The Pumpkin Plan Tidbit – Processes Drive Improvement

Last week we shared about what the pumpkin plan is and a broad overview. This week, let’s take a look at a small piece of what it means to successfully get your business moving in the right direction. This happens through the use of processes (and this is key) that can be taught to others. And they can teach others as well.

The goal of processes is to think about the service or product that you offer and streamline it so that you, the business owner, are not an essential cog. Rest easy, we are not saying you are not essential, but trying to help you find where you need to be so that the business can grow under your leadership.

So what is an example of this that you can start with. For us an initial process that we have worked through is client onboarding. What once was a mess of emails, phone calls, a text or two to gather key information has been turned into a process. Phyllis has been able to outline what is needed after each part of the process. Without giving away too much information she has outlined what happens after the initial meeting, follow-up emails, and what happens when a client agrees to work with us.

A form is sent and information is gathered. It also tell the client what information is necessary to get via a phone call.

The first key to this is that Phyllis is able to then hand this process off to a different employee and they can do it. It is simple enough that they can understand what needs to be in the email (template created) and what to ask for on the phone call.

The second key is that when a new employee is hired, Phyllis doesn’t have to teach them, the process is known by everyone so teammates can teach each other.

Why is this important, because when everyone is doing each thing the same way, mistakes are less likely and transferring the information is much easier. Efficiency is achieved inside the group. Your pumpkin grows because you water it the same time and duration everyday.

In order to successfully achieve this step take a moment and answer the following:

  • What is the core functions of my business?
  • Do we have a process for how we do these functions?
  • Are those processes simple enough to train any member of staff?
  • Can other staff members train new hires effectively?
  • Where is the breakdown in these steps?

***Side note*** For clarity, we are not saying that every employee has to know how to do everything. We are just encouraging that people who have the same tasks, have a strong framework for getting it done. Move away from the model of “just figure it out” and into one that is clear and understandable.