Small Business – Page 2 – Process Street

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The E Myth Review: How to Create a Business That Won’t Ruin Your Life

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If all you want to know from this E Myth review is whether or not the book is worth reading, then go and buy a copy right now.

Michael Gerber passionately runs through the core reasons why so many small businesses fail from over 40 years of experience, and how to create a business that will be successful.

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Every year, over a million people in this country start a business of some sort… Within five years, more than 80 percent of them – 800,00 – will have failed.”
Michael E. GerberThe E Myth Revisited, p. 2

The book is a fascinating insight into the experience of Gerber dealing with not only failing businesses, but the people in charge of them who are often at their wit’s end. His drive to help them and satisfaction in seeing them blossom into true business owners is infectious, leaving you enthusiastic to start your own journey after every chapter.

It’s the same enthusiasm you can hear in Gerber’s voice when we interviewed him on Business Systems Explored to explore why small businesses fail.

If you’re running a small business that isn’t getting off the ground, want to know how to create a business that works, or have ever thought about how you could make a successful business to fuel your ideal lifestyle, then keep reading.

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6 Types of Project Proposals That Get Approved (and How to Write Them)

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Project proposals are how you can get management to act on your ideas. They’re the bottom-up version of a project request form.

They are how you can influence your company’s future.

Writing a project proposal isn’t rocket science, but it is a vital skill for being able to successfully pitch projects that you know will benefit your team and business as a whole. Casual conversations aren’t enough – you need to give a formal document which addresses concerns before your manager, CEO, and stakeholders have a chance to voice them.

Plus, having a set template for writing a proposal gives you a document which you can reference throughout the entire project. Instead of having to rely on notes and your vague memory of a water cooler conversation, you have set instructions to follow, and a defense against anyone who says that the project isn’t worth it.

It’s a great example of effective business process management – if anyone questions you, you can show them the project proposal and say “this was approved, and so this is what we’re going to do”.

project proposal - approved by chuck norris

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8 Critical Change Management Models to Evolve and Survive

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For your business to survive it will need to evolve. For it to evolve, you need to make changes. Without a change management model, the success of those changes is up to nothing more than hope and dumb luck.

British Airways didn’t successfully overhaul their entire organization by making changes and crossing their fingers – they had a model and strategy to follow.

Before King began announcing layoffs, he explained his reasons… to prepare them for the upcoming change. Without his transparency, British Airways could have experienced employee backlash and negative press around all the layoffs.” – Laura Troyani3 Examples of Organizational Change Done Right

A model which paved the way for them earning $284 million in profit (the highest in its industry) within ten years of the changes.

I’ve already gone over how to form your own change management strategy, so today I’ll break down the change management models you can use to do the same for your business.

change management models - british airways
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How to Make a Change Management Strategy (and Defuse the Growth Time Bomb)

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As a business you need to be constantly evolving in order to survive and grow. At first you can oversee everything yourself, keeping tabs on everyone to make sure everything’s up to date and running as intended. Then you grow, and suddenly you don’t have time to monitor those changes. For all you know everyone could be saying “yeah, I did that yesterday”, but be cutting corners left and right.

That’s where having a change management strategy will save you.

By analyzing the changes you want to make and seeing how the rest of your company is affected, you can prepare your teams in advance and help guide them through the transition until the new method becomes routine. Whether you’re changing software, updating technology, hiring new staff, or starting a new projecteverything can benefit from a solid change management strategy.

change management strategy - looney tunes bomb

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How to Create a Project Request Form (and Why Your Company Needs One)

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Whether you’ve completed a project a hundred times before or you’re faced with a new challenge, having some kind of formal project request form prevents the whole operation descending into a game of broken telephone and wasted resources.

No matter how good your team’s discipline, if all they have to go on when you request a project is a vague message and their memory of the requirements, sooner or later you’re going to have a problem. Either a project will be started which won’t be worth your time or your instructions will be lost in the trickle down to those taking action.

Whilst on manoeuvers, a brigadier commanding a certain brigade stationed in Aldershot passed the word to the nearest colonel to him:

“Enemy advancing from the left flank. Send reinforcements.”

By the time it reached the end of the right flank the message was received:

“Enemy advancing with ham-shanks. Send three and fourpence!”’ – Garson O’Tool, relaying a real-world instance of broken telephone from 1914

project request form - jimmy fallon chinese whispers 1

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How to Write a Procedure: 13 Steps to Eclipse Your Competition

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Knowing how to write a procedure is a key skill for anyone looking to build a successful business. Procedures are vital to consistent success for many of the same reasons that processes are important – they let you reliably repeat your successes, isolate and correct your mistakes, and create a business model that lets you scale your operations.

If you don’t know how to write a procedure then you’re dead in the water. Get it right, and the resulting efficiency boosts can put you on track to eclipse your competitors.

Read on to learn the 13 steps to writing your business’ procedures effectively, in a way that they will actually be followed instead of getting read once and then forgotten.

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Workflow Analysis: Apple’s Secret Ingredient to Success

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Apple is well-known for being innovative and immensely successful, to the point where the company is worth $750 billion (and counting). However, without a healthy dose of workflow analysis they would’ve crumbled under their own business model back in the late 1980s.

We could no longer afford the limitations that went with our product development processes… The lack of a formal new product development process led to confusion, wasted time, and often caused project teams to ‘re-create the wheel’” – Jackie Streeter (then VP of Engineering at Apple), Apple Rethinks Core Process: Improves Cycle Time

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The simple truth is that any company (no matter the size or success) needs to regularly review its workflows and processes in order to keep them up to date and efficient. Tasks should be updated, improved, and automated where possible to save time and money, but without using the best workflow management software around to analyze and improve your business practices, your entire business model itself can prevent your success.

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How to Create an Operations Manual for Your Business (and Avoid Nuclear War)

Having an operations manual may not be glamorous, but preventing the disasters caused by human error and bad processes can save your business and even (in extreme circumstances) millions of lives.

If you’ve ever seen Dr. Strangelove, you’ll know it’s ridiculous. You’ve got a mad scientist, a cowboy pilot riding a bomb as it falls, and a nuclear holocaust brought about by a series of overblown human (and mechanical) errors.

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Yet, despite being criticized as unrealistic, at the time it was entirely possible for human error to cause a Third World War. Hell, human error has already caused the worst nuclear accident to date.

A perfect storm of 6 human errors — culminating with staff thinking it was ok to turn off the emergency cooling system — caused the Chernobyl disaster, costing an inflation-adjusted $720 billion, 30 deaths and an extreme amount of unsafe radiation.” – Ben Brandall, How Processes Protect Your Business From Crashing and Burning

The truth is, the only way to prevent such errors is to document workflows and processes, and the only way to make sure your employees know what they have to do, how to do it, and have the resources to do it is to create your own operations manual.

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Every SaaS Referral Program You Need: 51 Ways to Earn More Money

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You don’t have to be a consultant to get paid for recommending software. Instead, you can earn money or in-app credits by using a referral program.

In other words, you can earn money for referring products without paying a cent. Yes, I know that sounds like a “I earn $1,537.87 per day from home” clickbait ad, but it’s true.

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Process Improvement: Stop Bad Processes Killing Your Business

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Last week we failed to meet a big deadline for the second time in a month. Vinay (Process Street‘s CEO) wasn’t impressed.

How can you forget something so simple? What’s going wrong?

Then came the kicker.

What was your process?

From missed deadlines to widespread cyber attacks, things go wrong in businesses all the time. The vast majority of problems, however, are caused by following bad processes. Processes might be vital to your business’ success, but unchecked they can just as easily cause you to fail.

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The only way to change these weak links in your own business is to have a system of process improvement – a way of constantly improving the processes that power your business.
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