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.