Occupation Automation: 5 Ways for Small Businesses to Streamline Their Processes
Small business employees wear a lot of hats, especially during periods of rapid growth. It is not uncommon for business processes to quickly become out-of-date in these situations. If you are noticing your company seems to be less efficient than it used to be, it is an excellent time to review your processes and determine if they could benefit from any of the five streamlining options listed below.
Enlist Integrated Technology
Plenty of apps and systems exist, each one designed to free up dozens of staff-hours, thus increasing your business’ bottom line. However, you need to be sure everything will work together. Freight management software that does everything from label creation to invoicing while easily integrating into your existing systems is one stellar example of how this can work seamlessly. Another example is payroll scheduling software that works with your accounting system to identify missed shifts in real-time and reflect them in employee checks.
Your team may be comprised of a few folks who wear a lot of hats. Chances are good that each one of them is performing a function or two that is outside of their wheelhouse, just because someone has to do it. These functions may be wasting precious revenue-generating hours of very talented employees. Review your team’s job functions and determine if anything could or should be outsourced. Common areas small businesses outsource are Human Resources and IT. When you outsource these functions, not only do you free up your team, you gain access to seasoned professionals who are likely more efficient and cost-effective.
Maximize your FAQ’s
Perhaps employees are spending too much time answering the same customer questions over and over You can streamline this process by utilizing the full power of your website. Poll your employees to find the most repetitive inquiries and then update (or create) the FAQ page of your site to capture all of them. Direct current and potential customers to this information by adding tag lines to the bottom of employee emails that say things like, “Save time by visiting our FAQ page,” and add a similar message to the business’ main voicemail.
Consider Collaborative Communication
Email is an effective means of communication with customers, but that does not mean it is best for your internal communication. Messaging apps like Slack create conversation threads for groups that are easy to find and refer to while encouraging quick, transparent dialogue. Consider streamlining your business communication by transitioning to one of these collaborative tools, or review these ideas for how to communicate more effectively via email.
Use Online Forms
Do you spend far too much time compiling and entering information or answering emails on the same topic? Do your employees spend too much time collecting customer data? In both situations, online forms can streamline your business processes by gathering data from your website and emails and aggregating it in a database that is more easily accessible for everyone.
If you feel like your business has become less efficient, it is time to review and streamline your internal processes. Don’t be afraid to add apps and systems, collaborative communication tools and online forms, so long as they integrate with what you already have in place. If you identify tasks that are taking up too much employee time, you may want to consider options like outsourcing various functions and website updates to make sure you are maximizing your available resources.