How small businesses can streamline their processes

Here, Peter King explores how businesses can go about making their workflow more efficient.

It is in human nature to complicate everything even the simplest of tasks. It is no different at the workplace. Every job basically entails following through a string of processes, meaning all you have to do is ensure that each process is done effectively. The workflow of a business is simply determined by how effectively and efficiently these processes are followed through. To help you streamline your business for better management, here are some essential tips you may want to consider.

1. Take a business workflow inventory

As obvious as this may sound, it certainly isn’t. You will be surprised that most institutions – including the top dogs – lack proper documentation that defines their work processes. It is a paramount aspect ignored by most businesses unfortunately. If enhancing your business’ workflow serves as your main goal, it would be in your best interest to list all workflows or processes that define your business. The main idea here is to keep it simple, yet detailed. In short, ensure that every step of a comprehensive workflow is listed – right from the top to the bottom. Even if it seems like a simple routine such as signing out a laser engraving machine, or ordering lunch for every employee, write it down.

2. Rank the processes

Sometimes, your list of processes can be overwhelming and it is okay. All you have to do is jot down your list starting with the most important as you work your way down. It is common to find employees forgetting about some of their mundane tasks despite being good at what they do. If you’ve tried writing down a list of your processes as mentioned above, you will be surprised by actually how much work you have to follow through on a weekly basis. In order to keep you abreast, you need a detailed list consisting of the comprehensive workflow. Remember, stack rank the processes in order to help you follow through the processes in seamless fashion.

3. Break down each process

As mentioned earlier, the main idea here is to always keep it simple. Sure, most business processes and workflow are indeed complex, but once you have the written on a piece of paper – everything changes. When it comes to breaking down the processes, the more minute it gets, the better for you. It doesn’t really matter whether you prefer to outline your processes on an Ms Word document or spreadsheet; every little detail should make sense. Basically, try to paint the perfect picture of the beginning, middle and desired outcome of the comprehensive workflow.

4. Get feedback

Getting feedback is an integral part of any business and this also applies to your employees. As a businessperson, you should solicit feedback from subordinates, employees and management – at every opportunity you get. This not only helps you get fresh ideas, but also stay abreast of how smooth the processes are. No business can successfully function without employees, meaning you want to keep them satisfied at all times, which also means getting their opinion.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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