One of the most important things that you will need to plan for when starting a business is your daily working procedures. Whether you are self-employed or you own a company that hires many other workers, working out the exact steps you will take to carry out business and the exact channels and platforms that you will use is essential. This goes for businesses in all sectors and industries, from accounting to manufacturing to hospitality. Company Working Practices
Generally speaking, popular advice for businesses is that working procedures should be clearly defined rather than vague. This is so that you can work out the most efficient ways of doing things that are the least likely to cause problems. You can also set procedures in place for what to do if you do run into problems.
However, many of the same experts and sources that promote clearly defined and thoroughly planned working practices also promote being flexible in business. You may be thinking, “surely this is a contradiction?” In this guide, we will explore whether being flexible with your company’s working practices is a good thing or whether it can make you lose control of everything.
Risks of Flexibility
Being flexible with your working practices carries a few clear risks. For example, if a client or customer asks you to “bend your rules” a little for them, word can spread about this. You may find other clients and customers (or potential clients and customers) asking for the same thing because they heard that you agreed to it for someone else — “you did this for them, why not me?” etc. Before you know it, you can find yourself being pressured into throwing your entire business model out of the window!
Other risks of flexibility include cutting corners that should not have been cut and simplifying (or in some cases complicating) practices in a way that potentially breaks trading or safety regulations.
Advantages of Flexibility
Despite the risks, flexibility is not without its advantages. One of the main advantages is the ability to provide a more personalized service for clients and customers, which can bring in more business and increase your revenue.
Another advantage is for the staff who work for your company—flexibility around things such as working from home can increase employee satisfaction and retainment, with little to no negative impact on efficiency and revenue. For example, digital workplaces like Simpplr can enable employees to collaborate from home, the office, or a combination of both.
Ultimately, a degree of flexibility is essential and almost inevitable. The world of business is unpredictable, and you need to be able to react and adapt to changing circumstances in order to survive. However, clearly defined practices are also highly recommended to keep things on track. The best thing to do is to strike a balance—set your default practices in stone (or writing, if easier!) but be open to considering changes (either temporary or permanent) when it is smart, safe, and legal to do so. You can break your own rules, but make sure you made them in the first place!