How to Learn from the Busy Times and Improve your Business Processes

Text below for those who would rather read.

For a lot of businesses, Summer, Christmas and the holidays are the busiest times of the year. Some look forward to it, with lots of clients, lots of profit... it's why you're in business right? For some though, this busy time brings stress and exhaustion. 

The gaps in their systems and processes is making it more crazy and stressful than it needs to be. Maybe letting down customers and even losing some. Maybe having to pay more staff to keep up. And who has time to train more staff when it's busy right??

Here's all you need to do for now

Take notes when you can about what parts of your processes are causing the most frustration, which parts are missing.

  • What questions are you getting asked repeatedly?
  • What equipment could be rearranged to be more efficient?
  • What complaints have you received?

Now is not the time to try and overhaul how you do things, just hang on and do what you can to get through this crazy period. 

improving processes

Then, when business quietens down a bit,

even as the memories of how bad it was start to fade, you will have your notes to remind you exactly where to start making changes. This can be your checklist to work through before the next busy period.

Now prioritise this list

  • What cost you the most time and money?
  • What improvements would have the biggest effect for your customers experience?

Try to narrow down to one improvement that you can make that will make a difference. We have enough tasks pulling for our attention without loading ourselves up with 10 more projects at once. This way you can focus, get it done and then move on to the next improvement. 

Make sure to involve others

Try to include any staff (and maybe even customers) in the improvement process. Ask for their input (they might have great ideas). It also might help to speak to your mentor, coach or your network about what you're working on. They can share tips about what has and hasn't worked for them in the past. You may even call in a consultant (like me!) if you get stuck.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning
— Bill Gates

Finally, training

Make sure your staff are trained on the new process. Write up the steps and make them available for all staff, especially new starters.

Move onto the next item on your improvement list, but remember to keep an eye on your new processes and tweak where needed, it's totally normally to not get it totally right first go.

What parts of your business could be improved upon? Let me know in the comments!