Build Your Value Creation Process Map

How to create business process maps and why you can’t scale without them

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If you’re growing and scaling your business but you don’t have clearly defined business process maps, then you’re only going to scale your problems.

Most entrepreneurs focus on building their sales and marketing skills: like copywriting, lead generation, paid advertising, and sales conversions.

While all those are important, effectively scaling a business also requires essential business owner skills: like operations, business process management, and building and retaining teams.

Of these, business process management is the most overlooked skill and activity for online businesses.

Business process management is about managing and optimizing the key functions and processes that keep a business operating and growing.

Part of this work is clearly mapping your business processes, or what I call your Value Creation Processes.

Your Value Creation Process is the blueprint of your business, it outlines how your business generates value.

Value here means:

  • New Leads and Customers

  • Results for your Customers

  • Revenue and Profit for your Business

A Value Creation Process Map breaks down every key step in your workflow and clientflow from start to end.

The purpose of mapping your Value Creation Processes:

  • To clarify how exactly your business operates and creates value

  • To define who is responsible for each part of the process

  • To highlight where there may be operational friction

  • To automate and optimize the process for labor efficiency

There are 4 stages to mapping your Value Creation Process:

  • Stage 1: Create a list of your process steps for a broad overview

  • Stage 2: Visually map your Value Creation Processes from start to finish

  • Stage 3: Identify the Areas of Responsibility (AoR) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Stage 4: Automate and Optimize your processes

  • Stage 4: Create your Business Playbook (documentations and SOPs)

I’m going to break down the step-by-step for each stage.

You can either follow the guide to build your Value Creation Process OR send this guide to someone on your team to own the execution of this.

Stage 1: List out your Process Steps

Start by listing out all the steps your customers go through from start to end.

So from the moment they become aware of your business, to becoming a lead, to becoming a client, to getting the promised outcome your business offers.

Start with the first step, then keep asking yourself “what happens next?”

Then create another list outlining all the steps your team takes from start to end.

So how they attract your ideal customers, to how they turn them into leads, customers, happy clients, to ambassadors or referral partners.

Questions to consider:

  • How do you generate leads?

  • How do you qualify your leads?

  • How do you nurture leads?

  • How do you sell and convert leads into customers?

  • What happens after the sale?

  • How do you onboard new customers?

  • How do you fulfill on the promise of the offer, product, service?

  • How do you ensure customers are getting results or are satisfied?

  • How do you provide customer support?

  • How do you retain customers?

  • How do you ascend customers into other offers?

  • How do you get customers to refer new leads?

  • How do you create new products and offers?

  • How do you launch new offers?

  • How do you launch new marketing campaigns to get new leads?

Once you’ve listed out all the steps from start to end, you should have a pretty good overview of how your business operates and grows.

Stage 2: Visually map out your Value Creation Process

You can use a digital flow chart tool or Post-It notes if you want to do it offline first, to visually map your Value Creation Process.

Start at the beginning of your customer’s journey and work your way to the end.

Visually map all the steps your customers take and all the steps your team must take to move your customer through the process.

You can use different shapes and colors to identify the different types of steps and functions:

For example:

  • Tasks or Activities

  • Events

  • Decision points

  • Calls

  • Transactions

You should end up with something that looks like this:

You can see by now that the Value Creation Process becomes a blueprint of how your business operates and grows.

Mapping the process creates clarity for you and your team.

It also makes it easier to train new hires and to get them clear and aligned on how the business operates.

Stage 3: Identify the Areas of Responsibility and KPIs

In this next stage, you’re looking at the key steps and functions to start to group functions together to create Areas of Responsibility.

Naturally, each Area of Responsibility will start to form a dedicated role.

Next to each Area of Responsibility, list the person responsible.

There may be some overlap in responsibilities. This is where you’ll need to create Role Clarity (read more here) and define clear ownership in responsibilities.

Label the Areas of Responsibility in your visual Value Creation Process.

It can look something like this:

Next, look at your Value Creation Process and identify 5-7 Key KPIs that will tell you the success of the key business processes and functions.

Each area of your business will have many more KPIs but you want to pull out the top 5-7 at an organizational level that everyone on your team MUST know to show the overall state of your business.

These Key KPIs will be used in your KPI Dashboard to track the health of your business.

Stage 4: Automate and Optimize

Once you have a clear Value Creation Process, now’s the time to do a deep dive into each part of the process.

You’re looking for where there may be operational friction creating inefficiencies or inconsistencies.

  • Are there steps being done manually that could be automated by tools?

  • Are there steps being owned by the wrong people on the team?

  • Are there functions that are taking more time than needed to be executed?

  • Are there functions that create inconsistent or unpredictable results?

  • Are there steps or functions that lack a clear owner?

  • Are there steps or functions that lack a clear process?

Take the time to clean up and optimize the workflow and process.

Then update your Value Creation Process to reflect the changes.

The purpose of optimizing your business processes are to:

  • Streamline and automate workflow

  • Maximize labor efficiency

  • Create predictability in results

  • Build a self-sufficient and self-managing team

Scaling your business before you have these in place will only scale up your inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and ineffectiveness.

Stage 5: Create Business Playbooks

Once you’ve mapped and optimized your Value Creation Process, highlight the Key Functions in your process.

These are the activities, tasks, or decision points that MUST be done effectively to create value or results for the business.

These are the steps you want to create clear SOPs and documentation for.

Many business owners make the mistake of getting their team to create SOPs for everything, leaving them with hundreds of documentations that serve no purpose and a lot of wasted time.

So yes, you don’t need to create 100+ SOPs for everything. Just the Key Functions.

In this last stage, you’ll assign the function owners to create SOPs and documentation for their Key Functions and AoRs.

These documentations compiled will form your Business Playbook.

The point of this is to create consistency and predictability around how your business creates value and results.

If someone responsible for an important function becomes sick or leaves the company, this creates a disruption in momentum.

A scalable company must be predictable and self-managing, even when there are disruptions. So having a Business Playbook allows anyone to jump in and keep the functions going.

Effective Business Playbooks:

  • Ensure consistency when team members change or leave

  • Speed up ramp-up times for new hires

  • Identify opportunities for automation or systematization

  • Pre-empt issues that cause delays

  • Empower employees by arming them with knowledge

Create the Business Playbook by:

  • Documenting the key steps, responsibilities, timelines, triggers, and decisions involved

  • Incorporating screenshots, checklists, templates, and examples wherever helpful

  • Using simple, direct language

  • Having a logical flow

  • Updated regularly

Once the Business Playbook is created, store and organize it in an internal knowledge base or company wiki that everyone has access to.

Conclusion

If you’re growing and scaling your business but you don’t have a clearly defined Value Creation Process…

You’re only going to scale up your inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and ineffectiveness.

The 4 stages to creating your Value Creation Process:

  • Stage 1: Create a list of your process steps for a broad overview

  • Stage 2: Visually map your Value Creation Processes from start to finish

  • Stage 3: Identify the Areas of Responsibility (AoR) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Stage 4: Automate and Optimize your processes

  • Stage 4: Create your Business Playbook (documentation and SOPs)

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this guide!

Your Pal,

Colin

P.S. Whenever you’re ready…

  1. I created some tools and resources here to help you take your business to the next level

  2. Want to dive deeper on how to become a time freedom Founder? I’m launching the 20 Hour Founders Course soon, get on the waitlist.

  3. Follow me on LinkedIn and Instagram for more tips on business and mindset growth

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