“Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.” ― Mark Twain
Habits. We all have them. Some are good; but most of them we do automatically, without really thinking about them.
Sometimes we only really notice habits when someone else does a task that we usually do. If you’ve ever had a guest load your dishwasher for you, or you’ve trained someone on a computer, you probably know what I’m talking about. You just want them to do the job your way, because it’s so much better!
Truth is, we all get ingrained in our habits, and we often don’t stop to think about them. We just keep doing things the way we’ve always done them.
The same thing applies to business processes
Business processes are habits too, just workplace habits.
Invariably, a task is done the same way, because that’s how it’s always been done.
So when John retires after 15 years in the business, and Barbara’s hired as his replacement, she’s taught the same process and methodology that John used. Thus a 15-year business process lives on. But should it?
Should business processes have longevity?
Sure, if it’s not broken, there’s nothing to fix. But is the process still the most efficient way? Is it still effective? Or are there tools, apps and shortcuts that could make a job easier? After all, time is money in the business world.
The challenge is that this is hard to be objective about when you’re working in a business. You’ve got all those years of corporate programming happening automatically – and it’s difficult to find out what industry best practices are, or what software tools would best help you.
Breathe new life into a business with a business process evaluation
A business process evaluation is an in-person consultation where we look at the key processes in your business, and how they’re being done.
Because this is our area of expertise, we know what to look for in terms of making jobs easier and faster – and recommending software tools that’ll save time and money.
A business process evaluation is helpful for any business at any stage, but they really come into their own when you’re buying or selling a business.
Business process evaluations for when you’re buying a business
With many baby boomers retiring and selling their businesses, it’s quite common to see businesses that are generating a decent income – but the processes are out-dated and longwinded. The consequence of this is that employees spend too much time on manual, repetitive tasks – rather than on income generating activities.
Example: An importing business in Whangarei
An Empower client recently purchased an importing business in Whangarei. It’s a great business, but every single process in the business was done manually – no software was being used at all.
We conducted a free business process evaluation, and identified not only which types of software would help the new business owners work more productively, but also which specific packages to purchase.
The business process evaluation considered factors such as data conversion and software integrations, so that the various systems are (a) easy to set up, and (b) talk to each other for better reporting functionality.
In this instance, the customer then engaged us to implement accounting software (Xero) and also inventory management software (Unleashed) See our packages...
Business process evaluations also help when you’re selling a business
Business process re-engineering not only adds value to the business, but also makes it more desirable for a purchaser. After all, the new owner wants to get off to a running start as soon as possible – and slick, well-documented processes make that so much easier.
What’s more, when a business is sold, there’s usually a clause where the previous business owner stays on for a number of months for the knowledge transfer to the new owner. If there are clear systems and processes in place, that time can be reduced from say three months to one month.
Empower Business works with business brokers and coaches to help prepare businesses for sale.
Selling off part of a business, integrating a new business, or creating a stand-alone division
Business process evaluations are just as relevant for when you’re integrating a new business into the fold – or you want to make part of your existing business a stand-alone division for any reason.
It’s important to do it correctly – but it can be hard to know how to set this up in software applications, and how best to transfer the data. We can help with that.
Contact Empower Business to find out more about our free business process evaluations in Northland. We’ll come to you so we can get to understand your business, see how you’re currently managing business processes, and identify where time can be saved. It’s all about creating some new, effective habits.