In a previous article, we talked about three tweaks you can use to improve your small business buyer experience. In a market as competitive as it is today, maintaining customer satisfaction through positive experience is a massive competitive advantage you cannot afford to neglect.
Market competitiveness is also the reason why you need to stay lean and efficient as a business. When you are competing with larger corporations, efficient workflows turn into market responsiveness and flexibility.
So, how can you improve your internal workflows without sacrificing customer experience? There are a lot of things you can do to put your small business on the track to continuous workflow improvement, and we are going to discuss the best tweaks to implement in this article.
Automation is the way forward. It is a solution to expanding your small business capacity without growing your team, investing more money, or pouring more resources into business processes. Automation lets you free up existing resources for better reallocation.
Adding automation to existing workflows is not a complex process. You can start by reviewing the current workflows you have in your small business and identifying repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time and resources. Those are the tasks that you can automate almost immediately.
The next step is finding solutions that can help you automate repetitive tasks. Simpler tools like macros and operating system automation scripts are perfect if you are just getting started or you want to automate offline tasks. Moving on to cloud-based solutions is the next step to take.
Cloud-based solutions have built-in automation tools and features that help you integrate multiple parts of business workflows. For example, you can use Salesforce to handle customer relationship management and immediately gain tools to help automate tasks such as sending follow-up emails.
Better Project Management
Another great way to improve internal workflows is by taking project management seriously. Once again, this will put your small business on track to continuous improvement. Better project management allows you to identify bottlenecks and challenges more accurately.
You can implement methodologies like Agile to revolutionize how you manage projects. Agile planning, for example, lets you get into the cycle of Agile project management in a structured way. It also lets you define long- and short-term goals effectively.
Once a methodology is selected, you can also integrate project management tools to simplify the process. In the case of Agile, Kanban board is a handy tool to use. You now have service providers like Kanbanize offering a wealth of features that make project management a walk in the park.
Using Kanbanize to organize projects and tasks, you will be able to see your workload, monitor key metrics, and identify potential bottlenecks just by observing the board. Once you reach this stage, you can begin optimizing your workflows to minimize bottlenecks in a targeted way.
The next tweak to implement is boosting team accountability. This too is aligned with the primary objective of improving business processes and workflows. Using tools such as Kanbanize, every team member can also view current tasks and workloads with immense transparency.
Everything from the company’s main strategy to iteration and daily tasks can be accessed and monitored on the board. The next task is developing a culture of accountability and a higher sense of ownership. It will not be long before team members start assisting each other in achieving mutual goals.
Other tweaks are just as important. For example, you can start organizing one-on-one sessions with team members to better understand their points of view. Direct conversations are irreplaceable. They are the key to connecting with your team members on a more personal level.
The habit of speaking to team members directly further leads to more benefits. Team members are not only more loyal when they feel appreciated, but also more productive in general. Higher accountability and sense of ownership will result in employees actively seeking ways to improve how they work – and the workflows of the business.
As mentioned before, these tweaks will help you identify improvements to add to the business workflow and implement those improvements. The tweaks discussed in this article also bring added benefits and affect each other. Better project management is the tweak you want to implement first if the goal is to gain insights on internal workflows and how they can be improved.
Continue by leveraging automation and building genuine relationships with team members. The two tweaks can be implemented concurrently to further amplify their benefits. More importantly, you can make the necessary changes without disrupting the day-to-day operations of the business.
All there is left to do now is making the necessary changes. The market is only getting more competitive. Boosting efficiency through workflow improvements is how you maintain a competitive advantage and be ahead of the market at all times.