Businesses are created by putting hard work, taking enormous risks and investing scarce resources by the founders .What follows thereafter is a journey of ups and down witnessing both opportunities and challenges. These challenges increase with growing size of operations, increased manpower, higher resource allocation and vision to reach a larger goal.
The complexities in operations increase with size and there comes an inflection point where in it becomes imperative to reimagine the businesses. The ‘Black Swan’ event in the form of the covid-19 pandemic has left many SME’s around the world at an inflection point searching for the way forward.
The process of revisiting the business approach requires answers to the fundamentals questions of Why? What? And How?
The Why and What are organisation specific and in case of SME’s are largely controlled by the promoter. It is the promoter who is the best judge to decide on these fundamentals and take corrective actions if required.
However the How is something which requires a reasonable shift from existing means of doing business. The following paragraphs attempt to delve into the ‘How’ part and explain the significance of putting systems and procedures to scale up and grow business.
It’s rare to find SME companies with highly sophisticated process and systems for two main reasons. One, Owners think their size does not demand such sophistication and two, they often lack time and professional resources to take up the exercise of creating one. Their business is centred around the promoter or founder and its run under his directions. Such an approach works in the short run, but becomes a limiting factor to scale & grow beyond a reasonable size.
When should a business consider adopting formal operating systems?
Ideally well-defined systems and processes should be an integral part of each enterprise irrespective of its size and stage of growth .However, starting with scarce resources does not leave enough with start-ups or new businesses to be invested in systems & processes. Also the initial phase of business is all about survival and systems becomes a priority in the later phase of growth. However there exists a few exceptions to this argument which have to invest in systems right from the beginning.
Below are some of the common signs which indicates a SME business owner to go for creating or documenting or standardising its business processes?
What are the benefits of SoP implementation?
How to implement:
Things to remember:
SOP’s can be tedious & time-consuming exercise to create and need to be frequently reviewed. However it’s worth the investment in the long run and augurs well for a growing organisation looking to scale up in terms of geography, products or size. Business owners have limited time in a day to work and manage the employees. Putting SOPs in place ensures that processes are followed consistently and business owners have sufficient time to imagine and make the next big move.