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ProcessWorks™ Helps Small Businesses Run Smoothly


ProcessWorks™

One in every five small businesses fails within the first year.


That’s the stark reality according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Businesses that don’t survive past the initial year can fall victim to any number of common challenges. A lack of adequate cash flow tops the list.


However, some small businesses go under because they’re ill-prepared for an emergency that puts a major decision-maker on the sidelines. In a situation where one person wears many hats, it’s difficult for someone else to step into that role and perform the duties if they don’t understand the operational system the other person uses.


That’s where the ExecutiveWorks service comes into play.



Sarah Halperin
Sarah Halperin

The latest solution from ProcessWorks™ targets companies with 10 or fewer employees with a system that helps them record the things they do that “live in their heads, so if they have a planned or unplanned absence, whoever fills in for them has a guide,” said Sarah Halperin, co-founder of ProcessWorks™.


Halperin started ProcessWorks™ with her father, Michael, in August 2023. It’s a repeatable methodology for managing business processes. The service was created with small and mid-sized businesses in mind.


When Halperin first started working with her father, she found herself doing a lot of business development work that introduced her to many small business owners. “But the kind of help they needed was different than what the larger businesses needed,” she said.


The smaller ones were focused on getting the individual tasks from their limited workforce’s brains onto paper to distribute to everyone. “No one really had a plan for what they would do in the event of an emergency if they were taken away from the business at any time, whether it be for a couple of days or a couple of months,” she said.


Among her clients was a couple in their 30s who wanted to start a family soon and wondered how they could both be on parental leave simultaneously. Others were interested in taking vacations without the worry of checking in every five minutes.



ProcessWorks™

ExecutiveWorks addresses those and other scenarios with contingency planning processes designed specifically for micro-enterprises. Halperin delivers the information via a 3.5-hour stand-alone workshop that presents attendees with objectives to guide them through the process.


Workshop attendees can expect to spend a portion of their time creating a list of tasks that take up most of their time and energy in the business. This includes some of the smaller day-to-day operational tasks that others would need to pick up in their absence.


“The idea of documenting everything you do can feel overwhelming,” said Halperin. “We teach how to focus on the 20 percent of tasks that make up the 80 percent of things you’re doing.” Concentrating on the 20 percent pinpoints areas of greatest productivity. “It’s about identifying the urgent versus non-urgent things to prioritize the tasks that must be completed to keep the lights on and the business running smoothly.”


Halperin invested four months of consistent and intensive work on the content for the workshop. She said what makes it valuable is teaching business owners how to document all the “must get done” tasks that live in their heads on paper in such a way that anyone can follow the directions.


“By the end of the session, they will have a series of written documents about those urgent and frequent tasks that need to be done to keep the lights on in the business that they will be able to use to train the other people in their organization to cover for them in their absence, plus a method for completing them,” said Halperin.


Rather than focusing on specific incidents, she shares a crisis management methodology employees can use to fit any emergency that may occur while they’re in charge.


She hosted the first ExecutiveWorks workshop on April 23, capping it at eight participants. Halperin said she hopes to offer the workshop every quarter. “Depending on demand, and if there’s enough interest, I’ll consider holding the workshops more frequently,” she said. “I want to keep attendance small to give everyone a more personalized experience.”


Session locations vary. The fee is $350 per person, with group discounts available for businesses that want to bring along a few of their employees. “The more people from a company that does this the better,” Halperin said.


While the workshop was designed for businesses with fewer than 10 employees in mind, Halperin said companies with more employees are welcome to attend a session if they think it will be valuable.


Likewise, some of the micro-enterprises who complete the workshop may find they need more help putting process management programs into place. “For them, they may find our ProcessWorks™ methodology helpful and are welcome to explore it with us,” said Halperin.

Additionally, businesses can explore the bi-monthly webinars for ProcessWorks™ that explore various aspects of business ownership. To learn more about ExecutiveWorks or register for webinars, visit process-works.com.

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