The other day we were having a discussion with Brenda, the lady spearheading the actualisation of our snacks business project.
Yes, I have been collecting money from my social media followers/family to start a snacks business as part of an experiment to show that its possible to collect money as a group of people like we do for weddings and start a business that later grows to benefit every one involved and have so far raised about Shs 20 million for the venture.
This is my second crowd funding effort after raising about Shs 25 million for CAMPUS DOCTOR two years ago. Campus Doctor has been growing gradually and steadily.
So I told her, as we are setting up this business he have to have everything written down in form of processes. We need to have procedures well documented as a way of creating systems on which the business will grow and thrive with little or not reliance on individuals.
This will start from how we prepare our snacks, how we recruit, how we manage our finances and how administration of the venture is handled in general.
I tasked her to come up with a well documented process of how we shall produce the products we plan to produce. In the start she didn’t understand why that was necessary but I explained to her that systems allow the business to rely on no one but it’s self.
The risk of a business relying on individuals is so high. What happens if you are not around!? What if you have to go for a maternity leave, what do we do? Do we close shop because you are not around for the next three months!?
No, we should be able to get some one who can go through the processes and be ready to do exactly what you do within the shortest time possible. I know many of you have gone to these big eateries like KFC and the like. Have you realised the consistency with which they prepare their kitchen?
The taste is the same day in day out, one restaurant to another regardless of who it is that prepared the chicken that day.
We have also been to these down town eateries where every 3-5 months you realise a change in taste of food because of changes in who is cooking the food. You can know that the person who had been cooking earlier had been changed/replaced because the taste of food has changed.
This is what I was explaining to Brenda and what am teaching you as a business owner if excellence is what you are looking for and want to maintain.
Businesses need to consistently deliver value day in day out and the only way to do this is to put in place systems and operational procedures that guarantee this.
If we are making short cakes we have to have the whole process documented. What flour to we use!? You can’t use supreme today and Azam the next, that already changes the taste.
If it’s cooking oil, you can’t use fortune today and Mukwano the next day. If it’s flour you have to know for every 2 cups you add 4 spoons of sugar and if you make it 3 or 5 spoons the taste will change. How long do the cakes take in the oven?
A minute earlier or late may change the taste. All this has to be written down that even when some else comes tomorrow they can just follow this manual and get the same consistent output. That clients with not realise any change in personnel because of change in output.
This goes to all other kinds of businesses too. Processes have to be described and stated down from how clients are identified, vetted, served, payments made and after sales engagements handled. How recruitment is done, what is acceptable and what’s not.
How workers relate at work, what’s acceptable and what’s not. You can go down to even describing how you want employees to dress and the safety measures that must be observed in the course of doing work.
Who handles money? How much money is the limit for every one? When money is going out who is responsible? What paper work must they sign and how many signatures are needed before money is disbursed?
Once all this is written down it becomes clear for every one and any one like setting up a brand new TV out of its box by simply going through the set up manual.
That’s how to guarantee consistency in out put. That’s how you create systems that work regardless of the players involved. That’s how businesses work independent of reliance on particular individuals.
Its not wise for any single individual to have too much power over the business that it can’t work in their absence and the only way to avoid that is systems,processes and documentation.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Speaker,Writer and Contributor with the Nile Post.He is also a Business Consultant at YOUNG TREP East Africa’s No.1 Business Management and Consultancy firm that helps people start and grow profitable businesses.
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