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How to Streamline Your Business Operations

Published: 12/07/2017 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Deadlines, targets, statistics and figures are integral to modern businesses and can be overwhelming to business owners and managers. To reduce the workload of those at the top of the business, and free them up for dealing with other more important issues, it is essential to identify different ways to streamline your business operations.

Read our top tips to help you simplify internal processes for your employees, customers, business partners and suppliers.

Digitize your operation

Companies no longer need to rely on paper to run a successful business. Thanks to the cloud, it is now easier than ever to create, store and manage important documents. One of the most effective ways to simplify your operations, therefore, is to review your company’s paper flow.

Ask employees responsible for the paperwork the following questions:

  • Why is the paperwork needed?
  • Do they need the paperwork to perform in their role?
  • Can they access the paperwork on a computer?

The chances are, an employee is storing a paper document due to traditional internal procedures. If they cannot justify why they need the paperwork, it can more than likely be shredded. However, encourage every member of staff to backup all documents to ensure the company has continual access to any essential data.

Outsource Your Operations

It’s not cheating to outsource your operations. You are simply hiring an individual or company who can help your company meet its objectives. For instance, a digital marketing agency could utilize the experience of a talented freelance web developer, rather than hiring an internal member of staff so that they can reduce their overheads and company size.

Consolidate Your Applications and Files

Many companies waste time switching from one application to the next to run a business. Unfortunately, this can overcomplicate business operations and reduce productivity. Any forward-thinking business wanting to improve their operations should consider consolidating their applications and files. 

For example, the intelligent Celigo iPaaS Integration Platform allows companies to connect their files and cloud applications to simplify internal processes. By opting for a paid plan, you can consolidate an unlimited amount of applications to improve efficiency.

Pay in Advance

How many times have you opened an application only to find you have been locked out due to a late payment? We guess too many times to mention. Many business owners make the mistake of opting for a monthly fee, but forget to make a payment as they are focusing on other aspects of their company.

Don’t allow late payments to slow you down. If possible, opt to pay $100 for six months service over a $25 monthly fee. Not only will you save money, but it will ensure you don’t waste time paying for bills each month.

Hold Fewer Staff Meetings

Communication is key in business, however, too much talking can also slow down your business. Instead of holding staff meetings every day or week, send an email update to keep your staff in the loop and host a meeting at the start or end of each month. Less talk often means more action, so don’t waste both yours and your employees’ time and allow them to get to work.

Divide Your Business Operations

Don’t allow your employees to become overwhelmed by many mixed messages and channels. Simplify your operations by dividing the business into different channels, such as:

  • Online
  • Direct mail
  • Customer service
  • Catalogue
  • Print advertising

You also must have one main marketing message to provide to all departments each week, which will ensure brand consistency on every channel. Clear communication will ensure your employees focus on one area of the business so that a company can deliver exceptional customer service and marketing campaigns each day.

Focus on Tasks Not Objectives

It is easy to become so wrapped up in business objectives that you forget on the best ways to meet them. Instead of writing a long to-do list of all the goals you want to achieve, focus on tasks that can help you reach or exceed the company’s aims.

Encourage all employees to focus on three tasks each day so they can maximize their time and performance. Not only will it prevent a team member from becoming overwhelmed, but it will help them prioritize their workload each day.

Create a Priority Task List

Different employees will have different needs or objectives, so they may require the help of another employee, who will have their own goals to meet. A department manager should, therefore, be solely responsible for any incoming tasks, so they can create a priority task list before allocating a task to an employee. By apportioning tasks fairly, you can prevent a member of staff dropping everything to help a colleague, which may result in the company missing a deadline. 

Make Time for Streamlining

Set aside one day every three to six months to identify the different ways to streamline your business. On this day, close the office door, disconnect the phone and stay away from your email. By informing employees only to disturb you in an emergency, you will have enough time to effectively review internal processes to spot any opportunities for improvement or, alternatively, any weaknesses that require attention. Investing a couple of days per year to simplify business operations could save a company money, while helping you to reach or exceed your sales and marketing goals.

Reduce Your Services

If a business is struggling to meet deadlines or the quality is slipping, it could be because you have taken on more work than you can handle. Reducing your services may help you to not only decrease your task load, but it can improve the quality of your work while allowing your company to specialize in fewer services. Creating a niche will allow you to have a broader understanding of one or two areas, rather than being a jack of all trades and a master of none. 

Identify Employee Challenges

Many employees are often too scared to speak up if they are struggling in their role, as they may worry about the consequences of showing weakness. Provide team members with a forum to air any challenges they are facing in their position or department, such as too many tasks, poor management systems or a lack of internal organization. Such an approach will allow you to spot any common challenges within different departments so you can find the best solution.

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