Sarah Cressall discusses the processes required for identifying, creating and implementing positive change in your business.
Growing and developing a franchise business takes time but, with the right approach, you will usually maximise your potential. Starting out, the franchisor will have put in place a number of systems and processes to help you during your journey.
As you progress, you will discover that the things you originally found to be daunting, will soon become second nature to you. This could include picking up the phone, or speaking in front of strangers or even managing your finances. There is so much to learn when operating a business but, with franchising, the support is there from the very start. All the various systems have already been developed for your benefit.
Once you have opened the starting gate, you will be looking to grow, build and establish your franchise in your local area. Streamlining the process is a great way to ensure that every action you take is directed towards achieving a desired outcome.
In this article I will discuss ways to identify areas of improvement. You will need to create new processes, then implement them, before monitoring their progress. By the end, you will have the knowledge and skills to both streamline and optimise your business.
Identifying areas of improvement
Time is finite, so anything you can do to improve your systems will free-up time, thus allowing you to concentrate on growing your business. This involves analysing existing processes, so you can uncover any potential inefficiency in your system. This enables you to determine what needs to be improved. Then make those time-saving changes.
For example, you may find that you spend too many minutes, or perhaps hours, simply agreeing a date, place and time to hold a meeting. Why not install a Calendly app, or one of the many equivalents? These, in simple terms, are easy-to-use meeting schedulers. These apps allow you to set aside time for calls or online meetings.
The apps will highlight the time when you are available for people to meet up with you. This reduces time you may otherwise spend on arranging meetings and is one small method for helping you to improve your efficiency.
You may also discover that the process of employing new members of staff, or even training them, takes longer than you’d want. Once again, you can reduce time spent on this process by taking advantage of technology
At Creation Station, we have developed a programme within our academy, which helps our franchise partners to save time during training processes. Anything that assists the integrating of a new employee into an organisation, or familiarising a customer or client with a product or service, will make your business more efficient.
If you aren’t sure where the inefficiencies are, then ask staff members to keep a log of their activities every 15 minutes of the working day. By collating this information you will see how each and every person spends their time. Then cross-reference this data to check whether it helps the company to achieve its goals. It’s important to eradicate processes which aren’t essential for your business.
It also flags up moments where there are hurdles preventing people from completing tasks in a generally accepted allocated time. Perhaps a person isn’t confident using a newly-installed system, or is maybe unaware of a more efficient way of doing a particular task.
Implementing new processes
Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can begin to review, create and implement new processes. One of the many benefits of a franchise network is that other people will probably have already overcome most of the challenges you will face on your journey.
Good, strong networks will share their experiences and solutions. By sharing ideas, this opens up opportunities for collaboration and brainstorming, and ultimately the development of new solutions.
In your own business, setting goals is ‘the key’ to understanding what you and your team need to be working towards. It’s vital to establish methods of clear communication between stakeholders. This means that the team will enjoy constructive feedback on all important issues.
Once you know your goal, you can develop a strategy for achieving it, which means you are able to break this down into a series of processes. And, in addition to setting up new processes, you’ll also need to implement them.
This includes training and integrating staff, so that everyone knows what is expected of them. It is also important that comprehensive training, regarding new technology, is successfully implemented.
People generally don’t like change, but when they are part of a process towards creating that change, and understanding the reasons why it needs to happen, then resistance to any change is reduced.
For example, if you’re introducing a new system for replying to enquiries or tracking sales, make certain everyone is fully trained on every stage of the process. By ensuring the right technology is in place, and trained members of staff are controlling it, this will help the process to run as efficiently as possible. Finally, it’s essential to monitor results to make certain processes are achieving their desired outcomes.
This can be done by setting up metrics to track progress and evaluate results. Measure how long it takes to complete the new process, compared to the old method. This will give you an indication of how successful the process has been and whether or not it still needs to be adjusted.
In conclusion, streamlining your franchise is a great way to ensure that every action achieves its desired outcome. By following these simple few steps, you can identify areas of improvement, create new processes, implement them and monitor progress. This will give you the knowledge and skills needed to streamline the business and optimise growth.