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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a crucial component of the industrial and economic landscape of a nation. These businesses typically operate on a modest scale, yet remain critical in sustaining the livelihoods of millions of working individuals. SMEs also supply crucial parts and components to large industrial operations and generate significant levels of employment for every nation’s citizens. In this context, we may state flowcharts are important business tools that add momentum to the business operations of SMEs. Flowcharts help SMEs to plan, deploy, and execute operational plans and move toward business expansion. We shall examine some of these aspects in the paragraphs below.

A flowchart depicts the linear steps that comprise various operations. SMEs can use flowcharts to create the ideal recruitment process for their operations. The first step in such a flowchart can depict the recruitment requisition of a SME. This step can detail the typical attributes of a workforce deemed ideal for small enterprises. The selection criteria form the second stage in the flowchart and must contain the desired attributes in an ideal candidate. The next two steps in this flowchart depict the advertisement and the receipt of applications for advertised positions. Applications can be divided into suitable candidates and unsuitable applicants. These steps help SMEs in creating a talent pool from which to recruit potential employees. As the flowchart proceeds, SMEs can add various stages designed to help them narrow the field and select the perfect candidates for employment. In light of this illustration, we may state flowcharts help SMEs to boost their talent requisition process.

Modern markets can be turbulent entities that are shaped by a host of external and internal factors. The sheer number of moving parts that impact a macro-economic scenario can overwhelm the average operator of a small business. In this context, flowcharts can help SMEs define a problem they may face in executing business operations. The first step in this flowchart attempts to define the problem, followed by an internal discussion. The subsequent steps in the flowchart can depict a logical flow wherein the SME surveys the market and gathers relevant and pertinent information. This data can help the SME troubleshoot the core problem. The flowchart can also help the business to identify any data gaps in a bid to create a holistic view of the problem. Reviewers can ideate to resolve the problem and add various points of attack with a view to final resolution. Once the flowchart is complete, the SME can activate the sequence of ideas and achieve an acceptable resolution. We note business operators should preserve such flowcharts that help SMEs because these can help troubleshoot potential pain points that may emerge in the future.

Modern flowcharts can help SMEs to create and implement a small business lifecycle. A small business operator can create a flowchart that depicts the various stages of entrepreneurship, leadership, go-to-market strategy, fund raising mechanisms, crisis control, profit sharing, etc. The business operator can create multiple flowcharts with a view to delve deep into each of these aspects of an SME operation. For instance, a small business that manufactures and markets plastic furniture can create a flowchart to detail the fund raising mechanism for the business. Various stakeholders such as institutional investors and private investors can figure prominently in this flowchart and the dynamics that emerge from this flowchart informs the SME about the viability of different sources of commercial funding. Different levels in the said flowchart can help the business operator to assess the outcomes of each line of action. Once the flowchart is completed, the business operator can take a top-view of the multiple funding options available to the business and select the route best suited to the immediate requirements of the business enterprise. In view of these facts, we may state flowcharts help SMEs to achieve short-term and medium-term business objectives.

Small businesses may have to exert themselves in terms of implementing and executing a viable after-sales service process. This is important because it enables SMEs to establish themselves in the market and earn a decent commercial reputation. Flowcharts can help SMEs to create the perfect after-sales process. The first step in such a flowchart represents the acceptance of a product for repair or refurbishment. Notes appended to this step must detail an inspection of the product with a view to establishing whether the product is worthy of repair. The second step in the flowchart indicates an assessment of repair costs and the customer’s acceptance of the same. Post clearing this step, the flowchart must indicate the nature of repairs to be undertaken and the time required to complete the repair process. When such information is cleared in the affirmative, the flowchart depicts a communication to the customer regarding the collection of the repaired product. We note various SMEs can design different flowcharts in such matters with a view to create a diagram appropriate to the business. This illustration clearly indicates that flowcharts can help SMEs to put in place an efficient and reasonable product repair and restorative process.

Small business operators that seek to expand the scope of their operations can use flowcharts to plan business expansion. This is one of the core applications of flowchart diagrams in the mission to help SMEs. These flowcharts can commence at the point wherein a small business operator selects a project based on various parameters. These include financing, the survey of a market, a review of current competitors, market demand for the new product, pricing strategy, a review of infrastructure requirements, obtaining government permissions, etc. The flowchart can depict these various parameters and the impact of each on the business objective. A dense visual image can emerge when the small business operator tracks every variable, their dependencies, and potential outcomes. This close examination is crucial because it alerts the business operator to the various pitfalls that may attend each step of the process. However, the flowchart can help SMEs to identify pain points and thus allow the business to conduct a detailed viability study of the proposed expansion plans.

Flowcharts can help SMEs to drive technical collaborations with other small businesses. These collaborations can add commercial value to the bottom line of a SME while creating greater synergies in the SME eco-system of a nation or country. The SME can design flowcharts that depict technical inputs and spotlight points of collaboration with a view to create a value-added product. The two partners can choose different colours to highlight their respective contributions to a venture driven by a joint collaboration. Equity infusions from relevant stakeholders can be marked in bold inside said flowcharts. Both businesses can jointly review the final document and put their stamp of approval on the proposed collaboration. We note this flowchart must define the inputs and create a track for sharing profits between the two partners. Any side can stage interventions or call for a revision of the process, as it deems appropriate. The product should help the collaborators to gain deep visibility into their respective contributions and drive the collaboration forward.

We have examined some of the aspects of using flowcharts in a bid to drive small and medium businesses. Every business operator can gain insights by using these insights in the present day.

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