Benjamin Brandall – Process Street

All posts by Benjamin Brandall


How to Write a Brilliant Job Description (2 Templates & 12 Examples)

Do you know how long a prospective candidate will spend reading your job ad?

Six seconds.

With more than three billion job listings online at any given moment, standing out from the crowd might mean the difference between finding the greatest team member possible or having to settle for the best of a bad bunch.

Data from 2015 suggests that 100 million startups are launched annually. And, as the number of competitors rockets up, the pool of available talent is diluted, leaving you with less choice.

The solution?

A clear and compelling job description. It’s more complex than it first seems, but in this article I’ll be sure to make it easy.

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How I Research & Write an Article Using Irresistible Original Data

When I was about 7 years old, I made a deliberate decision to stop caring about math.

I remember the moment clearly. I started sitting closer to the back of the class, stopped answering questions, and, eventually, I stopped being asked questions by the teacher.

I told myself that it wasn’t worth learning because we have tools like computers and calculators. Consistently, I got mediocre grades in the topic and only scraped through the finals with a borderline passing grade…

It wasn’t until I started working at Process Street that I cared about data, charts, spreadsheets and correlations.

Research and data manipulation skills are extremely important for pretty much anyone that has to devise their own solutions.

Not only that, studies are incredible marketing tools. Original data attracts links and shares like nothing else because it’s one of the few newsworthy things a company can do. You’ve got product releases, funding announcements, and research.

And it’s not just my own theories that say studies attract high-quality backlinks…

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41 Pro Google Search Tips for Research, Marketing, and Fun

Imagine my pain:

I wanted to pretend I was using the 1998 iteration of Google search, but couldn’t figure out how.

Since I’m a Google search pro, it was easy to find out and fix the situation so I was able to get some sleep that night:

Such search mastery. Do you want to be a pro like that too? 😉

On a more serious note, in this article I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about using Google (not gaming it, like we’re all usually trying to do).

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The Only 14 Startup Tools You Need to Build a Unicorn

Imagine if you had to send marketing emails manually, or keep your records in a tattered binder on your desk.

Every company, even startups, needs to make a minimum investment in SaaS tools for work like email marketing, project management, and tracking sales.

But the catch is that some of these startup tools can cost huge amounts of money, and when you’re a young startup you don’t want to be forking out in excess of $2,000/user/month for just one piece of software.

The point of this post is to explain the minimum viable SaaS stack your startup should invest in, based on what we’ve found out at Process Street in our many (many, many, many) tool-testing escapades. I’ll even do the math for you, and collate the estimated annual cost at the end.

Ready to start building up your toolbox with the best SaaS out there?

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How Airtable Runs Our Content Marketing Behind the Scenes

Are you using a messy network of spreadsheets and software to hold reports and get insights on your content marketing?

That kind of setup can leave you in the dark, or constantly spending time updating your records manually. No one wants to waste time on data entry, but everybody wants a place to store their content marketing data for analysis (and tons of cool automations).

So, what if you could compile it all into one database that integrates with over 750 other apps, lets you sort the data into views to generate reports, and acts as the ‘single source of truth’ for your marketing team?

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BPMN Tutorial: Quick-Start Guide to Business Process Model and Notation

Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN) is like a flow chart on steroids.

It’s the one true way to graphically map your processes and is a globally-recognized, standardized method. In other words, it’s information any business looking to draw reliable process maps needs to know.

When you map your processes (especially with a standardized method like BPMN), you start being able to:

  • Get a clear vision of exactly how everything in your business works
  • Save time by eliminating unnecessary tasks
  • Reduce the rate your employees forget, overlook, or wrongly execute work

So, what exactly is it?

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The Complete Guide to Business Process Management is Here!

Processes aren’t just paper inside folders full of useless information no one looks at. They’re the blueprint for how your business works on a day-to-day level.

How do you create reports? How do you check in with your team? How do you conduct and record your meetings?

The answer any efficient business will give you is that you use a process.

We’re well aware that the most dominant literature on business process management is extremely boring and un-actionable — reading guides on BPM is the equivalent of opting to take a tranquilizer.

So why, when processes are so important, hasn’t anyone ever put together a clear guide for businesses of any size?

That’s what we thought, and that’s why we’re publishing this 112-page ebook.

Download the Complete Guide to Business Process Management

Without processes, your business is a ticking time bomb, prone to error and impossible to scale.

Companies that implement processes have a 280% higher success rate on their projects (95%) versus those that don’t (25%).

On a day-to-day level, you can use processes to:

  • Record the one best way to do work, making it faster and cheaper to train new hires
  • Stop making mistakes because of human error and oversight
  • Reduce operating costs by rocketing efficiency
  • Build scalable systems that help your business stop dealing with urgent work, and focus on growth

What’s in the book?

Learn why processes are essential

Processes protect your business from failure. If you don’t measure what’s working and what isn’t, you can’t make any informed changes. You can stab in the dark, but you might never find out why what you’re doing does or doesn’t work.

Processes also act as the blueprint for your business to scale. Sharing detailed and comprehensive knowledge with new and existing employees is the only sure-fire way to keep your business running properly without wasting time on training, missing deadlines, or simply forgetting how to do things.

There are plenty of studies on why processes are effective, and some post-mortems from history’s greatest failures that show how errors can be easily avoided by systemizing tasks.

  • Surgeon, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande found that implementing a checklist in the operating theatre. 78% of staff actually observed the checklist to have prevented an error in the operating room, and 80% said the checklist was easy to use and improved the safety of care.
  • Disasters such as Chernobyl and the Challenger shuttle could have been avoided if the people involved with these organizations had implemented and enforced processes. In short, all human error incidents are a result of not following the proper process.
  • Zenefits is living proof that your business will go off the rails without the right processes in place. While they saw explosive growth, their operation was unsustainable and eventually came crashing down — an embarrassing, devastating failure.

Time and time again, it’s been proven that documented and enforced processes are vital if your business is going to do anything but fail.

But where do you start? Start with our business process management guide.

Learn how to create processes

There’s a right way to create a process, and there’s a ton of wrong ways.

George Boorman, the man responsible for Boeing’s watertight pilot process, sums it up nicely:

“Bad checklists are vague and imprecise. Good checklists are, above all, practical.”

That’s the high-level overview, but in the business process management guide, I give you the step-by-step process you’ll need to create processes for anything from scratch.

Processes don’t need to be complex, and, depending on their exact purpose, they don’t need to be 100% comprehensive. They can be fully automated, semi-automated, or fully manual — the important thing is, they exist and are accessible by the people who need them. That’s the only way to reduce human error and lower the rate that your team forgets to do their work or vital steps in their workflows.

In the guide, I teach you how to create the processes you know your business needs. It contains step-by-step instructions for every level, from basic to advanced.

Learn how to map and optimize your current processes

The only way you can be sure you’re running the most optimal process is if you fully understand how it works at every stage. When you hire a process consultant, they’ll come in and interview your team about how they get work done. Then, they’ll map the existing process and work with the team to optimize it. That means smashing bottlenecks by cutting out useless reviews and approvals, minimizing the amount of paper (or data) moving from place to place, and automating as much as possible.

Processes are the kinds of things that sound complex but are actually just a necessary step

This guide — written by analyzing best practices from process experts — will teach you how to do it without hiring an expensive consultant.

Now you can use techniques that are usually the reserve of big businesses that can afford the high price tag.

Learn how to outsource your processes

One of the major benefits of having a documented process is that you can outsource it without much friction. That helps your business scale because you’ve already worked out the most efficient way to do the task.

Another way to approach outsourcing is to hire a company to handle one entire side of your business. Some companies hire IT service providers or bookkeepers as an alternative to hiring a specialist in-house. To use an example from the world of corporations, IBM handles all things IT for Coca Cola. To use an example from Process Street, we hire an agency that recruits virtual assistants and handles their payroll. That means we don’t need to hire a recruiter or an accountant for a big chunk of our staff.

This ebook contains step-by-step guides to getting your processes ready to outsource in house, and ideas of what you could save money on by hiring agencies.

Learn what to do when your processes fail

Sometimes you have to rip everything up and start again. The corporate term for that is business process reengineering (BPR). Almost every business has had to make major changes to their operations at some point, whether it’s Ford, Google, Taco Bell, or countless smaller businesses that haven’t had case studies written on them.

One example might be moving from paper to a centralized company database. Enterprise Engineering Institute describe the improved process:

“In the new situation the buyer registers an order in an online database. The buyer no longer sends a copy of the purchasing order form to the creditor administration. When the goods arrive at the store, the storekeeper checks in the database whether the received goods correspond to the purchasing order form.”

Drawing from every case study on we could get our hands on, this ebook contains numerous examples of how real businesses have impacted their bottom line by changing their processes.

Get the ebook for free

Everything you need to start documenting, mapping, and optimizing your processes condensed into one handy book.

Download it now:

How to Onboard a New Virtual Assistant: 2 Real Processes We Use

For startups and small operations, virtual assistants can be vital.

The general idea is: instead of hiring a full-time specialist or wasting time on data entry, you hire a VA.

It sounds easy. You just hire a VA, right?!

But what happens after that is the hard part. Straight after hiring comes the onboarding and training. That’s the part where you get your new VA up to speed with how your company works, and how the tasks, rules, and responsibilities are going to be different from the other companies they’ve worked for.

You’ll need to explain how to use your stack of tools, and how they can work as efficiently as possible. It’s also a process for you: you need to remember to check in, make sure everything’s set up properly, and review their performance.

In this post, I’m going to go over some of the key things to keep in mind when onboarding a virtual assistant, and share two of our internal processes with you.

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55 Insanely Useful Startup Blogs: VCs, Sales, Marketing & Design (2017)

At Process Street, a lot of startup blogs are required reading for our team.

It makes sense, because your startup will be informed and improved by what it reads, and every team needs to stay on top of what’s being spoken about.

In this post, I’ve compiled the 55 best blogs for startups (plus one recommended article from each) in these categories:

  • Venture capitalist blogs
  • Marketing blogs
  • Sales blogs
  • UX & design blogs
  • Customer success & support blogs

… All focused specifically on advice for startups.

Here they are:

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How to Automatically Generate Tweets with Images and Hashtags for Your Buffer Queue

Want to add every post on your blog to your Buffer queue, complete with images and automatically generated hashtags?

Recently I realized I hadn’t added my old blog posts to Buffer, and needed to go back and queue them all up. While I was doing it, I decided I could grab the images and use a free API to generate the hashtags for me!

So, I thought I’d record how I did it so I can tell you, too.

In this post, you’ll learn to:

  1. Export a CSV of your posts from WordPress
  2. Tidy up the CSV to include only URLs and titles of your posts
  3. Automatically include hashtags in the tweet text using Aylien
  4. Use import.io to scrape images for your tweets
  5. Push the tweets and images to your Buffer queue using Zapier

Oh, and by the way: all the tools used here are used in their free versions. 🙂

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