How spending 2 hours reviewing just 1 process saved an RTO $26000
We all know and probably say at least once a day 'Time is Money'.
So how often do you stop and review your systems and processes to see if by streamlining, simplifying or removing any duplication, you could get back say an hour a day?
FOCUS: Build Your SYSTEMS
For most people running an RTO, they know they need to invest in documenting and maintaining their systems and processes, but because they often don't know where or how to start, or even how to make it a priority in a never ending To Do List; it is ignored or put on the back burner as something that will be done 'when I'm not busy'.
RESULT: It never gets done.
And it is this thinking which is costing too many RTOs their productivity, performance and profitability; every single day.
Systems are the foundations for an RTO's success so I want to share with you one story of how stopping for just 2 hours can reap massive rewards.
I was working with one of my RTO clients and it came out in our chat that one of their biggest frustrations was their enrolment process.
It just took what seemed like forever and they felt they had simplified and streamlined it as much as possible.
Yet it still wasn't working.
Something was wrong but they didn't know what which meant they couldn't find a solution because if you don't know the real cause of a problem, you can't truly solve it. You only band-aid it and it will of course come back and bite you, often bigger or worse than ever down the track.
I suggested we spend 2 hours with the team to document the enrolment process on post it notes to see if it really was as simple as possible. The team consisted of 3 people – 2 involved with the daily operations and the business owner.
Now I know many of you may be muttering, 'Post it notes! Why not use an app or at least the laptop? Move into the future Tamara.'
But I am a very proud pen and paper girl and I also know the power of post it notes on a wall.
It's a visual that everyone can see, and when you're documenting processes and trying to work out consecutive steps and linkages, post it notes are quick and easy to move on a wall or butchers paper.
And then I started asking some initial questions like:
• How does a student enrol – online form, email, website enquiry, phonecall?
• Who reviews the form to see if they are eligible?
• Who approves the enrolment?
• When and how do they pay their fees?
• How long does an enrolment form take to process?
This information started to build up the post it notes; some of which were steps, some had notes about who would do the task, relevant templates etc.
At times the discussion stalled when team members were thinking about who does what and when so to help the brainstorming, I asked my famous systems question I ask all my clients:
And now what do you do?
Along the way, different team members were starting to see duplicate processes or steps which were in the wrong place and wanted to 'fix' things there and then. But I said we will get to that once we have documented down exactly how it happens NOW.
The reason I do this is because they are two very different cognitive processes.
Firstly, you have to remember what you do automatically by habit in the exact order you do it; and once this is written down, then you do the next step of seeing:
- What's in the wrong order?
- What's being duplicated and shouldn't be?
- What is no longer needed?
- Who is actually doing each step?
So after only 2 hours of brainstorming and reviewing all the enrolment steps, this was the result.
• Enrolment process reduced from 25 steps to 8 steps
• Saved over 3 hours in administration time
• $5500 saving for 1 process
• $26000 productivity saving for the year ON ONE SYSTEM
Imagine if you just stopped for 2 hours to review 1 process?
How much time could you save which could then be channelled into gaining more students, supporting your team, getting on top of your finances, (insert long overdue task), or even leaving work on time or even early feeling happier about your job?
So how many processes and systems do you have in your RTO business?
A lot I'm sure so here's my challenge to you.
Spend 2 hours a week reviewing 1 process for the next 52 weeks.
Not only will you have clearly documented your operations to give you a simpler RTO business for both you, your team and your students/clients; but you will have, without a doubt, increased your productivity, profitability and team performance.
And by chipping away a little bit each week, it makes an often overwhelming task seem easily achievable.
And here's my final thought:
If you believe you don't have 2 hours a week spare, remember: it's all about the small gains along the way that add up.
And if you don't, please get in touch because I've proven I can create (aka save) at least an hour a day for everyone I work with – no matter the role.
So what's it costing you now NOT to invest in building your simple systems, and thus growing a brick RTO business which is simple, profitable and one you actually love.
If you want some help to build some simple systems or create your power hour, then please check out my webinars Shhh... Don't Mention the 'S' Word
and The Power of an Hour
Dedicated to helping you run a simple profitable RTO business (whilst juggling everything else)!