If you’re a business owner, then you might be interested in looking for ways to streamline your processes and functions in order to concentrate on the more critical tasks that are likely to have a significant impact on your overall growth. Most business owners often feel overworked and overwhelmed by the seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks of the office. Some of these don’t have a huge influence on the profitability of the business, so it’s essential that business owners find effective methods of streamlining such tasks with the limited resources available to them, in order to create smoother operations. If you know you need to slim your processes down but don’t know where to start, then check out these five ways to streamline your growing business.
- Reduce Paper Flow
This is one of the quickest and simplest ways of streamlining your business. Paperwork often piles up, which leads to unnecessary lead times in different areas of the office. Make sure you ask the following questions to your employees and staff members who create or handle paperwork:
- What information was added to the paperwork, and was it necessary?
- What information was taken from the paperwork, and was it necessary?
- Was the paperwork essential for an employee to perform their job?
If the responses to these questions are “because it’s always done that way,” then this is definitely a prime area to streamline the process and reduce paperwork. The business manager should eliminate unnecessary information in order to decrease the amount of work required to process paperwork.
Filing and storage is another sensitive area that is affected by paperwork. Storage and file cabinets consume valuable space in your office. You can incorporate a document management system to help archive paperwork for easy retrieval and long-term storage. This frees up space that is occupied by papers.
A document management system promotes smooth operations of your day-to-day activities by offering easy ways to organize and store documents, and by putting essential documents at the employee’s fingertips. With the right system, you can scan documents quickly and use workflows to route the documents into the correct folders.
Filing orders for a growing business is expensive and time-consuming. This happens when sales start picking up. You’ve spent hours working, crafting, testing, and promoting your products until they meet your standards — and now the business is starting to prosper.
Luckily, outsourcing can help you save a lot of time by alleviating some of the demanding everyday tasks that come with running a growing business. For example, consider all the steps that go into accomplishing an order. You will have to review the product orders, quantities needed, the delivery address, and the postage. This might not be a problem for a few orders, but when you start making more and more sales, a lot of time can be consumed.
An outsourcing company eliminates this extra work by unitizing specialized processes. The company will categorize each product by its unique code, the SKU, so that it can be efficiently stored. Each shipment is then packed and the right postage is applied.
Furthermore, if you find it challenging to create and maintain a sophisticated process for handling returns, hire an outsourcing company. This is because an effective and easy return process is fundamental to customer satisfaction. In the eCommerce world, an effective return policy increases the conversion rate.
Having an effective return policy is where outsourcing comes in handy. Businesses get returns all the time, and many outsourcing companies streamline this process. You only have to tell them what they have to do with the returns and they will do it. Not only does outsourcing save you time on the task itself, but it also saves you time that you’d have to spend on unproductive, unpredictable interruptions.
- Online Presence and Online Tools
You will be surprised by the number of business owners who don’t value the importance of having a website. In today’s world, a website serves as the first point of call for prospective customers to pick up their phones to contact you or send a message on social media networks. You do not have to build a website with a million pages — a simple site showcasing who you are, what you offer, and where your clients can find you is usually always enough.
You should ensure that your business has excellent online tools that help you embed your company’s logo and do all the calculations, convert your files to PDF, and email them. Invoice templates, for example, ensure that you get paid easily and quickly so that you can get back to other vital tasks.
A sample invoice template for a growing business includes:
- The name of your business
- Client’s name
- Invoice issuance date
- Invoice due date
- Invoice Number
- Summary of what you are billing for
- A subtotal for costs associated with the order
- Payment methods you accept
- The price you are charging including tax
For a growing business to operate smoothly, you will need to do routine tasks. These tasks are often incredibly tedious and time-consuming. To streamline such jobs, you should do the following:
- Listing all tasks you do repeatedly
- Record all the workers and software used to get the tasks done
- Note the appropriate times it takes to complete these jobs weekly
Using this information, you can determine if there is potential to consolidate any of these tasks. Besides, you can buy software that can handle numerous tasks. A process mining software that can identify repetitive and error-prone tasks with ease, optimize the task within an end-to-end process, analyse process tasks and keep an eye on key performance indicators and allows businesses to understand end-to-end processes fully and analyse handovers, resource utilisation and more.
Moreover, some programs can automatically schedule your business’s social media posts, automate your email blasts, update your software automatically, and much more. There are a lot of processes you can automate. Once you have streamlined all the repetitive jobs, you can turn your attention to more critical tasks.
- Reduce Travel Time
Face-to-face meetings are essential, but it’s not always a necessity to travel long distances to discuss something that can be resolved in ten minutes. This applies to dealing with international clients. Traveling can disrupt your business’s workflow. The time saved on traveling can be spent on jobs that directly influence the growth of your business.
Nowadays, you can do video conferencing using software such as Skype. You can add notes to a document, use screen-share, and send files with a few clicks. The advancement of technology enables business owners to achieve what might take more than two days of traveling time in a few hours.