The one thing that they all ensured was a central part of their business was the one thing that you see in any traditional business, at least ones that are organized for success that is.
Every business that is organized for success and growth will have borrowed, stolen or developed a suite of processes that allow them to perform their successful tasks repeatedly without deviation.
For small businesses and one member businesses, the point of processes is that you can outsource your tasks safe in the knowledge that it will be done to your specification, as long as they follow your process that is.
The one key feature that Rich Schefren emphasizes is that you should organize your business so that you are not at the center of it, in other words your goal is to reduce the businesses reliance upon you for getting things done, this is where the process map is crucial.
Each map will identify tasks that can be handed over to others, safe in the knowledge that the task can be completed correctly without confusion, delay or your involvement.
This is why I created a suite of process maps, in fact everything I do in my business, including writing this post, has a process.
Lee McIntyre uses Google Docs to manage his processes which is fine as long as you remember to keep the offline version fully synched, for those days or moments when your Internet connection is having a bad day.
As I live in random accommodation across the UK, my Internet connection has ranged from great to non-existent which is why I opted for a totally offline version, I chose Xmind and its unique spreadsheet view to create my process maps. These were then managed and accessed via a traditional mind map, organized into front end and back end activities.
Rich Schefren recommends Mindmanager by Mindjet for organizing your business, this comes at a cost of several hundred dollars, yet does not have the ability to create tabular process maps. However it does have one major benefit that seems insignificant until you really start to use these software packages daily.
In May this year, I asked the Xmind developers if they would be integrating this feature into the next release, I received the same stock answer I had received the previous year, thus I purchased Mindmanager
Mindmanager allows you to save the zoom ratio with the map, allowing you to start using the map as soon as its opened, there are many other features I still have to explore.
Xmind is the best free mind mapping software available, however it lacks this zoom ratio feature which means you have to zoom into each process map before you can use it, this quickly becomes tedious when you are opening multiple files. I however put up with this as I was not forced to make a decision about the future of my Xmind use.
Xmind has just been updated after a wait of nearly 2 years but it came as no surprise that the saved zoom ratio feature had not been included.
Thus my decision was made for me, it was time to convert my maps into Word docs just like the big boys. However this is only possible via the Pro version and my $70 annual subscription had just expired
Thus I now have an outsourcer converting the maps for me.
The upshot of this is that my business process map will now have to be recreated using software that is under active and imaginative development, Xmind it has been a great couple of years but I will have to say farewell.
How do you manage your marketing processes?