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Savvy businesses know the powerful value of processes, do you?

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Right business systems or stacked like Mikado?


Knowing which business systems are important for your business allows you to focus on creating processes to achieve the relevant business objective. The astute business person knows this and makes sure they are on top of their game on this.

Without the right processes, your systems will resemble Mikado, which is a fun game but not a business building strategy.

Last time I wrote about getting our business system ducks in a row. In this post, we’ll look closer at our business processes and take the first step towards creating content for our Operations Manual.

Wikipedia describes a business process or business method as

a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers. It may often be visualized as a flowchart of a sequence of activities with interleaving decision points or as a Process Matrix of a sequence of activities with relevance rules based on data in the process.

We’d normally think that only big businesses or those in production of goods would have business processes but the truth is, even a sole proprietor, freelancer, coach, consultant, healer or online marketer has business systems and processes. In fact, any business that interacts with a customer or supplier should have processes to ensure that they are able to deliver their goods and services efficiently.

As solopreneurs, we may not have formalized processes or very detailed ones. Yet they are processes and the best way to ensure that they meet our business needs is to formalize them and review them as our business needs change.


Documenting Your Business Processes


The documentation that you need to formalize your processes can be as simple as documenting the steps that you take to achieve the process objective or it can also be elaborated with a flow chart so you can see each step clearly.


Flowchart of business process


The benefits of documenting your processes include but aren’t limited to

  1. Improving the efficiency of a process and save time. Don’t we all love to reduce our rework and have consistent results?
  2. Ability to delegate tasks that can be performed by others e.g VA, staff etc by reducing your training time and the delegated person’s learning curve time for that specific process
  3. Providing a basis for business continuity should you fall sick and someone else has to take over the backend work. Or if we want to build value for our future exit planning (the buyer will understand that we are a serious business when he sees these documents during his Due Diligence Process)
  4. Weeding out time consuming and perhaps unnecessary activities that don’t add value to you or to you ultimate customer. Which means; we improve our top line and reduce our bottom line numbers.

Sometimes the process can be a simple one or it may form part of a bigger process, like the little wheels inside the big wheel in a watch.

No matter the complexity or simplicity of the system, there are key elements to the process which when completed form the documentation for your Operations Manual.

Your business process starts with a mission objective and is completed when it achieves the business objective. Sometimes one process can lead into another or may even have another process built into it.

In its simplest form the Key Elements when designing a business process is

Policy:           The Mission or standard that the procedure must meet

Purpose:       The rationale why this procedure is required

Scope:           Areas of your business that are affected by this procedure

Responsibilities: The people who are required to perform this procedure and their exact duties

Definitions:  This becomes important if you are going to delegate the task to another person whether within your business or outsourcing it. Think of technical jargon that they need to understand.

Procedure: The steps required to take the process from cradle to grave in detail

Effectiveness Criteria: This would include your Key Performing Indices, measurement criteria and documentation of results.

References: This includes any specific standard, regulation or law for which this procedure is required. If the process is leading into another one, then that too would be noted

Forms/Records: Each version of your documentation of a process should be recorded to ensure that everyone is working with the same version and you are able to check for any changes that have been made which may need to be revisited.

You would record the document number or ID, the name of the procedure, the revision number, the names of who prepared, reviewed and approved it and the dates on which each person did their activity. You would also note down the effective date of the procedure and also details of any relevant Standard or Regulation that you are required to meet.

When this documentation is completed, you actually have a process documented for your Operations Manual!

The best way to explain this is with an example. Let’s suppose you are a coach, consultant, healer or a business that uses an opt-in to create your email list.

Your Fabulous Freebie is required for both your Marketing and Lead Generation Business Systems.

Here’s how you would document the system and process for the Lead Generation part. Once that is completed, the process would lead into your marketing process.


Client Attraction Magnet/Fab Freebie Opt-in Process

Policy:  Lead Generation must comply with the tenets of permission marketing & consent to be sent fabulous freebie

Purpose: We want to build a list of interested leads who have given us permission to email them in compliance with CANSPAM and other national regulations.

Scope: This process affects our lead generation and further marketing endeavors with interested leads to convert them further into clients for our products and services

Responsibilities: The Owner, VA and outsourced IT professional (if required).

Definitions:  Insert definitions of Freebie, Optin, CANSPAM, autoresponder etc

Procedure: The steps required to take the process from cradle to grave in detail

  1. Create Freebie
  2. Create List in autoresponder (MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact etc)
  3. Ensure all information required under CANSPAM and National Regulations are complied with.
  4. Customize optin sequence for freebie in autoresponder
  5. Upload Freebie in autoresponder or on a separate page on your website
  6. Create Landing Page on Website
  7. Enter copy on Page
  8. Put code for Freebie on Landing Page
  9. Publish Page
  10. Test the sequence to see if it works
  11. Tweak if required
  12. Start promoting like there’s no tomorrow


Effectiveness Criteria: Number of opt-ins, number of bounces and number of unsubscribes after downloading freebie.

References: 1. CANSPAM Regulations, Email Service Provider Requirements, Leads into the Email Marketing process.

Forms/Records: This is version 1.0 created on September 1, 2016 and is effective from September 4, 2016


Having created the documentation for our operations manual, we now need to test each part of the procedure and confirm that it works. For the purposes of our example, let us take step 10 above and assume that we are testing the sequence on Mailchimp.

Our known sequence of how the lead will behave and how our system will respond is as follows:

  1. Opt-in via Website Landing page using sign up form
  2. Redirected to Thank You Page with message that you are required to confirm opt-in to meet CANSPAM Regulations and we have permission to send the freebie plus any other information based email in future.
  3. Opt-in Confirmation Email Email sent to subscriber Inbox asking for confirmation
  4. Customer clicks confirmation – redirected to a Thank you page either on Mailchimp or on our website
  5. Either the freebie is on the Thank You Page and he can download it or customer is sent another email with link to freebie
  6. A Final Thank You Email with details is also sent (optional)
  7. Customer is added to a specific list
  8. Customer Ignores – no sign up and end of process

If all works well, you have added a potential interested lead to your email list and that person enters your email marketing process. Worst case scenario, they either don’t complete the process or decide to opt out after grabbing fabulous freebie.

A point to note is that testing is important if for some reason the process couldn’t be completed, in which case you need to tweak it.

Vatsala’s Note: Want to test it with me? Have a shot at downloading my Fabulous Freebie http://karmicallycoaching.com/50-attributes-successful-business-person/

Or by clicking this image:


Business attributes assessment


Documenting everything is good but isn’t it a sore on the eyes? That’s why creating a visual of the process; with a flow chart adds to your business process and operations manual.

In the diagram below, I’ve described the same email sequence which simplifies the process.


Opt in process flowchart


Clearly, having a process documented allows you to use your time efficiently so you have more time for other important tasks. It allows you to delegate tasks too so you have time to play the real game of Mikado after office hours.

Tell me, how do you keep track of your business processes?




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16 Responses to “Savvy businesses know the powerful value of processes, do you?”

  1. Vatsala, sister, I love people who think like you and understand this stuff. And I humbly admit that this is not the way my brain is wired. Which is why I have a team. I need structure. And processes. I thrive in a structured environment. And I love it when I have support setting up such things; they set me free to create and be a force for love and healing and business badassery.

    Thanks! Will pass this on to my strategist, and share it with my tribe.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks, Sue. We all have our areas of specialism and creatives should be allowed to do what they do best, create. I know where you are coming from. My Mom is an artist and she has outsourced anything to do with websites and other business processes to me and her web developer. As long as one has the structures in place, whether self-created or set up by those who can get the job done quickly and effectively, it’s a win-win. Thanks for sharing it forward with your strategist and tribe.

  2. Vatsala…you are a whizz at sharing your organized way of creating processes and I admit, this is not at all my strength. Although I do attempt to do everything myself, I defer to others in crunch times to do the nitty gritty step-by-step planning. So much of who I am and my ‘business’ are actually intertwined. I was very successful in finding a rep when I did my recycled watch jewelry business, but it stayed small enough that I could manage everything with my accountant. Not sure if you know but I do have a business/marketing degree and math, accounting and statistics etc. were easy for me. I seem to prefer the more creative and more free wheeling approach to life and business now. I have some outstanding marketing friends who do understand this business process very well, so I continue to learn from the. Thanks for the exceptional well-thought out post!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks for the compliment and endorsement of my skill, Beverley. As a former auditor, we were required to audit the systems of all our clients even the small ones before we would start looking at their accounts. Quite often simply documenting the system and then creating a flow chart visual enabled us to add value to our clients and plug the holes that put the business in danger of non-compliance and even fraud.

      I know you are a multi-talented lady, Beverley, and I’m not surprised that you already have a head start when it comes to understanding business processes and systems. It’s wise of you to outsource this work while you focus on your main talent – creative writing!

  3. Natasha Botkin says:

    Love the flow charts! I am making small steps each day to help create the business I desire. xoxo

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’m so glad to read that you loved the flow charts, Natasha. During my corporate world days when we were implementing Sarbanne Oxley’s requirements, the flow charts helped us to explain to our clients where there were weaknesses in their internal control systems.

  4. Reba Linker says:

    Well, this post helps me understand what a ways I have to go! At the moment, my business is me. Period. I feel like I’ve been spending time ‘priming the pump.’ When the water starts to flow I’m not sure I’ll really be ready for it. Something to think about. Thank you for a terrific post, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You are most welcome, Reba. Quite often people thinks that processes and systems are meant only for big businesses and not sole proprietors or those coaches, consultants and healers who are in fact the brand of the business. A simple start is to jot down how you do your processes in a notebook or Word document so you are ready when you need to outsource or check why a particular process isn’t working. Perhaps even improve it. 🙂

  5. Thanks for this excellent information! Cheers!

  6. I love this – thank you! I used to be so diligent about this sort of thing when I worked in management, but now that I’m a solopreneur that has pretty much gone out the window. I keep telling myself one day soon I’m going to hire a VA but after reading your article I realize I have work to do before I can even think about taking that next step. Thanks again!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      It happens to all of us, Marquita! I was fortunate that when my website was being developed, the developer gave me my first set of processes for website maintenance and management so I had 1 business system and process documented. Then, when I started setting up opt-ins, I was forced to write down the steps because I’d keep forgetting the order. It is a good idea to have some documentation done before hiring the VA. You might even consider recording the processes on a recorder and then getting them transcribed to save time.

  7. I glaze over written structure, numbers, analysis. Fortunately our webmaster/ not only watches over us, but has set up everything we need. Periodically she walks us thru processes in hopes we really get it. I am in awe of your skills and the depth of your knowledge in so many areas.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I understand that glaze over experience, Roslyn. I felt the same way the first time I had to learn to do a backup of this website for a wordpress upgrade because the then web developer had already handed over controls to me and I was on my own. 🙂 Luckily the company that managed my Mom’s website was kind enough to run me through the process over the phone while I took copious notes starting right from how to do a backup to clicking the update button for WordPress. 🙂 It seems a distant memory now but I didn’t believe it was simple then. At least now, even when I outsource website management to my new web guy, I know how to check his work which helps complete updates and upgrades faster. I salute your webmaster for making sure that she runs you through the processes even if you don’t get it the first time round. She’s being responsible and professional.

  8. Joyce Hansen says:

    This is an excellent article Vatsala to help web entrepreneurs understand there is more your business than finding your passion and your target market. There’s a whole business side that needs to be set up and monitored. Thank you for taking the time to put everything together into a process of easy to follow steps.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Joyce. Passion and serving our target are important but having the business set up properly is equally important in order to deliver the services for which we went into business in the first place.

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
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Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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