It is a step-by-step procedural flowchart guide to do tasks in order to increase efficiency of your business. Similar to flowcharts or diagrammatic representations you have made in school, flowcharts outline the methodology of beginning your start-up, how to keep it running and earning. The main components are input, timeline, resources, transformation and output. The steps include 1. Name the process 2. aim and scope of the particular process 3. Identify KPIV (key process input variables) 4. Identify KPOV (Key Process Output Variables) 5. Assigning Responsibilities 6. Control points to regulate that next step is taken only after the preceding task has been executed.
It is the behind the scene-work, and because you are a start-up, you can handle it on your own or download a business flowchart software, instead of hiring anybody to handle Operations. You will customize your flowchart depending on your field—service provider, product manufacturer, restaurateur, retailer.
Use of technology to maximize output by automating (using machines instead of manpower) different business processes, like logistics and supply management, auditing, hiring staff, managing employees’ leave requests.
It reduces wastage of time, increases efficiency and helps conduct routine tasks quickly.
It is the examination of your current performance against different performance parameters to determine future feasibility of your intended business idea. You have to identify your resources and intended growth path. You need to ask yourself: Are we on schedule? Are we overcrossing the budget? What has been the cost of production till now? What is the profit? What is the specific time I can make larger profits? Which is the lean period of my business? What more can I innovate? How can I do value addition?
It is basically making a checklist. For a beginner, its important to be ready beforehand for challenges like legal, capacity, production, marketing issues etc. as the business grows which will vary according to the business you are in, like retail, service, technology, manufacturing, etc.
Quantitative/ qualitative analysis
Quantitative analysis includes objective analysis of numbers, figures or hard data while qualitative analysis means subjectively analysing profit or loss and finding the reasons.
Quantitative analysis means examining the ledger for financial data like cost of goods sold (COGS), net profit, gross profit, sales ratio, profit margin, etc. For a small business, you need to check it regularly yourself.
Qualitative analysis looks into how to enhance qualities of your product, like more research into how to make your product better, management skills, marketing techniques, knowing customer feedback, etc.
Documenting your business operations on a software or manually with pen and paper is process documentation. There are various departments in your business, like finance, production, marketing, staff management, so for each process, make a separate document on a software or paper register. There are tools like kiss flow, Bit.ai, Lucid chart, Smart Draw etc. which can help prepare a document which will include inputs like; process name, process boundaries, process inputs, process output, process activities, process role.
For small businesses, it is all the more important because your management skills will improve efficiency and make you disciplined right from the beginning. Good management will only happen when every process is in order and well-documented so that whenever you want to refer back to something, its right there in front of your eyes, and you don’t have to depend on your memory alone.