By Kalish Nesbitt
It’s a brand new year! You may have spent Q4 reflecting on how your business performed and set solid growth goals for this year.
Sales and marketing activities are often top priorities for entrepreneurs and for a great reason because dollars and visibility are what keep businesses afloat.
However, rapid business growth without the appropriate operational structure is far too common.
It results in burnout, loss of customer loyalty, and ultimately a loss of revenue.
Operations management is what keeps your business running like a well-oiled machine.
Here are four key components of successful operations management.
1. A Process
Process is a set of activities or tasks that take place on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. All businesses have both internal and external processes. An example of an internal process is how to fulfill a customer order in Shopify, and if you sell products on more than one channel, that process will be different if you’re fulfilling an order on Etsy.
An example of an external process is communication between you and your customers from the initial engagement to after the sale. Do you have a series of emails or a welcome sequence that introduces new potential customers that join your email newsletter?
[Pro Tip: Use a Google Doc as a living document to write your process and use Loom to screen record yourself performing a task then link it to the written version of the process so that it is easily shareable and editable.]
2. Replicable Systems
Systems in a business are related to having a group of these processes or activities mapped out in a way that can be repeatable and set the standard on how to achieve a specific outcome. Like, creating a system for creating a marketing plan. For example, my company Well-Run Retail has a detailed internal system for helping clients launch subscription models. This means that no matter what type of product the client has or how creative we get, this system is tried and tested for a successful launch.
Image credit: Run Alloy
If you already have a set way of running your business by having processes and systems in place, then let’s jump right to the next component of operations.
3. Standard of Operations Procedures (SOP)
SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures are actual documentation of the step-by-step tasks of all of those activities that may just be floating around in your head or something you do on autopilot.
SOPs are most helpful when you are making your first or next hire so that you can properly train them on how to perform tasks and allows you the freedom to remove yourself from the things that prevent you from bringing in the dollars and building strong relationships.
[Pro tip: Use Airtable as a database where you can organize all of those written-out processes to make them easy to find.]
Need help creating your business SOPs to scale seamlessly? Well-Run Retail offers company playbook design services that calm the chaos and uncertainty of your day-to-day business operations. Book a connect call – let’s chat 🙂
4. Tech and Automation
The final component of seamless operations management is tech and automation. If you’re finding yourself wasting time on the clucky, manual process there is likely a tech tool or app that can make your life easier. An example of a process that can be automated in an e-commerce business is using a tool like Alloy that can automatically track inventory levels to ensure you never run out of inventory. Or automate emails to customers based on their activity, tags, and order history to improve deliverability and personalization in Klaviyo.
[Remember: Wearing multiple hats isn’t scalable, streamlined operations allow your business to easily see what’s working well or what needs to be removed. It takes slowing down to ensure sustainable growth.]
Wishing you a Happy New Year and a smoothing running business!
Join our “Proactively Present” text community of successful entrepreneurs for actionable business operations tips and meet-ups to make the most of each business quarter.
Well-Run Retail is on a mission to cultivate sustainable product-based businesses by (re)designing the way our clients manage day-to-day operations and supply chain management. Our holistic approach combines coaching and educational tools to streamline the sales, marketing & operational processes that increase peace of mind and profitability.
Kalish Nesbitt is the founder of Well-Run Retail, an operations consulting firm that supports beauty and wellness product-based entrepreneurs who are squarely in the growth-to-scale phase in their business leveraging their expertise, clients are able to scale more with the right systems, processes, and team members. Well-Run Retail strives to help CEOs enjoy their life again by having more independence and freedom to create the lifestyle they want. Kalish is also the host of the Proactively Present Podcast and an (RYT 200) certified yoga teacher. Kalish believes that being yourself and remaining authentic is what makes success taste so much sweeter in the entrepreneurial world.