Having business processes for essential tasks in your business improves productivity, reduces time wasted and keeps things running smoothly even if the people managing the tasks change. They are particularly useful if you have decided to outsource some of the key tasks in your business. So here’s our easy guide to explaining task management to your business process outsourcing service.

What is a business process?

A business process is a document or resource that details the steps involved in managing a particular process within the business. It gives a clear explanation of the task and the way you want it to be managed, including tools used, other people involved, the review process and any reporting or updating needed.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of building processes for your business. It’s not admin for admin’s sake – it’s a way to make sure that anyone could manage the essential processes in your business. It can also help you to identify areas for improvement, and support any reporting or compliance you need to manage.

Every business does things differently. So you can’t expect someone new to walk into your business and know how things are done. A process resource is the ideal way to make sure things get done the way you want them to. And if you are outsourcing data processing, administrative tasks, social media management or any other day-to-day task, a process document will ensure that your chosen supplier does things the right way first time.

What tasks are included in process management?

You could include every task in your business, but that might seem a bit daunting. Instead, focus on the everyday tasks that you are already outsourcing, or might choose to outsource in the future. That way, you’ve got a set of helpful processes that will help your resource get up to speed as quickly as possible. Tasks could include:

  • Time management – things like diary management, organising meetings and managing your to-do list.
  • General admin support – looking after your emails, handling data entry, sourcing supplies and managing telephone calls.
  • Marketing admin – social media updates, CRM management, market research, website and ecommerce updates and email marketing.
  • Sales admin – lead generation support, telemarketing, appointment setting and customer service
  • Finance – bookkeeping, expense management, invoicing and credit control.
  • Events and travel – travel booking, event research, planning and organisation.

7 steps to great process documentation

There are 7 clear steps to pulling your process documentation together. Whether you’re already using business process outsourcing to manage some of your daily tasks, or you’re thinking about finding a supplier, this will put you in a great place to keep a handle on everything that’s happening in your business.

Step #1 – identify the process

Once you start to look at your processes, you can see that one overall process might need to be broken down into three or four steps. So your first step is to understand the process and identify how best to explain it.

Step #2 – decide how to present

Some processes are easier to explain in writing. Others may be better in a PowerPoint presentation or represented  as a flow chart. And with the technology available today, why not consider screen recordings of each stage, or recording a voice note to explain how things work. Don’t assume that everything has to be a ‘written’ process – do it in the way that helps you to explain it best.

Step #3 – set out the tools

For many of your tasks – your order processing service, for example – there might be specific tools you need. For example, access to your CRM or accounting system, or to shared folders where documents are stored. Make sure you start your process by listing the tools needed, including the screens or areas where the process is done.

Step #4 – plan the sequence

Go through the process and set out the steps clearly. Then go back through and make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you can, get someone else to follow the process to show you if there are any gaps or areas you haven’t considered. Review these steps regularly to make sure they are still accurate.

Step #5 – who’s responsible?

Even if tasks are sent out to process outsourcing companies, it’s still important to be clear about lines of responsibility. So your VA, or whoever is helping you, may carry out the main task, but they might need to collect information from someone else in your business, or get approval from elsewhere before the process is signed off. Make sure you include this information.

Step #6 – what happens if things go wrong?

Include contingencies and mitigations with each process so that if the system doesn’t work properly, or produces an unexpected result, it’s clear what the process-owner can do next. Put in contact details for someone in the business or in your wider support team who can help.

Step #7 – test and review

Don’t just produce your process and forget about it. As systems update, your business grows, or your ways of working become more refined, your process needs to adapt. So test the process thoroughly before you share it, and plan reviews on a regular basis. Encourage the people using your process to give you feedback so that you can adjust it where necessary to be as efficient as possible.

If you need help putting together business processes, or you’d like to talk about how to get started with a business process outsourcing service, why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above?


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