Every business uses a number of different processes to make up their daily routine – from the way you create products or provide services, to the way you handle customer complaints and feedback.
Sometimes you might not even realise that you’ve been taking a specific set of steps to complete a task the whole time you’ve been operating. But are all of your business processes working in your favour?
Identifying the warning signs.
Most business owners will have an awareness of what works and what doesn’t – especially if they’ve been in the industry a while. However, sometimes we can be so set in our ways that we don’t realise the processes we’re using are not the best.
Unhappy clients, stressed or confused staff members, silly small mistakes and missed deadlines are all clear signifiers of an issue with one or more of your processes. Simply paying more attention to what your staff are doing and whether or not they are struggling to keep up with the work handed to them, will help you identify when and where things need to change.
Here are a few ways to ensure your business stays on top, with the most proactive and updated processes.
1. Get rid of manual or paper storage of files
In today’s digital era, we are spoilt for choice of online programs and services that can store our files. Utilising online platforms to create and accumulate documents is extremely beneficial for businesses for a few reasons. Most prominently, it will speed up the process of locating files as you need them.
Imagine needing to find a document while in the middle of a meeting with a potential client, and having to scrounge through an old, manual filing cabinet. Wouldn’t opening up your laptop and conducting a quick search in your online drive be a far more professional (and time-savvy) approach?
2. Remove any duplicate processes
Having more than one process to complete a certain task is an major business no-no. However, many firms still do it, sometimes without even realising. Not keeping all of your staff in-the-know with the latest and most updated processes can lead to major confusion, mistakes, or even feuds between staff members. Not only will this slow your business down, but the ripple effect it creates will impact your clients, and potentially cause them to venture to an organisation that can get the job done more efficiently.
3. Avoid complex processes
Overly complicated processes can also lead to staff confusion, which consequently results in errors and customer dissatisfaction. In saying this, complex processes can be particularly hard to identify, as most of the time they will be the ones you’ve been using the longest. Again, talking to your staff about any issues or confusion they are coming across will help here. Once you have pinpointed the lengthy processes, break them down into essential and nonessential steps, and workshop a new and improved process that will save you and your staff time.
4. Be able to adapt or introduce new processes
In the ever-changing technological era we live in, it’s important for businesses to be able to adapt quickly and responsively to new processes. Conducting regular research on the latest, most efficient ways to complete tasks will help ensure your business stays on top.
Making sure your staff don’t become complacent and set in their ways, by regularly giving them new tasks and challenges will also help to build a culture that thrives when things are constantly shifting and growing.
5. Still struggling to pinpoint the issues?
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you might not be able to pinpoint the issues that are slowing your business down. Seeking assistance from an impartial business advisor will help, as they will analyse your business with a professional eye, find the issues you’re not aware of and provide turn-key solutions.
At Toohey Reid, we have a team of trained professionals who will look at your business as a whole, identify any internal or external issues, and develop unique strategies to solve them.
General Advice Disclaimer
General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.
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