Business Insights – Maximising Business Value & Effectiveness – Systems & Processes

A business insight from Peter Watson

The most consistent difference between large and small business is the degree of systemisation that they possess. Now we’re not talking about the kind of processes that drive us all mad when conversing with some of the largest telecoms companies (!), but the kind that reduce the dependence on particular individuals.

The owner manager is often the worst culprit in terms of irreplaceability, and this will reduce the value and desirability of the business to a third party. Key sales people can fall into this category too, and even worse, they are often the most mobile.

Developing some simple processes can both increase the competitive advantage of the business, whilst at the same time reducing the risk. An ideal outcome, but what sort of thing do we mean?

We sold an on-line battery retailer – operating in very competitive marketplace – who had developed a world class despatch system that allowed each person to handle hundreds of orders, without a single error.

Another business we have worked with had developed an excellent sales process, involving a number of discrete stages and skills spread across the team. The absolute opposite of the stellar sales person.

In most cases it is about adapting some of the larger company thinking into am SME context, and the rewards, both in terms of reduced stress, and on exit, can be substantial.