Three Broad Business Processes
Whether you own a small storefront or a large corporation, every business necessarily has business processes. Business processes are not only essential to run a business but the more streamlined they are the better for your business.
Before business owners try to improve business processes it is helpful to organize and analyze them. There are three main types of business processes-
1. Primary- Sometimes referred to as core processes, primary processes are the business processes necessary for your business to produce a profit. Processes necessary for the product or service that your business provides its clients are primary processes.
Individual processes and the subprocesses contained within them do not necessarily need to add any value by themselves. Primary processes are sometimes called the value chain and include product or service-
The more streamlined your primary processes are, the better the customer experience is likely to be. When departments do not collaborate effectively, core processes are negatively affected and your entire business suffers as a result.
- Processes that are valuable to your business but not directly to your customers are referred to as support processes. Support processes are necessary for your business to function effectively and to serve your team members.
For example, your business's human resource department does not directly contribute to profit generation nor does it provide a valuable product or service to your customers. However, your human resources department does work with your employees directly which allows your business to run.
- Both core and support processes necessitate management ranging from planning to monitoring business processes. Management processes are responsible for compliance adherence and meeting important business objectives.
Similar to support processes, management processes are necessary for businesses to run even though they do not directly generate profit. Management, primary, and support processes are the foundation for all business processes.
When business owners seek to improve business processes they often utilize strategic planning and process design best practices to guide them. Business process management is fundamental to process improvement and is commonly abbreviated as BMP.
BPM software is extremely helpful for process design and process automation initiatives. Process mapping and process model techniques are great business process management tools that BPM software offers.
Other Types of Processes
All business processes are encompassed within the primary, support, and management processes. These processes combined are what allows a business to run smoothly and successfully.
Oftentimes the three main processes involve the collaboration of multiple separate departments and contain many sub-processes. Various business process examples include-
1. Sales- The sales department is a foundational part of businesses that sell products or services to their customers. When you improve business profit you are able to hire new employees and expand your enterprise.
An established sales process is used by 90% of the most successful companies. In comparison, only 53% of the least successful companies have a guided sales process. Strategic planning and process modeling for sales processes are well worth the time and energy that businesses invest.
2. Customer service- Customer service includes both optimizing the entire customer experience as well as the initial customer onboarding process. It is much more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing customers which is what makes consistent customer service so crucial for successful business operations.
In fact, acquiring new customers can cost your business 5-25% more than retaining existing customers. Bridging the gap between sales and customer service is a best practice technique for increasing customer satisfaction rates.
3. Development- Creating the products that your business sells is no small task but it is what keeps your company in business. This step is also applicable to businesses that generate profit from providing services to clients.
During the development process, 80% of top performers report testing and validating customer preferences. Acquiring and implementing customer feedback is something every business should undertake during the development process.
4. Employee onboarding- Standardizing your business's onboarding process can increase the productivity of new employees by 50%. Additionally, 69% of employees who report that their onboarding experience was successful are more likely to stay with a company for 36 months or longer.
As your employees are your business's greatest investment and asset, the onboarding process is one main indicator of your business's future success. Standardizing and optimizing the employee onboarding process will benefit not only your employees but your entire business bottom line.