Success sometimes hinges on elegant simplicity. Many times, when companies expand as a result of rapid, unplanned growth rather than a carefully orchestrated plan, complex inefficient operations result. Organizations find themselves with staff, resource, and equipment redundancies, lack of formal systems, duplicated efforts, and no clear line of sight to the strategy driving the business.
There are three key processes in operating a small business—management, strategy and operations—all of which are tightly integrated. The management process provides a framework for hiring, training, and managing people to produce results. The strategic process defines your short-term, as well as, your long-term goals---where you want to take your business (earnings, sales, and revenues) and how you will get there. The operational process provides the roadmap, tools, and resources for getting there.
Effective business processes depend on standardization--- setting standards of how things should be done and formalizing processes for getting things done to meet those standards. With basic systems in place, jobs, tasks, and decisions are easily performed rather than becoming confusing challenges.
One of the most common causes of business failure is the lack of standardized systems. Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants management generates chaos and inconsistency. However, if you create basic systems and processes for performing day-to-day tasks that can be easily replicated, then you are well on your way to building a business that produces consistent results.
One of the greatest entrepreneurial success stories is that of McDonald’s, a complex, well-run business system that is operated by ordinary employees who serve over 45 million people every day. Its founder, Ray Kroc, didn’t invent the McDonald's concept, but he did revolutionize the food service industry through automation, attention to detail, exceptional efficiency, and the highest standards of safety and cleanliness.