I’ve been a service professional for decades now, and I can tell you that one of the fundamental things you need to have a successful business is a strong backend. When I say backend, I’m talking about your operations. The behind-the-scenes of the business that the team encounters from day to day.
Having an effective operations backend for your business is the critical way to create and sustain a business. And the best part is, it only takes a few steps to get there. Check out my 5 step-plan for building an effective operations backend for your business!
Step 1: Identify business activities
It is important to start with a clear vision of what your business will be doing. Some categories of business that often get departmentalized are operations, sales and marketing, and finance. Each of these departments will have different and clear goals that all contribute to the vision of the business. This also establishes who will do what as you split into roles and responsibilities.
Step 2: Establish roles and responsibilities for your team
Have you ever seen a business operating like a well-oiled machine? This is because everyone has their place in the business, they know what they are doing, and they do it to the best of their ability. This is the type of structure that you want, as it is shaped around the roles and responsibilities of your team. Each role needs to have a clear definition of what they are doing, and the responsibilities that are associated with need to be written down. You can start this when you write out the job description. Think about the role and more importantly, think about what you want that role to look like on a daily basis. Write those things down that the person will be doing, and then work to find people that will fit the role best.
Step 3: Train, Train, Train
The most effective businesses have the most effective training. Why? Because training is the time period that you have to set the tone, inform, and educate onboarding team members about what to expect as they enter their new roles. More importantly, training is the time where you show them what needs to get done, how it needs to be done, and to what degree is it supposed to be done. So really take the time to train your team, ask questions, repeat necessary instructions, and advise them so that when the training wheels are off, they feel led to own their role.
Step 4: Track Progress
Tracking progress in the backend of your business will allow you to see what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to be done in order to pivot to success. Using things like KPIs (key performance indicators) allows you to see the rate of completion, the sales and revenue generated, and gaps for improvement. Every leader should be looking at this on a consistent basis to ensure that the completion rates are above average, the profit margins are clear, and there is a way for an increase in business to occur. So, dive into those reports and really dissect what the numbers mean to your business.
Step 5: Evaluate and Improve
As a professional with years of experience, I will tell you this right now: no business has everything in tip-top shape, and that’s not a bad thing. Every business owner should be evaluating where there are gaps in business. These gaps allow you to see what is working, what is not working, and how to train, learn and improve as a team. If you are not looking for these gaps, you are not thinking about the future of your business. Don’t be that person. Be the person who wants to ignite improvement in your business, so that you can create new and improved systems, new and improved methods, and increase your undeniable value in your business.