Streamlining – How Can It Help With My Business?
We have previously written articles on Managing Your Workload and The Art of Delegating which you may find useful, but for this blog we have decided to focus on Streamlining and how it can help improve your business.
Definition of Streamlining
Google defines Streamlining as “make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods”.
Streamlining Business Processes
Your business invariably works through many business processes everyday, you may go through the same procedures each time you get a new client, process an order, update your website or add products to your online shop. It is therefore essential that you create a process for each action to ensure you and your team are working efficiently.
For example, when taking on a on a new client, it is important to understand their needs and integrate them efficiently into your workflow. The best way therefore to work efficiently is to develop a set of business processes and find out which ones will apply to each new client.
Depending on how complicated the process, it may be wise to document the process and make it a formal procedure, similar processes can be informal and not documented.
When Red Desk takes on a new social media client we always follow the same process:
- We draw up a social media plan which is agreed by the client. This determines how much content we will need to create each week and how much time will need to be dedicated to the project.
- The project is then divided up and allocated to the most appropriate team member.These processes are then integrated into the individuals’ workflows
- We will set-up a schedule for the work and a communication channel, this can either be a messaging software or simple email depending on the client. This way everyone knows when work will be completed and ensures we meet all deadlines.
- Finally it’s important to set up a process for monitoring results and feedback, for us this involves monthly and quarterly stats reports.
When we are working with project-based clients then it is important to write procedure notes and review these on a regular basis. The reason being that you may not be working on this constantly so need to pick up where you left off quickly.
Other useful project management tips:
- Create templates for commonly used documents or emails
- Keep the templates in well labelled files
- Have a good filing system
- Have a document which lists the various processes and then cross-check with the documents (can number them accordingly)
- Automation is good – if you are lucky to have access to software that automates processes then it is worth investing the time in researching how it works and using it – it will take up some time but in the long run will be worth it
Sometimes you’ll need to streamline your clients too. Have an audit to see which fit in with your new, sleek business model and have a strategy for dealing with those that are causing hold ups.
- Pass on the work to another team member
- Speak to the client and give them new expectations
- Part ways with your client (tough but it might be best for you both in the long run)
On our next blog we’ll look at some of the online tools out there to help you streamline your business.
3 Essential Services from Red Desk Virtual
Red Desk Virtual offer all aspects of Business Support with a focus on Digital Management and Online Reputation Management. We work with our clients to ensure they have a positive online presence across all their digital platforms including Social Media, Google My Business and their Website.
Online or digital marketing is now essential for all small businesses, schools and organisations. As well as your website and social media it is a wider approach to marketing a business online.
Think about what you need to consider when creating an online marketing strategy for your small business including:
- Defining Your Audience
- List of Keywords & Hashtags
- Researching Competition
- Which Social Media Platforms to use
- Organic Marketing or Paid Advertising?
- Social Media Content Calendar
- Sample Content
- Posting Schedule
- Monitoring the results
- Refining Content
When Red Desk Virtual meet with a Digital Management client, we consider all of the above and then come up with a proposal and strategy on how we would manage this for them.
We appreciate that many small businesses and start-ups but in their very nature they have limited funds for Digital Marketing. We have therefore become experts at making the most of the free tools out there, of which there are many. You can find a few suggestions on our blog here.
The important factor to bear in mind is that local marketing should be a constant and continuous process, unlike large nationwide brands that will launch short term campaigns, your local marketing needs to be continually working and building relationships with your local clients. Small businesses work far more on relationships and repeat customers so give some time and effort to your online presence in your local area.
Search engine algorithms are well set up for geographical searches and Google will bring up local businesses above those further afield. Therefore, you need to ensure that your website has the right keywords and searches that your local audience will use. Use geographical keywords and search terms such as ‘plumber in Guildford’.
Other things to consider include:
- Google My Business
- Social Media
Red Desk Virtual help small businesses reach their audience via the medium of social media and other digital outlets.
Have you considered your online reputation? Many business owners now realise that they need to have a presence on social media but they also need to realise that your social media platforms are part of a much bigger picture, your online reputation.
Red Desk Virtual can help improve your online presence. We work closely with web designers, looking at SEO and social media strategies including keywords, the types of content to post, and the best social media outlets for your type of business or product.
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