How Benevolence Farm Increased Their Impact By Implementing Workflows and Processes That Benefited Both Staff and Community

"If we're truly going to have an impact, it starts with how we operate internally."
Case study banner showcasing Kristen Powers (Executive Director)'s photo, her organization name (Benevolence Farm), and brief descriptions about what they offer (Nonprofit)

Do you feel like your business is swimming in operations chaos, but are overwhelmed with the idea of taking on the task of wading through the pandemonium to find the solution?

Scared to whip out the pandora’s box of operations because then all of the dusty skeletons or naughty secrets (and not the fun kind!) will come screaming out?

This is where the benefits of researching case studies come in. Reading about real experiences, from real people, who are struggling with similar confusions and stressors, and being able to come out on the other side with success is exactly the catalyst you need to get started.

One perfect example is Kristen Powers, with Benevolence Farm. She went from running in exhaustive unsuccessful operations circles, to running an efficient, confident, impactful, well-oiled organization, by implementing the Business Laid Bare “Done-for-You” program.

Let’s Meet Kristen Powers

Kristen is the Executive Director of Benevolence Farm, a non-profit organization providing transitional employment and living programs for formerly incarcerated women released from North Carolina prisons. 

Benevolence Farm gives these women the ability to make real, everlasting changes through developing skills that cultivate multifaceted improvements in their health — physically, spiritually, and even financially. 

Kristen’s Biggest Struggle

Kristen, like many people attempting to run an organization without an operations strategy, knew things were amiss but didn’t know where to start. She was really overwhelmed and felt like taking on the task of managing her operations was just too big of a bite.

Benevolence Farm is a unique entity in that it deals with a very specialized, often marginalized, group of women who have lived in trauma and discord most of their lives. The last thing she wanted to do was to bring the women on the farm into the chaos of the business.

There were two main stressors contributing to the chaos:

  1. No integration of streamlined operations process
  2. Constant recreation of resources

Kristen had goals she wanted to reach and she was well aware her current operations were hindering her from reaching them; thus, the conversation with Business Laid Bare (BLB), began.

Many times these stressors created friction within her staff, which recently more than doubled. Because there was no onboarding process, many of the staff were left looking at one another when difficult situations happened, wondering, “Who’s job is this? Where do I go for this answer?”

Without answers to these questions, the staff lacked confidence, therefore they looked to Kristen to make all of the decisions.

Instead of handling her Executive Director duties, she found herself becoming the CEO, COO, and essentially working at every level of the non-profit.

Kristen was being spanked by tedious organizational tasks from all directions. And no sir, she would not like another… she was ready to bring the ease and pleasure back!

What Were Kristen’s Proposed Solutions?

Kristen’s problem wasn’t that she didn’t know she needed help and direction, it was that she had attempted to implement tools that didn’t work well, didn’t show longevity, or didn’t have staff buy-in.

Business Laid Bare’s method was simple: audit the business and provide the guide to attack the solution.

Seven systems that would need to be developed or revamped for Benevolence Farm to achieve maximum return on investment were identified:

  • Knowledge Base
  • Project Management
  • Team Communications
  • New Hire Onboarding and Training
  • Intern Onboarding and Training
  • Intern and Volunteer Application Tracking
  • Technology and Automation Actualization

After the audit was complete, there were three different routes Kristen could have chosen to proceed with: implement the plan on her own, attack it with the done-with-you approach, or go with the done-for-you program, which is what she chose.

The done-for-you program is great for business leaders who are stretched incredibly thin and simply do not have the bandwidth to implement the program on their own. With this strategy, the program was implemented for them and then they were trained on how to incorporate the systems themselves.

"Having good operations and systems are important now, especially for my team, because we're already working with folks who are dealing with a ton of trauma. The last thing we need is to add our chaos to their load on top of that. If we're truly going to have an impact, it starts with how we operate internally."

What Were the Expected Outcomes from Business Laid Bare's Done-for-You Program?

Through working with BLB, Kristen was truly able to revolutionize her operations systems.

What did that look like?

The systems gave her staff more confidence in their abilities and decision-making. Through staff collaboration, Kristen was able to find ways to improve their knowledge base while taking inventory of each staff member’s abilities and comfort levels.

Even more importantly, improving operations allowed more time for their true mission, enhancing the lives of the women at Benevolence Farm.

Nailing down the simple, direct questions associated with operations tasks helped create more capacity to take care of the more critical tasks of supporting women coming home from prison.

Conclusion

Kristen Powers was dedicated to doing important, life-changing work for previously incarcerated women in North Carolina, but she was unable to cut through the operations chaos to ensure Benevolence Farm reached its full potential.

The results were euphoric. You know, the kind you want to have multiple times a day.

Veronica and Business Laid Bare helped solve her stressors of streamlining her operations and consolidating her resources through the done-for-you program.

We’re Business Laid Bare and we’re dedicated to helping your organization have an incredible impact through developing a solid operations strategy.

We support our clients who are needing an operations overhaul, but also those looking to refine their already properly functioning operation strategy and train their next up-and-coming managers to be operations connoisseurs.

Allowing us to meet and train with your operations lead provides you the time and space needed to focus on growing your business while giving your employees the knowledge base to learn how best to take on operations.

Book a call for your consultation today!

"This year has been transformative for us on the systems and operation side. It's allowing staff to amplify their impact with our residents and slowly pushing us away from burnout. My wish is that more organizations know of and work with Business Laid Bare so that they can see the same effect on their team and communities—especially non-profits."
Kristen Powers
Executive Director

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