How To Build a Process – Even if You’re Self Employed
You start your morning slow. Maybe you walk the dog, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or plan out the rest of your day. Maybe you get in a few hours at night after the kids go to bed and then block out the following day so you can visit with a friend who is in town. Being self-employed is the best.
Being self-employed allows us to have unmatched freedom that most careers would not allow.
That doesn’t mean we do not experience some challenges. As a self-employed worker, it can be difficult to do things like brainstorm, manage numerous tasks, and building processes. All of which are essential to growing a thriving business.
In this article, we will be specifically discussing how to build a process, even if you’re self-employed. Accountants are masters at building processes that eliminate confusion and promote efficiency. Let’s discuss building personalized processes for your business.
Building A Process
You may think you don’t have any processes as a self-employed worker but you certainly do. This is what helps create consistency and leave your customers feeling satisfied.
A simple way to identify a process is to take note of something you repeatedly do. For example, invoicing a client or onboarding a new employee. These are things where you probably have a system and set of tasks you know need to be completed each time the process takes place.
As a self-employed worker, a lot of these processes are likely already in your head. It is just a matter of organizing the information.
Next time you have a process that needs to be completed, begin by writing down every step you take to complete the process. You can also record yourself completing the process and then write down each step later on.
The next step is to review the process and consider whether an outside party could complete the tasks. Try to forget everything you know about your business so you can genuinely look at the process for missing steps.
What to do with a process as a self-employed worker
Once you have your process established, pull the document or video up on your computer. Then as you work through the steps follow the process. Following the document as you complete your process will do a few things:
- Ensure you do not forget essential steps.
- Provide insight as to whether you need to add or remove steps.
- Create a reliable guide for future contractors or employees that work for you.
- Perform an analysis to see where you can be more efficient.
This can be especially helpful if you are dealing with a process that is rarely done or if you need to quickly onboard an employee.
What Goes Into A Good Process
When done well a process can help you quickly grow your business. When there are inefficiencies it can be the reason your business is being held back. Consider your processes and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this replicable? – If a process can be completed over and over again, without many diversions from a plan then this is a good process.
- Is there friction? – If the process feels tedious, you frequently break from the process or keep thinking ‘there has to be a better way’, then there is friction and you need a new process.
- Is it easily understood by everyone involved? – Seems like a silly question for someone self-employed, huh? Here the idea is that anyone walking off the street could pick up your documented process and complete the tasks. Having the details of your process written down is what will make it useful to future hires.
- Is it necessary? – Not everything needs a process. Plenty of parts of your business should have a process but that does not mean every task at hand should be tied to a process. For example, if you are a creative business, then it is important to leave some flexibility so you can create freely.
Ask yourself these questions as you build your processes. Are there any other questions you believe should be asked?
There is no doubt being self-employed is the best. So let’s make sure to minimize any risk involved. As you build your business, building your processes should be part of your plan. During the self-employment stage it can easily feel like these processes are pointless. Until one day you make your first hire and realize how important these documents were from the start.
If you would like to learn a bit more about how we assist in helping our clients build their processes, consider scheduling a consultation with us. Processes are great to have, generally speaking, but when it comes to the finances of your business, processes are essential.