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Process Mapping for Smaller Small Businesses

on March 10 in #30DaysofQ2, Process | 0 comments

Processes are in place whether you design them or not. When you’re a smaller small–a solopreneur, solo service provider, or microbusiness–making time for process development can seem a luxury. A nice to have. And even sometimes “a waste of time” compared to the pressing needs (read: Quadrant 1) of sales efforts. This is as much a challenge for me as it is anyone. Even though I can help others by mapping their “as is” and “to be” processes and closing the gaps, doing that for myself from a time and perspective standpoint is challenging. When you’re a one-person show, it’s about efficiency, of course. But it’s easy to shrug off process, thinking, “It’s just me. What’s the impact?” And there’s no one to be accountable to anyway. No one is clamoring for this. That’s why process mapping (preceded by process identification) is a Quadrant 2 activity. If you’re struggling to see the “Important” side of this activity, put it in the context of sales. Are there any sales pain points (for you or the prospects in terms of engaging with you) that can be tracked back to process?  Are you using a CRM or automation tool that you’ve shoehorned yourself into? If so, that can be a big time waster–having to adapt to a tool. As smaller small businesses who see the need for process, we don’t need CBPPs to come in. We don’t have budget for that anyway. But we can benefit from spending time mapping key processes, even if the output isn’t on par with a Business Process Management professional’s. Processes are in place whether you design them or not. Click To Tweet Thanks for reading Day 11 of #30DaysofQ2. Please provide your feedback in the comments. 🙂   Related articles across the web The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: 41 Tools to Get Up and...

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Business Process and Operational Efficiency

on December 9 in | 0 comments

Who Needs Business Process and Operational Efficiency? Entrepreneurs, microbusinesses, and small businesses (primarily) invest in people and task-based projects to perform their essential functions, usually creating departments or teams to achieve certain objectives. When departments or personnel have different needs and constraints, the organization’s efficiency may suffer. We consult with C-suite, VP-level management, Boards and Committees to develop overarching processes that consider all stakeholders and realign the company focus on the customer. Lack of business rules and standard processes in marketing, customer service, and sales cost small businesses and small business owners time, money, customers, and personal satisfaction. Typical symptoms owners and managers experience personally include: Feeling there are not enough hours in the day The sense that s/he must do everything themselves Sacrificing valuable personal time and their freedom The expectation that they should be able to handle this   Symptoms of lack of business processes also appear as losses of: Time & time-to-market (i.e., competitiveness) Quality Customers Employees Productivity Money Seeking outside perspective and professional process development allows company leadership to better manage business and allow others to manage non-essential functions. In the (apparent) absence of (business) rules, there are still (business) rules (that are running your business in YOUR stead)! Process development can fix that. Process Improvement: Why and How Marketing efficiency in an organization can be subject to variances over time due to staffing and leadership changes, multiple contractors, technology transitions, and acquisitions/mergers. In critical marketing and sales support areas, refining and improving the governing processes can restore order, allow for cost savings, and ensure future continuity. As an entrepreneur or a small business, process improvement typically consists of a “process audit,”whereby current systems and procedures can be mapped out and prioritized based on impact to the company. Equipped with this information, as a manager or business owner, you’ll be able to clearly see what can be delegated, automated, outsourced, postponed, skipped, or even forgotten—freeing up your time to do what only you can and making the organization more productive. To discuss further or schedule your process audit, call 602-739-8028 or email. Or, to learn more about why process is important, view...

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Why Process?

on July 21 in Process, Small Business | 0 comments

Just a quick post announcing there’s a short presentation* available now for any small or micro business owners/executives asking: Why should my company be concerned with process? How should we develop processes for our business? Process Development For Small Business 040610 TDZ View more presentations from TDZ Creative...

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The One Thing You Need to Know

on August 13 in |

The one thing you need to know about me is: I believe nothing is created alone.  Nothing. Great things happen in collaboration: We achieve more together. How do I know this to be true? There are many stories I can share with you—and will share them over time on the blog—but the one that’s most timely is the story of Tracy Diziere & Associates’ rebrand to TDZ Creative Partners this year.  People who’ve worked with me in a consultative capacity—who have reached out when they’ve been stumped or cloudy—have seen that I can bring newfound clarity to business situations and marketing problems. And yet, for most of the 11 years I’ve been in business, I’ve had a lack of clarity for myself. It’s been embarrassing, really, to be in my industry and feel like I didn’t have a clear message. Or to feel as though there’s no unifying element to my varying passions and capabilities. That’s probably what has pained me the most over the past years—feeling fragmented and not seeing how all the pieces fit together and how to communicate my value in the world. I have done this successfully for others—branding for entrepreneurs, consulting on service offerings, developing strategic and effective communications, and more. This is a problem I SHOULD be able to solve, I had thought—repeatedly. Why could I not do it for myself? It wasn’t until I hired Root + River as my branding consultants that the pieces started to fit together. I was presented with new ways of looking at myself and my business. Because of this process, I feel grounded and, while still a work in progress, my business feels more cohesive. I now have a core belief that drives our offerings—Nothing is created alone. For me, collaboration and outside perspective were the answers I needed.  All it took was to be brave enough—maybe just fed up enough!—to reach out for help. Instead of expecting myself to be able to do it all, alone.    So, it’s distressing to think of entrepreneurial-minded leaders sitting alone with their ideas or issues, believing they have to do it all themselves. I’d rather see their unrealized, unexecuted ideas coming to life and problems solved instead of...

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Service Experience Design

on May 28 in |

What is service experience design, why should you care, and who needs The Service Experience Design(TM) Engagement? If you want to become a “next-level service provider” (read: double-down on your current success and achieve much more), read on. Chances are, you have happy clients who refer you, defined service offerings, a marketing message, and some processes in place. Most of your clients return or re-hire you. And you realize you could do better.  There’s a lot, you realize, that you don’t know in terms of how happy your current clients are, why some clients are not as active as they once were, and why some have left. Or why they might be thinking about leaving. Same thing with prospects: some “ghost” and you have no way of knowing why. I’ve seen that even some of the brightest entrepreneurial-minded leaders have left the experience of these prospects and customers to chance. In other words, they have not carefully designed their businesses to be responsive to true prospect and customer needs at all the critical moments–from the time they raise their hands as interested to the time the service is completed and all the points in between and beyond.  What happens as a result?  Expectations are unknown and unmet. Unknown or unmet expectations can weaken a service-based business’ ability to reach its potential–or command a premium. Unknown or unmet client expectations can weaken a service-based business' ability to reach its potential. Click To Tweet Plus, we all need to care about what our clients experience while working with us. As humans helping humans, we need to ensure they are satisfied at every stage and for the span of time our services are being offered. Even after a service has been completed, clients have expectations that we would be ahead of the curve to know about and respond to. This is what service experience design is all about and what a Service Experience Design(TM) Engagement allows you do to. It is, in our minds, the “un-mined” gold in your brand and market differentiation strategies. Service experience design is the 'un-mined' gold in your brand and market differentiation strategies. Click To Tweet Most of us have defined values for our businesses–such as quality, authenticity,...

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