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Posted by Kelvin on 27 Jan 2014

Why are procedures essential for early stage businesses and startups?

One of the most important factors that is encountered for every early stage business and startup is the time spent on product development and customer acquisition. To be able to compete with any larger player, the early stage business and startup must be focused on for quick progression. If your market competition is a larger, more established player or incumbent, the best weapon you can use is to put yourself in a position where you can achieve a certain goal. As an incumbent, it would take a great deal longer to react and respond to any market changes. More often than not, it is more difficult for them to be innovative quickly enough and not lose any market share when threatened by a competitor. So, if you are in a position where you save time when performing certain tasks, it proves to be quite vital to the survival of your company.

One of the best ways you can save time, is to turn any repetitive tasks into executable procedures. Why? Well procedures are a series of steps that help you achieve certain goals in the most efficient and time saving way possible. More so, it helps you maintain the consistency of a projected outcome.

Procedures can cater for many different areas of your business. The most important thing you can do is to the think of all those repetitive tasks which are the essential to the running of your business and are accessed/read by other people at some stage during the running process.

Let’s say you need to deploy a new version of your application regularly. Well during the deployment, there would be a series of steps you would follow and perform. Let’s say you currently are the only person in your business; well suffice to say you already know the ins-and-out of that process and feel you no longer need any written steps to that procedure.

However, you need to consider this. As your team grows, you will need to let other people handle those operational tasks as some stage. Without a concise procedure in place, it would not be efficient nor easy for the new person to take over that task . Verbal instructions may help but with proper procedures in place, it would drastically reduce the training time required and overall improve efficiency. Furthermore, how would you know if they are following the correct steps or if they have encountered any difficulty at any particular stage of that procedure?

Procedures, sometimes referred as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) may initially be considered a time consuming exercise however they are vital and help form a good foundation for your business. Simply put, it will help you “Get shit done FASTER”.

So start thinking about your procedures and don’t wait til after things go wrong.

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