Small business owners need agility and flexibility. They must be able to provide consistent service to their clients while focusing their energies on important business decisions and processes. Streamlining their business processes frees up owners’ time and adds flexibility and agility to their schedules.
Freedom From Phones
Business owners and executives have more important things to do than answer phones all day. Therefore, they may consider investing in a true second phone number, such as a ninja number, that works on their existing network. This second number may also have added features, such as the use of AI to answer and respond to calls and remind them about the calls that need to be returned. Executives can also adopt client-focused, informative, or funny voicemail greetings that encourage their clients to leave detailed messages.
Every business has regular, redundant processes. However, not every business uses AI to automate these processes, freeing employees to focus on more complicated tasks. For example, much of human resources processes and manufacturing processes can be automated using AI technology. These services can record email and call data, reconcile billing services and read legal contracts.
Robotics can be used in manufacturing and warehousing activities to protect employees’ health and increase efficiency. These technologies also evaluate whether your machinery is running efficiently and at capacity. They can even identify bottlenecks in the process and tell you when maintenance is needed on specific machinery.
Evaluate Paper Use
Paperwork is cumbersome. It collects in piles and must be sorted and stored. These tasks take time and are an inefficient use of time. Reducing physical paperwork is one of the easiest ways to streamline your business processes because paper copies are not always needed.
Consider investigating document management solutions that can organize documents by topic in your computer system without requiring paper backups. You should be able to scan and search documents quickly. These services also allow you to determine who is authorized to access specific documents, preventing security violations within and outside the company. These systems also free up floor space because you can get rid of filing cabinets and other physical storage solutions.
Address Travel Needs
Do you or your employees have to travel for business? Travel may be important for certain marketing and contract negotiation tasks, as well as seminars, conferences, and training seminars, but are you sure you need to travel as much as you do? Travel is inefficient and takes you away from your primary business tasks.
New video conferencing technology enables face-to-face meetings via video conferences, and during your conference, you can also share and update documents. Figures, research, and even contract changes are available to all parties immediately. You can also digitally sign documents and transfer them across the internet.
Review your company’s travel needs using cost-benefit analysis. Some of your travel is valuable. For example, employees may learn new strategies and processes through offsite training and conferences. However, not all travel is strictly necessary and may cost more than you gain in knowledge or sales.
Analyze Your Processes
Humans don’t typically like change, so we often do the same things the same way they have been done for years. However, over time, we can find ways to complete tasks more efficiently. For example, we may find that some tasks we thought had to be done by a person can be automated. We may also be able to skip steps, such as printing paper copies of everything. Therefore, each process within a company should be evaluated to determine its efficiency and effectiveness.
A flow chart can be used to map processes, but you should also interview your employees and customers to determine if any of the procedures frustrate them. Identify any bottlenecks and research solutions. Then, evaluate your costs and quality to determine whether you can reduce your costs without affecting the quality of your product or service. Each procedure should be reviewed to determine if any step is causing unnecessary delays or frustrations.
Your processes can then be redesigned to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Form teams of employees who actually work on these tasks daily and discuss how they can be changed.
Your business can become more streamlined and efficient, reducing your costs and increasing your profitability. Consider reviewing your procedures and resources and adopting new technologies and processes to streamline your business.