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When running an office business, you may find that however well you’ve put your ideas together, it can still all crumble away if you can’t figure out how to streamline the business processes and improve the workflow. In order for the people in your company to be productive and for the business to thrive effortlessly, you need to establish a workflow that works well within your organization. Otherwise, you can be met with confusion, mistakes and utter chaos that can set you back days, weeks or even months.
Let’s look at some tips on how you can improve this workflow for both your team and your company, so everything will run smoothly in the future.
1. Assign Your Teams
It’s true, especially of start-ups, that employees tend to have multiple roles at hand, each pitching in with different tasks to help the greater good of the company. However, if left unmanaged, this approach can quickly ruin your business processes, since there’s no real focused direction in the way that people work. This is why it’s essential to assign teams and people to certain, very specific tasks so that everyone knows what they need to accomplish and where they can shine best at.
Each department and each project needs to have its own clearly assigned people that will see the company’s objectives to the very end, before moving on to new ones. To this end, it’s also very important to establish how each department can and will relate to one another and how they can help each other in order to meet the company’s bigger-picture goals.
2. Use a Workflow System
Regardless of how basic it may be, a workflow system pinpointing the tasks at hand can truly bring clarity and focus to your team and company. You can organize each task by its degree of completion – recently assigned tasks, in-progress tasks and completed tasks, so you can get a clearer picture of what still needs to be done that day, that week or even that month.
Each team member will get a better grasp of what they need to be doing and will also understand what their peers are assigned with. It’s really amazing how much more productive you can get by simply writing the tasks down and cutting them off the list whenever they have been completed.
3. Automate Your Business Processes
There’s nothing more counter-productive than relying on manual processes that take tremendous amounts of time when you can easily switch to an automated version. It may require you to eliminate paper order forms and keeping the whole order on your computer or it may require you to install printer apps on your phone to streamline the entire printing process. All these extra minutes you save with each newly automated task add up to hours and hours of wasted time for your business, that can otherwise be used for higher-value tasks.
4. Analyze Your Results
It’s always been said that work you cannot measure is wasted work for companies. Be sure to draw in all the information you can on your business processes, so you can understand what yields good results, helping your company flourish and what still needs tweaking as it’s setting everyone back by a few steps. Make a habit out of conducting periodic assessments of your business practices and workflow, ensuring that you engage with your employees, who ultimately hold the key to what and how can be improved within the organization.
Your customers also have an important say in how the business is running, so carefully collect all data regarding their engagement and satisfaction with your services. Keep all your evaluations and results in digital format, with a back-up for extra safety, so you can come back to them in the following months and notice the fluctuation, as well as the reasons behind it.
5. Improve Communication
Often times, a well-designed business process can be seriously sabotaged by poor communication within an organization. When team members don’t communicate easily and efficiently, chaos can ensue, instantly affecting already fulfilled tasks.
Having said this, it’s important to focus on strengthening the company’s culture and building strong relationships between team members, based on trust, respect and transparency. Apart from this, it’s also recommended that you implement a cloud-based system for easier document sharing amongst all the team members.
When running a company, clarity and a streamlined business process don’t just come naturally. In the end, you’ll need to implement the steps discussed above in order to shed a light on where the company is headed and how the team members can better work together to meet these common goals. With a bit of planning, adequate records and keeping up to date with every single change you’ve implemented within the company, chances are you’re headed towards a path of prosperity and growth together with your team.