additionally, having efficient business operations can give you a competitive edge in the market.
The reality is that scaling your business is impossible if you haven’t invested in your operations. Many businesses have great goals but fail to develop their operations, which can lead to burnout, high turnover, loss of revenue, and decreased productivity. It’s important to have efficient operations to enable you to not only set new goals but also to achieve them.
Streamlined operations will provide the foundation for growth and success.
Remember, scaling a business is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. By investing in your operations early on, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success and sustainability.