It is important for any business to have systems and processes. This applies to a business in the Medical and Aesthetic Business as well. Systems and processes help to:
• ensure that staff understand how things work.
• eliminate duplication.
• reduce the learning process for new staff.
• increase efficiency and eliminate wastage.
• make information readily accessible.
• add value to your business.
• engender an open and transparent workplace.
While policies, procedures and processes may have been established, as the business grows and competes at a different level, its complexity will demand more control mechanisms, better communication and systems to drive efficiency. Stepping up to the next level will also bring new and sophisticated competition. This may mean looking at new ways of doing things and employing new thinking to make sure that your business is as efficient and streamlined as possible, while still delivering a high level of satisfaction to the customer. Policies, procedures and processes:
All businesses benefit from policies, procedures and processes combined into a documented system under which the business operates. A policy is a written or verbal statement of a firm’s stance on a topic. It defines how things are done in the business and what rules apply. Policies can include HR policies like:
• Leave entitlement
• Travel • Dress code
• Appraisals and increment
• Recruitment and training
• Employee welfare
• Separation Based on the size and the structure of your set up, the list can be added on to.
A procedure is usually a step-by-step instruction to achieve a certain outcome. Some procedures can be quitedetailed. Others can be more general in nature. Specialist procedures, such as surgeries and handling equipment, should be written by someone with experience in the field. Standard operating procedures for any treatment or service should define the following:
Benefit In a benefit driven procedure which is of paramount importance in an aesthetic set up, it is important to align expectations and outline clearly the number of sessions required and the expected outcome. Non technical SOP’s which will define the experience you wish to offer at your setup will afford a professional impression to your customer. Some of which are as follows:
• Soft skill
• Telephone skills
Grooming A process is a method or system for achieving a certain outcome. Companies can put in place a manufacturing process or there can be a process for obtaining sales. In the aesthetic business, the treatment process and the experience from entry to exit is what defines the USP of the business. Therefore having a front office reception process for greeting and meeting the customer, the flow to complete the treatment and complete the billing, next appointment and exit completes the feel good experience for the client:
• Customer handling
• Form filling
• Follow up
• Incident handling
• Enquiry handling
Loyalty programmes The back office and support systems and process also ensure that the business is productive and growing. Some of them are:
• Sales reporting
• Customer tracking
• Database capturing
• Inventory management
It is important that company policies, procedures and processes are properly documented and can be easily obtained by each member of staff. Electronic systems can be useful to ensure that staff members have the information readily available when they need it. It is also important that when policies, procedures or processes form part of an employee’s conditions of employment that they are either attached to the employment contract or given directly to an employee for consideration. Benefits of a documented system are: • better succession options for the business, including saleability.
• ensuring that record keeping, compliance and reporting obligations are met.
• smooth running of the business.
• effective training of new staff.
• reduction of administrative time.
• assists in reducing risk.
• clear direction for employees on how to operate within the business.
• consistency in product or service delivered.
• the business not totally dependent on the owners.
Policies, procedures and processes should be reviewed and updated regularly – at least annually. Updates should also be made when legislation or compliance changes impact on the business. Any changes to policies, procedures or processes should be communicated to staff