When starting a new business, it can be easy for things to be quite fluid and organic, perhaps even a little disorganised. Yet, before you know it your rapidly growing business is out of control and so is your admin processes.
Whilst it may not appear to be the most important focus so early on, putting in place effective administrative processes and supporting systems is essential to healthy, stable growth and will reduce the potential for negatively impacting your customer service level.
Setting up your business as if it will be successful can be a useful approach to take. Planning for growth in the early stages will reduce stress and disruption later and ensure your customers and your bottom line are not impacted by any sudden growth spurt.
Here are some key areas which new businesses would do well to put in place from the outset.
Accessibility and Connectivity
If most of your systems rely on the internet, it makes sense to ensure you invest in a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection. Choose a company that offers a always on internet connection, which will guarantee zero downtime.
Investing in this early on will help alleviate potential problems and disruption to your business and ultimately your customers, as your business grows. Being without internet for even a day can seriously impact your bottom line, yet many don’t realise that internet switch overs are not always straightforward.
Being organised from the beginning will really help support a smooth-running business which focusing on high quality customer service. If your processes are chaotic, this will certainly impact on your customer’s experience.
Therefore, ensure you have filing systems (both online and offline) in place which ensure all essential information is accessible when you need it.
Whilst you may not require support staff in the early stages, if you are building your business with growth in mind, you will eventually require additional support.
Therefore, always keep this in mind when setting up processes and procedures. In other words, ensure you document absolutely everything and file everything in an orderly way. Try to keep things logical, systematic and simplistic. A great question to help you do this is…’if I was hit by a bus, could someone pick up and run the business without me?!’ You will want to be able to confidently answer yes to this question.
When the time comes to hire someone, it will be a far smoother transition for them to have process documents to refer to and follow. This will also ensure business as usual for your customers during the transition period.
When it is just you that is running a rapidly growing business, you will undoubtably have a lot to manage. As such, it can be useful to have a structure to your time so that important tasks do not slip through the net.
Prioritise your tasks with what is most important to your business. The best way to think about this is, what could have the most negative impact on my business if it wasn’t achieved i.e. not fulfilling a customer order in the advertised timescale.
Any tasks which are customer-related should always take the highest priority, after all, without customers, you won’t have a business!
Essentially, do not allow anything to slip which will mean that you can not keep a consistent level of high customer service as this is the backbone of your business.