There are many time-consuming and repetitive operational tasks that you and your employees undertake on a day-to-day basis. While they may be essential for your business, not all of these tasks contribute to the company’s bottom line. So, by finding solutions to streamline and simplify these workflows, you can better dedicate your resources to more high-value tasks and concentrate on growing your business.
Streamlining your business processes is an important factor in improving the efficiency and productivity of your company. This will help get you to save time, control costs, and get you closer to your business goals.
Here are 3 methods that you can easily implement in order for your workflows to become more efficient.
Method 1: Automate Tasks
The old-fashioned way of doing business is to hire employees to work certain time periods in order to manually address all the daily demands of the business. It wasn’t unusual for large corporations to hire several receptionists or even employ call centers to just have someone answer the phone 24/7.
For smaller businesses who cannot afford multiple employees, entrepreneurs who multi-task and work non-stop used to be the norm.
However, new advancements in technology mean that you do not need to do everything in real-time or hire an army of employees just to keep up with your customers. By automating business processes, you can save valuable time so you can free yourself from tasks that can be performed by clicking a few buttons.
Here are some examples of tasks that you can automate:
- Email queries
- Chat support
- Phone menu prompts
- Scheduling of social media posts
- Chat responses
- Real-time report generation
- Publishing blog posts
Finance and Payments
- Payment of bills
- Payment reminders
- Finance reports
- Backing up of files to the cloud or servers
- Using Google alerts for research
- Email sorting
- Website traffic tracking
- Filling out online forms
Method 2: Streamlining Your Tech
There are many tech solutions that can make your business workflows more accessible and convenient. Depending on your industry, you can be sure to find an innovative service that will allow you to work smarter and faster.
If you work in a traditional office setting, take an inventory of all your tech acquisitions and assess whether they are working at optimum capacity. Is your internet connection fast enough for your business needs? Are you using applications that are secure and cost-efficient?
Many business owners often overlook that even simple disruptions in everyday office equipment can be a productivity killer. You may think, for instance, that a broken printer is a normal occurrence that shouldn’t be given much attention.
However, when the machine breaks down, it can be exasperating as this delays projects and can cause employee frustration. These problems, however, can be avoided. Using managed print services to help your business is an example of how you can preemptively resolve these issues and make sure all your printing concerns are taken care of.
It works by having a company remotely monitor the status of your printers, so someone else is tracking if you’re low on ink (and ordering it so you don’t have to), and can remotely diagnose technical issues.
Another example of a business innovation that offers numerous benefits is utilizing Cloud technology. The Cloud allows co-workers to seamlessly share data and collaborate in real-time wherever they are in the world. If you save your work in the Cloud, there’s no more running to the office because you forgot your USB flash drive or asking someone to email you something in the middle of the night.
In fact, no matter what type of business you run, there are many methods available to help you streamline your tech.
Method 3: Use Services That Seamlessly Integrate
The number of available apps, software, and programs that are now available to businesses can be overwhelming. It’s easy to be impressed by what each and every tech tool promises to deliver. Like many other entrepreneurs who are excited to adopt these solutions, you may be guilty of implementing a host of different apps that are totally unrelated to one another.
While this is a good sign that you’re trying to increase your business efficiency as much as you can, this can also be problematic. Sometimes, by using many different platforms simultaneously, you actually end up spending more time switching from one to another to double check their accuracy.
To prevent this from happening, it would be ideal if you choose services that seamlessly integrate with one another. The compatibility features will save you a lot of time so you do not have to manually transfer or cross-check data.
One example of an effective tool that has seamless integration features is using a form builder application that can integrate with other applications when collecting data.
If your business accepts payments, donations and online orders, you can use the service to create a customizable web form that can be embedded in your website. The web form application can usually be integrated with a host of other business applications such as your accounting software, your order forms, e-commerce, emails, and many more.
But how is this useful for you? If you use a web form application for your online order forms, this can automatically send the information to your accounting software, which removes the need for the manual transfer of data. Manual entering of data is usually prone to human error. This way, customer data is collected on the spot and once sent to your accounting books, it can be used immediately.
This lessens your workload and saves you time and effort, which will contribute to better productivity. Using integrated applications also allows you to track and monitor your orders and payments more efficiently without the fear of missing an invoice or duplicating an order.
By using services that integrate with one another, you are making the workflow more efficient and doing away with tedious tasks that only hold you back. You are actually getting the results you signed up for instead of unnecessarily dealing with too many moving parts that can be tiresome to manage.
Work smarter, not harder
You’ve always been told that in order to succeed you must work hard. While this may be sound advice, there are now many tools that can relieve you of time-consuming tasks so you don’t need to devote your precious hours to things that you can easily automate. What this does is give you more space to focus on doing things that will allow you to grow in your career and also in your personal life.