Why Your Operating Model Is More Important Than Your Business Model? Part 3
How do I create an operating model for my business?
So, the big question now is: how do you go about designing an operating model for your business? I believe that the key to an effective organizational structure and process is to design it before you need it, and then grow into it.
First of all, if you are still in the launch phase, dedicate some time to researching successful operating models around the world, especially in the FAQ center of your competitors. (Now, don’t say you don’t have a competitor because every business on earth has some sort of competitor out there.)
The easiest way for building and designing an operating model is to look around, talk to the team, have a brainstorming session on the lifecycle of your product/service, and start writing down potential questions, scenarios, issues, and complaints. Don’t wait for them to happen; create solutions and processes for them from the beginning.
1. Document it
Document every aspect. Make sure the wording is short, clear and to the point. Don’t leave room for interpretation by your team members, it should read easy and be applied even easier.
Ask people in your business community, ask your investors, incubators, early adopters- jot down everything you hear, it will serve you better.
3. Don’t panic
Building this takes time, it takes practice, and it takes a village to pull it off, and that is okay.
4. Think scale
Don’t think about your current small team: think like McDonalds, a chain that opens a new branch every minute.
5. Re-examine periodically
Take a look at the operations manual every month when you start operations, take new scenarios into account, encourage new team members to read it and add to it, and create something new with it.
6. It is your business’ go-to source
Explain its creation to the team this way: if the founders disappear off the earth, the business needs to be still running, and the operating model is where they should go to at every aspect of running the daily operations of the business.
7. Make it technology -supported
If you have any aspect of your operations that can be supported by technology, go for it! From automated email replies to social media automation to “to-do” listing tools, if any part can be sent to an online tool, invest in it. Your aim is to make the cycle shorter and to the point.
8. Follow it through
Some team members might become reluctant and feel offended if you ask them to stick to the operating model of the business. This is when you need to explain to them that it is a process, not their personalities or character. For an example: some clients might call and request a certain person because that person “solves their problems quicker and better.” But that is not a great thing for the company. The company is one unified entity, and everyone should be serving the greater good of the business and not their individual brands. And the only way for that to happen is for all team members to stick to the operating model.
9. Outsource it if you can
There are special operations experts out there who can be hired to design an operating model, but if you do go down this route, just make sure they have relevant experience in the industry you are in. For an example, if your business is in F&B, hire an operations design consultant with previous F&B operations experience.
My last bit of advice to you is this: don’t launch your business, if you don’t have at least a skeleton of your operations model ready. Time will prove that it is more important than your business model. Good luck and happy launch!