6 Strategies to eliminate bottlenecks, become insanely efficient & streamline your business operations.
“Not Enough Hours” is a Lie
It's not that there aren’t enough hours in the day. After all, everybody gets the same number of hours in a day.
Rather, the issue in business success is how much time you and your staff can focus on what really matters. Running a business is complicated and the key to success is operational efficiency.
When people think there's "not enough hours in the day", it's often because certain administrative functions have become a bottleneck, preventing them from generating more sales and delivering world-class service. Their team is likely stretched too thin so the prospect of growing may even seem scary!
However, a handful of changes can free up a massive amount of time and lead you to make important steps towards greater sustained success.
1. Move to Cloud Business Systems
2. Go Paperless
3. Focus on Customer Journey
4. Standardize Operating Procedures
5. Automate Processes
6. Remote Work & Outsourcing
#1 Move to Cloud Business Systems
Cloud accounting systems significantly reduces the time and energy spent on administrative tasks as compared with spreadsheets and out-dated desktop systems.
Not only do cloud accounting systems allow for multiple people to simultaneously perform their work, but they also deliver massive improvements to the speed and security with which data is shared, greatly reducing data entry, errors, and automating repetitive tasks. Having real-time access to your data anywhere means you can respond faster to opportunities as they arise.
What makes these systems so powerful, is the hundreds of powerful extensions that can be customized to the specific needs of your business.
Get paid immediately after completing your work with invoicing in the field and integrated payment systems like Stripe or PayPal.
Are you clients on recurring subscriptions? Collect automatically with Pre-authorized Debits and eliminate credit card fees.
Write a lot of cheques? Replace them with direct deposits, which are faster, more secure, and perfect for businesses that have multiple signing authorities.
Manage a remote service team? Specialty software exists that makes it easy to track your remote workforce, including geo-location, dispatch, remote billings, and payments.
…and much, much more.
Cloud accounting software may be the fastest way to liberate your team from mundane, repetitive tasks & accelerate your business.
#2 Go Paperless
Digitizing your documents offers a world of advantages over paper. Combined with cloud business systems, paperless offices enjoy many of these benefits:
Less data entry, higher accuracy. Technology exists that can auto-magically capture information from your source documents, giving your team more time to focus on higher-value work.
Enhanced security. When done right, digital record keeping is much secure than paper. Limiting access to who can see and share documents, password protection, and being able to retrieve documents when disaster strikes (such as a fire) are major advantages that shouldn’t be over-looked.
Fast, secure sharing of documents. Stop wasting time trying to locate a document that might be siting on your teammates desk. Quickly and securely access documents for the job at hand.
Fewer (costly) errors. Especially important to contractors and agencies that bill for time and materials, missing a time sheet or bill can be very costly if those expenses aren’t billed to your client.
Going paperless reduces administration, adds security, and makes staff more nimble so they have more time to serve their customers’ needs.
#3 FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Today’s customers expect and demand world-class service and the companies that get this right enjoy much faster growth and pricing power with their customers.
A great example of focusing on the customer journey can be seen in the differences between the taxi industry and Uber. Both essentially provide the same service, but Uber offers a much more convenient and refined customer experience. As a result, Uber is destroying its competition.
To achieve lasting success, you need to focus 100% of your attention on your customers’ experience.
By focusing on every customer’s needs and how you interact with them, you can smooth out the touch points. Mapping out processes that helps your clients get the easiest, most painless service offering possible is a key first step.
Take a close look at your major processes, then write down areas where you think you can make your clients’ lives easier and which parts of your journey is causing the most pain. Prioritize ones that cause the highest levels of pain.
Today’s customers expect world-class service, and if you can’t deliver this, there’s another firm out there that will.
#4 Standardize Operating Procedures
It's been said that "practice doesn’t make perfect", rather "Perfect practice makes perfect."
Standardizing your major processes is an important step to help you realize your customer service goals, reduce errors and ensure important steps are followed. Every time.
Having these procedures documented and tracked gives you benchmarks for monitoring your team’s performance and insight into where improvements can be made and helps you identify functions that could be automated or outsourced.
Success requires discipline and practice.
#5 Automate Processes
Automation takes Standard Operating Procedures to the next level by giving you more horsepower to increase your capacity to attract and serve more clients.
By automating repetitive, mundane tasks, you can free your staff to focus on higher-value work that brings passion to your organization and clientele.
Not only is your team happier, but automation also gives a big boost to your profits and cash flow.
Yes, this requires some up-front investment, but if you chose the right tasks to automate and have experts you trust to deploy the technology, the payback can be very significant, quick and continue for years to come.
Sustained business success is increasingly become a battle of the robots. Will your army be ready?
#6 Remote Work & Outsourcing
To remain competitive, you need to attract top talent. But with the talent pool being so tight these days, smart firms have a couple of strategies to increase their options:
Hire outside of their geographical region, or
Work with firms that specialize in their non-core functions.
Hiring the best people, no matter where they live is a great strategy for core-business functions. The great part about this is that younger generations are actively seeking remote work opportunities. And many firms are still not fully committed to this way of doing business, putting you in a prime position to snatch up high-quality candidates.
The hard part recruiting from afar is having the right technology and processes that properly allow for remote work. However, these challenges can be overcome by having clear project deadlines, regular meetings, and implementing the other recommendations presented above.
Many companies also avoid the issues of finding, hiring and managing certain employees altogether by working specialists in their non-core
functions. Doing so, allows them to focus on what they do best, while benefiting from the expertise and management support from professionals that focus 100% in that areas. Often dealing with specialists costs much less than trying to do it all in house, with the added bonus is they can scale their services as your business grows.
It pays to hire the best!
Time is the most precious resource we have, and by optimizing processes and better organizing your schedule you’ll be able to make the most out of it.
Taking advantage of these recommendations can help business owners quickly add horsepower to their operations, become more efficient, and stop being bottlenecks to their own success.
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