How to streamline business processes?
When we hear about business process streamlining, we often think of it as making any business-related process more efficient. Although this notion is not wrong in itself, it does not really describe what it really means to “streamline a process”. What do we do when we try to streamline the various workflows in our business? Essentially, we remove all unnecessary steps. We simplify all activities.
What are the potential benefits of streamlining processes in your business?
Although the benefits can vary greatly depending on the type of strategy adopted, working towards efficient workflows will always be a good thing. However, some of the potential changes could include:
- Improved internal communication and coordination
- Increased productivity across the business
- Easier and more streamlined training of new employees
- Better understanding of customer wants and needs
- Increased profitability
What should SMBs keep in mind when trying to streamline their processes?
- Determine the processes you want to simplify and write them down.
You may already know which areas of the business you need to change, either because they are costing you too much or because you can tell how much energy it takes from your team. Try to decide which activities you want to simplify, then write them down and each step involved. Be sure to seek input from any team member who usually handles this process, and they’ll have a much better understanding of what’s going on day-to-day.
Once you have everything written down, it will be much easier to decide which steps you can simplify and how.
- Outsource if you need to.
No company needs to be an expert in absolutely every area of business. You have a law firm but you have no idea about accounting issues? Do you own a beauty salon and absolutely hate cleaning? You don’t need to be in charge of absolutely every area of your business.
In fact, a good way to simplify tasks is to leave them to the experts, the ones who can do something quickly and who will even thank you for the new deal. Even when it comes to the action of streamlining business activities, there are plenty of consultants who specialize in this area who could offer great help with the task at hand. Never be afraid to ask for outside help!
- Automate as much as you can.
One of the good things about the 21st century is that we have all the technology to make life as easy as possible. Automating tasks is a very effective way to reduce costs, while ensuring that everything runs smoothly – there is no human error in the world of machines!
You can automate different things, from email marketing to accounting to payments. A good option would probably be to consider an Open Banking platform for payments, as this will also allow you to effectively use data from your consumer base to better understand your customers’ needs and wants. Open banking will also make other processes much easier; in case you need to apply for a loan, for example, an Open Banking platform will allow you to have all your books in one place, which will facilitate their transmission to the lending entity.