Allen Woo explains how to improve business processes and drive growth
Time is the one thing business owners don’t have enough of. Automation, integration and outsourcing are great ways to save time. Business improvement expert Allen Woo outlines four steps that will help you streamline your business processes.
Your business processes are the tasks or actions that you and your team take to achieve your business goals. These can include day-to-day tasks such as communication, expense management, and transaction management.
You’re not the only one using Excel for business process management (BPM). These tasks can become a bottleneck and you should consider using tools that allow you to focus on other things. Although business process improvement (BPI) may seem like a burden, it doesn’t have to be.
Woo says, “With a growing or large team, you need tools to work for everyone, anywhere.” Apps like Slack and Google Chat aren’t just for tech companies. These apps can help you increase productivity within your business. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are two popular options for video conferencing. This is especially true now that more and more people are working remotely.
Before deciding which communication tool to use, it is important to make a list. Clients and contractors could be included as stakeholders. Prioritize the users most likely to use your product, such as your customer service team, sales team, and project management team.
Next, make sure the app is compatible with any existing email, project, or customer relationship management systems. Checking integrations will help you choose the best configuration for each scenario.
Automation can save time and money. Automation reduces human error. You can make your team more productive and reduce the number of repetitive tasks. Start by doing a process analysis to identify inefficient processes. Examine the workflows of different teams and create a flowchart to help you make decisions.
When you implement a new system, you don’t have to reinvent the process. The software should be flexible enough to work with you. These benefits go beyond efficiency. Automation can help you make continuous improvements to your business. Your team will be less distracted by the details and can focus on bigger projects that have a direct impact on customer satisfaction or your bottom line.
Overdue bills, missed bills, or bills you intended to send but forgot can all get in the way of a healthy cash flow. Woo explains that the solution is to improve the process.
Maybe your team member still prepares and sends batches of invoices every week. Automating everything will save you time and get paid faster.
Woo explained how to create invoices with a custom branded logo that offers a “pay now” option. Woo also mentioned that automated reminders can be set up to help customers stay on track. He also suggested a fee could be added to encourage timely payments. It is possible to see if customers have seen their invoices. If they haven’t seen their invoice, check that the email address you have is correct.
Accounts Payable is the other side of cash flow. Woo said it’s easy to forget to pay bills until you realize you need to collect them.
But managing utilities, rent, and supplier bills, among other things, can be overwhelming if you try to do it all by hand. Managing payments is another business process that is easier to automate.
Integration is automation’s best friend. Life is so much easier when you fully integrate your systems. Like many businesses, you probably use multiple apps or software to manage your operations. Payroll is a great example of a process that can take longer and be less accurate when your systems don’t work together.
You can automate time tracking for hourly employees by using an app that tracks employee hours. Payroll software could be used to manage direct deposits and taxes. Integrating the two processes will eliminate the need to manually enter employee hours.
Outsourcing is the act of transferring a business process from one company to another. You could, for example, hire another company to handle the accounting and human resource management. Many business owners are hesitant to hire another company for accounting and human resources.
Woo suggests considering outsourcing experts if you’re stuck managing legacy processes. It’s a good investment because it will allow you to make better use of your time.
Make sure your team buys outsourcing before you do. Be clear about the benefits and what your team can gain from outsourcing. To protect your data, it is important to perform a risk assessment. This is especially true if you are going to share customer or personal information.
About Allen Woo
Allen Woo is a self-taught expert in business and people management. Originally from Canada, he has spent much of his adult life honing his innate skills in motivation and personal growth. Woo dedicates his time to helping businesses and individuals dramatically improve their day-to-day interactions, constantly exploring new methods to motivate and improve teams. When away from his responsibilities, he likes to focus on inner growth and enjoys outdoor activities that exercise the body and mind.