If you’re a business owner, we probably don’t need to tell you that the economy is booming with its record low unemployment (below 4%). We also probably don’t need to tell you that with the economy on an upswing, more businesses are entering the marketplace to try to cash in on increased consumer spending.
There are a lot of ways that experts suggest you can stay ahead of that competition. Spending more on marketing, offering better prices, investing more in research and development…
In our opinion though, the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to maximizing your company’s effectiveness is to streamline your work processes.
Here are 7 simple ways that you can achieve that end.
1. Document Your Processes
Before you can start streamlining things, you need to understand what’s currently going on and get everything in writing.
For example, if you were to ask a new employee to bill a client, how would they go about doing that? How would a new cleaner manage tidying up your office?
Everything that happens in your business has a process. Understanding what that process is and documenting it can help you improve things and will also enable you to quickly train other people on how to accomplish tasks.
2. Outsource Easy Stuff
With your processes documented, you can now see which need to be kept in-house and which can be outsourced.
Maybe after documenting the processes that your secretary carries out, you’ve come to the determination that their work could be more effectively handled by an external agency. If that’s the case, outsource.
Outsourcing work to external agencies might be taken personally by people that work for you but at the end of the day, as a business owner, it’s your job to continue propelling your company to offer high-level services at affordable prices.
Outsourcing can help you to achieve that end as simply as possible.
3. Simplify Your Billing Practices
A lot of companies live and die by the way that they bill.
We can’t tell you how many thousands of dollars we’ve seen lost because invoices have forgotten to go out. We also can’t tell you how many companies have lost customers due to convoluted and complicated billing practices.
Remember, asking people for money is an important aspect of running a business. So, if you’re going to get anything right, let it be your billing.
There are a number of external agencies that work in niche fields like labs, orthodontics and a number of other facets that can help you streamline your billing processes.
You can find more information online.
4. Try Out Collaboration Software
As the world becomes more digital, the way that you run your company should follow suit. One of our favorite ways to boost workplace productivity with technology is via collaboration software.
Tools like Asana, Trello, Slack and others enable large teams to always stay in communication with each other and share/manage tasks. As things get done on digital to-do lists, progress syncs between teams so nobody is ever left in the dark regarding what needs to get done and what’s expected of them.
If your team is small, many popular productivity tools offer free products to use. Medium and large-sized teams will usually have to pay monthly or annual fees for software use.
5. Invest in Professional Development
One of the least efficient things in business is employee turnover. Turnover costs a lot of money and puts managers in a time hole as they try to find new people and train them.
One of the best ways to avoid turnover is to invest in professional development.
Employees that feel like they’re growing in their current roles will be a lot less likely to try and seek out new opportunities in other roles.
While taking the time to put together professional development programs might seem costly to you, believe us when we say that the costs and effort you put into development will pale in comparison to the cost and effort that’s required to bring on new people.
6. Reduce Meetings
Anybody that has spent a couple of weeks in corporate America knows all too well how many meetings take place. While we all like to believe that every meeting is necessary, in truth, most aren’t.
Think about it… If you ask 50 people that make $30.00 per hour to come to a meeting, your meeting is costing the company $1500.00.
Is the information that you’re going to be sharing worth that much money? Could it be communicated just as easily over the phone or via email with a smaller group?
The more selective you are with meetings, the more productive your office is going to be.
7. Open Up The Conversation Floor
Our final work processes improvement tip is to create a culture that makes questions okay.
We’re not just suggesting that you make questions okay amongst managers and their direct subordinates. We’re suggesting that you make it so everybody feels free to ask or tell anything to anyone in your company.
Allowing information to flow freely without red tape will boost productivity, moral, and will help you build a better overall work environment.
Wrapping Up Ways to Streamline Your Business’ Work Processes
The better the work processes are in your business, the smoother things are going to go. We hope that our process suggestions above have inspired some ideas of how you’d like to improve your office going forward.
If you’d like more inspiration on how to get the most out of your operation, do yourself a favor and browse more of our content on our lifestyle-oriented website today!