What is Business Operations?

Because the definition of business operations is so broad, it can be hard to grasp at first. A lot of what a business does is included in the term “business operations”. By definition, business operations include anything and everything that is required in order to keep the business fully operable. When creating a business plan, the operations are essential in order to understand what’s needed for a company to launch and become profitable.

Although they vary from business to business, general business operations include these basic categories:

  1. Equipment/Technology
  2. Location
  3. Staffing
  4. Processes


Business Operations Processes

The processes within a business determine how services and products are produced and how efficiently they are produced. Depending on the type of business you’re in and the services/products you provide, the processes could be singular and simple — or they could be complex. For example, the process to deliver an edited photograph by a professional photographer is very different than the process required to create a custom sofa or clean someone’s home.


Business Operations Staffing

The staffing element of business operations is dictated by the processes required to operate the business. Once you know what needs to be done in order to fulfill a service or create and deliver a product, then you can start hiring the people necessary to get all of the jobs done.


Business Operations Location

Not all businesses need to have a specific location for their business to operate, especially businesses that live online or that are operated by a single person.


Business Operations Equipment/Technology

Depending on the type of equipment or technology your business requires, your location might be limited — or limitless. A farm that produces lavender for essential oils, for example, would need to locate their business in a spot that allows for the equipment they need to produce their product (from the fields to grow the lavender to the distilling equipment). A freelance writer, on the other hand, would only need a laptop to do their work, which means that the location could be just about anywhere in the world. Additionally, some businesses need a storefront to sell their products while others sell digital products or products online. All of these variables need to be considered in order to determine the operations of the business.


How to Improve Business Operations

By improving business operations, you can increase your profit and allow your business to scale without any negative impacts. Below are a few ways you can improve the way your business operates.

  1. Track performance. Knowing how your business is performing in every area of its operations ensures that you’re spending your time and money wisely. It also ensures that you’re on track to hit your goals. If you find that you’re moving away from your targets, you’re able to get back on track — something that is impossible to do if you’re not tracking how your business is performing on all levels.
  2. Stay current. There’s always a new trend or new technology that can help your business succeed and potentially be more efficient. By staying on top of what’s happening in your industry, you can ensure that you’re not falling behind or missing out on opportunities.
  3. Improve systems. The more streamlined your processes can become, the better your business will operate. Look for tasks in your business that are done over and over again — could someone else do these? The more your business is able to successfully run without you, the better it will do overall.

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