Your business can get complicated very quickly. But taking the time to take action will help you get your business back in shape more quickly before it gets out of hand. Today, we are talking about ways to take action and simplifying your business, so it works better for you. Whether you are a solopreneur or have a few employees, streamlining your systems will not only save you money, but it will also make room for additional clients. If you are looking to get more customers, take action using these easy to follow steps.
How to simplify a process in a small business
Let’s determine what you need to change first.
Make a list of processes you need to review that would help you streamline your business. These processes can be internal administrative or external processes completed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
- For internal business processes, go through your day and decide how long it takes all your tasks. Focus on the tasks that take several hours. These are the ones that you will be able to improve upon the process immediately. Outline the tasks specifically for those methods to see what takes the longest time. Then, work on revising the task that takes the most time. If there are other people involved in the process, have them review the steps with you to see if it makes sense to revise that part of the process.
- For external client based processes that will directly impact the customers, try sending out a detailed survey that asks them what process you should be revising first to see what they think needs a little work. Give the customers no more than a week to do the survey. Feel free to send the client the survey a few days later to make sure they saw it. I find that if you send them at least two emails about a survey, they are more likely to take the questionnaire. Just watch not to bombard them with spammy messages.
Now that you know what process you want to work on, you now need to figure out when to work on the changes. Make a list of times in your week that will allow you the time to spend on simplifying your business.
- Pick a day that is less busy for you and allows you to get a few hours of review finished. Fridays afternoon and Sunday evenings works well. Adding these recurring block out times to your calendar will help you stay focused.
Now, it’s time to write out the process if you don’t have it written out already. Remember to include every single step. It may sound silly, but it helps determine where the process stops working. Here’s an example to describe each step: Make three copies for John Doe, Bill Smith, and Karen Samuel. Don’t worry if the feel like the list of tasks is too long. The goal is to reduce the task steps by at least 25%; more is even better.
With the process spelled out in front of you, you can clearly see what steps are redundant and are wasteful in products. Go even further and ask yourself these questions:
- Is the person that is responsible for this task the right person?
- Does the person doing this role have the skills to do it effectively?
- What could other persons help you do these tasks more efficiently?
- Is there an app or device that will help you simplify this task?
- Are there smaller steps that need to be written down into a checklist? If you have a checklist already, does the list need to be updated?
Now, write down the answers on a separate piece of paper for that process. I prefer rewriting the process so to incorporate the necessary changes and eliminating the unnecessary steps. If this feels overwhelming, ask a coworker or significant other to be your sounding board. Vocalizing the process and the new changes help you see if the steps flow smoothly from one to the other.
Now, how does your process look? Now it’s time to use the process and test to see if it saved you time and money. How did it go? If you have any questions are struggling with revising the process, feel free to leave a question below. Also, if you feel overwhelmed, feel free to check out my Virtual Admin Services or Procedure Evaluations and Refinement Services to help you with this process.
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