Smooth Processes Make a Big Impact in Business

I was running some errands the other day and needed to stop for lunch. I decided it had to be Chick-Fil-A, but they were packed. And I mean packed. The parking lot was completely full and the drive through stretched around the building. But man, do I love Chick-Fil-A so I decided it was worth the wait in the drive through line. Boy was I in for a big surprise.

I pulled up and there were two employees taking orders from the cars in the drive through line. They were taking every other order so the line moved pretty quickly. There was an employee stopping cars in the drive through so customers who had gone inside could back out of their parking spaces. When I got to the window, there were two more employees there. One was running the cash register. The other was handing out orders.

No lie, this entire process took me no more than 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes, in a restaurant that was jam-packed with people. Can you guess why? Their process. They had it down. These employees knew exactly what they were supposed to do and how to do it. Right down to the gentleman who took my order. I never saw him move and he quoted me the price with tax, I assumed from memory.

Creating and sticking to your business processes can make or break you when you are swamped. Do you have a marketing plan? Do you have a standard process for welcoming new clients and getting all of their information in one shot? It might be a little bit of work up front, but there so many ways to save time just by creating standard operating procedures. Take a few hours each week and spend it getting your processes set up. I know I have some procedures that need to be tightened up. And if you work with a virtual assistant, it’s worth the extra time over the next few weeks for them to get everything sorted out and on paper for you.

As a side note, the best part of my Chick-Fil-A experience – they got my order right and every single person handled their piece of the puzzle with the best attitude and a big smile.

Don’t Slam The Social Door on Engagement

Don’t blow it when it comes to engagement on social sites. Too many brands (and you’re a brand if you’re running a business) spend way too much time and energy pushing their message out while ignoring the fact that social media is just that–social, and there is an absolute need for interaction and engagement. Small business owners cannot be fooled into thinking that social media is a numbers game. It’s not. As a small business you can have numbers in the tens of thousands but if you aren’t taking the time to build relationships and engage with your market, those numbers mean nothing.

This great post from Simply Zesty was recently brought to my attention, ironically enough through social media, and I loved it. The title really says it all but I would definitely suggest jumping over there to read the post. It is enlightening.

It’s important for small businesses to create relationships. Don’t slam the door on the perfect opportunity to talk yourself up.