The importance of Process Design for Small Businesses

Let’s talk about Process Design for Small Business

Effective process design for small business is critical. The history of business points to a fascinating shift in recent years. Innovation has moved the focus from product to experience. With the rise and peak of industrialism and manufacturing, making a patented “widget” is now rivaled by creating a customer-driven experience.

  • Coca-Cola’s recipe is reportedly hidden away in a massive vault. But its marketing theme is almost always about the people you drink it with and that refreshing feeling.
  • Anybody can make a hamburger. But McDonald’s created a process which delivered quality food fast, offering a satisfying experience for families to enjoy a pre-cooked hot meal together.
  • Coffee is a commodity. But Starbucks created a unique space and customer service experience which continues to draw tens of thousands daily.

You can undoubtedly think of a dozen more examples. But you get the point. For the service-based business, the “widget” your company makes is all about the experience you produce for your customers. Your customer experience is produced largely by a process. What does this mean? Two things.

Your small business process design is the HOW…

First, it means that your company itself is your product. The service you sell is your product. You are selling… YOU! Second, it means that your process is your “secret sauce.” You may not be able to patent it. But you don’t need to either. You simply need a process that can produce a remarkable experience for every customer you serve, every single time.  Essentially, your processes are about…

  • HOW you do sales and marketing.
  • HOW you offer helpful content and resources to your demographic.
  • HOW you receive and follow up on the leads you generate.
  • HOW you first interact with a potential customer.
  • HOW you sign up a customer for your service.
  • HOW you perform the service your customer is paying for.
  • HOW you ensure customer satisfaction.
  • HOW you take their payment.
  • HOW you follow up after taking their payment.
  • HOW you handle warranty or guarantee work.
  • HOW you nurture your customer’s experience for additional business or referrals.

It’s all about the HOW!

That’s because the HOW always determines the outcome of the WHAT. The services you perform are driven by processes that create certain experiences for your customers. Therefore, process improvement is at the heart of the service-based business, since it automatically improves customer experience.

The simplest improvements in one or two processes will improve your customer experience to the point that you will see rapid market differentiation. In a short time, you will quickly stand out from your competition. Most of your competitors don’t pay close attention to processes or may not make the connection between process and customer experience. This is where you will shine in your market and outshine your competitors.

Want help with process design?

Aculign specializes in offering service-based small businesses the experience they want in order to grow their bottom line and make an impact in their community. We do this through proven processes. Our process improvement work is itself process-driven. Through a logical, step-based approach, we assist small businesses like yours to identify and improve key processes to stabilize and scale for growth.

To get started, there are two approaches. If you are a DIY owner or manager, access our process improvement model overview to get started. If you need a hands-on, consultative approach to monitoring, measuring, and coaching,  apply with Aculign to get started.

Of course, if you want to find out more you can learn more about Aculign here.