30+ Business Procedure Terms Explained (in Simple Terms)

There’s a steep learning curve that comes with building a business. Not only are you learning how to run the show, but you have a whole lot of terms and acronyms thrown at you every day. 

ROI, SOP, EOD, CRM… You might think we’re spitting an Eminem track if you didn’t know better. 🎤

In reality, each acronym above means something in the business world. While some of you may be familiar with these terms, many may feel confused while turning to Google for every conversation.   

Not knowing business procedure terms can stand in the way of building strong systems for your operations.

That’s why we’re here to break down this barrier and ensure you understand the basics so you can communicate and lead your team confidently! 💪

Let’s crack open our business terms glossary and dive in.

As always, watch the full video or take notes with the recap below! 👇

Business Terms and Definitions 101

Our business procedure terms list includes acronyms, popular business slang, and a few bonus expressions from our team. If you discover any new words, feel free to add them to your glossary. 📚 

✅ ROI: ROI stands for Return On Investment. It’s a ratio of what you receive divided by the costs to achieve it, aka Return/Investment. For instance, if you earn $1.25 from a digital product and it costs $1.00 to create it, you have an ROI of 25%. 

✅ Deliverable: The final product of your creation. Deliverables can extend to services, digital and physical products, packages, and more. 

✅ Pain point: A pain point is an ongoing inconvenience that a client suffers from. Understanding your ideal customer’s pain points can be helpful when marketing to them. 🎯

For example, if you own a skincare company, your customer’s pain points may include dry skin, sun spots, or poor experiences with previous moisturizers.

Process: A process includes a series of steps that lead to a desirable outcome. Think of it this way: What will get you from A to Z?    

✋ Are you guilty of confusing process with SOPs? That’s okay! We’ll cover SOPs soon. You can also learn about the differences between the two in this post!

✅ System: Business systems combine multiple components, such as processes, people, technology, and other factors, to achieve a result. Some people believe processes and systems are the same; however, processes are only one piece of the puzzle. 🧩

SOP: Standard Operating Procedures are how-to guides for anything in your business, from creating invoices to completing tasks. SOPs can be in many forms, like videos, written text, and conversation. 

📢 Workshop shoutout: Want to learn how to develop your own SOPs step by step? Consider signing up for our live SOP in a Day™ workshop, where we help you master your SOPs with a 3-step framework. 

✅ PKM: Personal Knowledge Management is how you organize, gather, and share information professionally. 

✅ Wiki: Like Wikipedia, a wiki is your business encyclopedia, which your team can access, edit, and review anytime. It may include articles, training, and other helpful resources. For more context on wiki vs SOPs, check out this article!

✅ Documentation: Recording information in your business through wikis, SOPs, client notes, and staff feedback. Why rely on your memory when you can easily find the details in your project management software? Discover how to document your business systems here. 📒 

✅ Job title: An external-facing name that loosely describes what you do in relation to the business, like chief executive officer (CEO), virtual assistant (VA), and marketing coordinator.

✅ Job role: A continuation of the last term, a job role describes a collection of responsibilities associated with a job title. Let’s say you’re a VA. Your role may encompass admin assistance, content creation, and social media management. 

💡 Need more assistance distinguishing job title and job role? Don’t stress! Read this post to clarify any confusion.

✅ CRM: Customer Relationship Manager refers to a centralized place where you record the following:

👉 Who your customers are: Contact information
👉 How you interact with them: Emails, articles, manual notes, or phone calls

Although “customer” is in the name, you can add any contact in your network to your CRM system. 👨‍👨‍👧‍👧

✅ PMS: We know what you’re thinking, but this PMS means Project Management Software. It’s any tool you use to help you manage projects with your team. Many businesses rely on SmartSuite (👈 affiliate link), ClickUp (👈 affiliate link), Trello, or something similar.  

📢 Course shoutout: Interested in trying SmartSuite or ClickUp, but without the trial and error? Use our crash courses to learn all the basics in one day: ProcessDriven’s How To SmartSuite and How To ClickUp.  

✅ WIP: Work In Process is a simple way to say that a current project isn’t done yet. You can use this acronym in your team chats and save time typing. 

✅ Pipeline: A visual map that showcases projects in different phases from start to finish and the steps to completion. 

💡 Learn more about pipelines: In our signature program, ProcessDriven Foundations™, we teach our members how to create pipelines and implement them in their PM too (and so much more!), all with the support of a community working alongside you on the system-building journey.                         

✅ Scope: Scope highlights what’s included (and not included) in a project. When working with clients, it’s essential to be transparent about the scope of a project so everyone’s on the same page.

✅ As-is vs to-be: As-is refers to how everything is set up today in your business. It’s the status quo. In contrast, to-be is an aspiration you have for your company. In Shakespeare’s words: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” 👑

✅ Gap: Obstacles preventing you from making progress on your journey. Consider doing a gap analysis to assess what’s stopping you from achieving your long-term goals.

✅ Policy: Policies are the official rules that guide your team and offer direction. 📖

✅ Iterate: Trying something in a new way with the intention of doing it even better. Rather than aiming for perfection the first time, view each approach as a learning opportunity. 

✅ Change management: Examining the gap between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. From there, you build a bridge to make it easy for your team to reach the ideal future state. Examples of change management are testing new software or following a new policy. 🗺️

✅ Bottleneck: A bottleneck is when a process slows down, and things pile up. 🍾 For example, if your business publishes 50 articles per week and you have one editor reviewing them all, the content workflow will likely encounter a bottleneck. 

✅ KPI: Key Performance Indicator measures someone’s performance during an activity, such as work. A KPI may highlight the following metrics:

✔ Productivity
✔ Efficiency
✔ Daily engagement
✔ Active communication 

And other department-specific factors. 

✅ QA: Quality Assurance is all about the quality of your output. For instance, a factory may inspect products to ensure there is no damage before shipping them out. 📦 

✅ Rituals: Regarding business, rituals are routine efforts to improve the work culture, such as adding icebreakers to meetings.

✅ Stakeholder: As Layla describes in the video at (11:24), stakeholders are “people who have some skin in the game.” Or, to be more specific:

👉 Clients 
👉 Customers 
👉 Business owners
👉 Team members
👉 Family
👉 Community 

✅ ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning is a software custom-built around your business needs. It may feature pipelines, HR management, data reporting, automation, and more fancy stuff.  

📝 Note to reader: ERP is typically expensive, with high upkeep costs due to the tailor-made aspect. If you’re considering using an ERP, be sure to thoroughly research and weigh the pros and cons. 

✅ Noco/Loco: No, it’s not a delicious beverage from a beach resort. Although, that sounds pretty good right now. 🍸 A reference to software, noco/loco means no code or low code. No code means users don’t require special programming knowledge to work with a software. Low code, on the other hand, may require some basic coding. 

Clickup (👈 affiliate link) is an excellent example of a no-code platform with drag-and-drop options. And while we’re on the topic, Softr is another crowd favorite for building custom platforms without coding. 

✅ Wins: Any milestones you achieve along the way. Make sure to celebrate and shout out your team members. Verbalizing your appreciation can boost their confidence! 💬

✅ Systemizing: Incorporating more processes and structures into your business to ensure your operations remain predictable. It’s establishing a foundation so that your company can handle employees… 

✔ Leaving 
✔ Going on vacation
✔ Getting sick last minute
✔ Stealing your assets (worst-case scenario)

And whatever else comes your way. Ideally, you have a game plan in place for unforeseen circumstances. Are you eager to systemize your business? Check out our ultimate guide here!

🎉 Resource time: Our YouTube channel has a bunch of free tutorials and guides, so you can learn how to systemize like a pro.

✅ Retro: Short for retrospective, it’s an opportunity to reflect on your experiences and explore what you’ve learned. Consider doing a routine evaluation, like Layla’s quarterly reviews.

✅ EOD: This acronym stands for End Of Day, which indicates the time frame you’ll complete a task. 

Give yourself a round of applause for reading this far! 👏 We’ll complete our business terms glossy with a few vocab words from our team. 

Bonus Section: ProcessDriven Business Procedure Terms 

✅ Action it (or task it): This is a phrase we use when creating a task with an assignee and due date, aka action items.

✅ Equipment/process equipment: Anything you create to equip you with the skills and knowledge to complete a task, such as SOPs, wikis, and documentation. 🧰

✅ ECHO: ECHO is a special policy we use to format emails to customers, leads, sponsors, you name it… It stands for empathy, challenge, honesty, and opening, four key components in our messaging. 

✅ Process Org Chart™: A visual breakdown of every process in your business. We love sharing this with our clients and community in our ProcessDriven Foundations™ program because we firmly believe the first step to systemizing is understanding the current state of your organization. 

✅ TLDR: This abbreviation is internet slang for too long didn’t read. TLDR is a good translation for, in summary

⚠️ Proceed the next term with caution: It doesn’t mean what you think it does! ⚠️

✅ F/U: This is short-hand for follow-up. If you plan to use this short form, make sure everyone on your team knows the meaning to avoid drama. 

✅ C.A.R.S: C.A.R.S stands for context, attempts, requests, and stakes. It’s a simple framework we use to communicate clearly with our staff. 

Add These Business Terms and Definitions to Your Dictionary

New words can be intimidating. But now that you have these business procedure terms under your belt, you can continue building a business you’re proud of while engaging in strategic discussions with your colleagues, all while saving precious time. 💬 

Learn anything new? Bookmark this post and document these vocab words in your PM tool.

Thanks for joining us, and enjoy the process!

📰 P.S. Have you heard the news? The doors to our signature program are opening on July 22, 2024. Our signature program, ProcessDriven Foundations™, has helped over 1,800 teams transform their internal structures with the support of proven frameworks, experts, and a community of industry pros. Sign up for the waitlist today! 📰  

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