We all know running a business isn’t easy. The business world moves at the speed of light and you need to keep up or risk getting left behind. That’s why we’re diving into business process streamlining today.
Wait – what is business process streamlining, you say? Well, that’s what we’re going to cover in this article.
But the short version is it’s the key to making your business run smoother, faster, and more efficiently.
And it’s exactly what you need if you want to grow and scale your business in a way that feels effortless and fun instead of chaotic and stressful.
In this article, we’ll cover:
1. What business process streamlining is
2. How streamlining your business processes can help you grow and scale your business
3. How streamlining improves communication, transparency, and teamwork in your business
4. How to get started with business process streamlining right away
Look, we get it. This might just feel like just one more thing to add to your already too-long list of tasks.
But not only does streamlining save you time and money, it’s also a key activity if you want to scale your business and grow.
Ideally, business process streamlining should be an important part of your day-to-day operations whether that means improving your customer service or just ensuring the business runs smoothly.
Here’s the good news – it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the whole point is to simplify things.
So, keep reading for what you need to know about business process streamlining to set the stage for your business to grow.
What Does ‘Streamline’ Mean In Business?
The goal of streamlining is to minimize errors and delays in your business. Ultimately, the aim is to eliminate unneeded activities so necessary operations can be performed faster and with higher quality as the end result.
We like this definition of ‘streamline’ in the context of business:
Make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods.
Streamlining your business may involve modernizing the way you work, upgrading old technology, automating repetitive tasks, or other approaches.
But you don’t want to do any of these things just for the sake of doing them. The point is to improve how you and your team work so you can enjoy simpler and more efficient processes throughout your business.
More specifically, process streamlining refers to making the repeatable processes your business uses more efficient. And by “processes,” we mean business tasks our business or employee perform over and over again.
This naturally leads to workflow streamlining as well. Workflows are simply a combination of various processes necessary to complete a larger task.
And whether you realise it or not, ALL businesses have both processes and workflows in place. You may have dozens of business processes and not even realise it. This means all businesses are capable of streamlining.
Why Should You Care About Streamlining Your Processes?
There are many benefits to getting started with streamlining. Let’s look at just a few.
It can help you grow and scale your business.
One of the main things business process streamlining will do for your business is help it grow and scale.
Businesses that streamline their inefficient processes have a higher success rate because of how easy it becomes to run the business.
In fact, continuous process improvement can make business growth almost effortless.
It improves communication, transparency, and teamwork in your business
Business process streamlining makes it easier for everyone in your business to communicate and work with each other because there are fewer obstacles. That may include complex business software, hard to find resources, overly complicated SOPs or other roadblocks.
It’s good for your bottom line
Business process streamlining can also help increase revenue for your business by removing inefficiencies which allows you to do more business overall.
For example, streamlining can help you:
- increase customer satisfaction and retention
- reduce errors and omissions
- complete processes more quickly resulting in improved productivity
- create a business that’s fast and accurate
We could go on, but you get the idea.
How Do You Streamline A Process?
Now that you know what it means to streamline a company process, you might be wondering how to actually do it.
Fortunately, it’s not complicated. Just follow this simple process (see what I did there? 😉):
1) Map the process
Identify all the process steps as it currently stands and the order in which they are completed. It’s key to explore each step in detail to make sure you capture all of the relevant sub-steps,
2) Analyse the process
Review all the steps (and the details that make up each step) and look for redundancies, outdated information, opportunities for improvement, delegation or even deletion.
- Are there unnecessary steps that can be removed?
- Where do you see team members or customers getting frustrated?
- Do the right people have task ownership?
- Are bottlenecks created at any of these steps?
- Do costs go up or quality go down at certain points?
- Are there automation tools that can improve this process (such as our favourite, ClickUp)?
- Where is the most time being spent?
Be sure you speak to the people who use the process you’re looking at, or who are affected by it. They will have the best viewpoint about what’s wrong and what could be improved.
Finally, look at other team members or processes in your business. Are there techniques you can learn from them that can be applied to this process?
3) Redesign the process
Now it’s time to fix the problems you’ve uncovered.
Work directly with the people who work with this process. Not only do they have insights about it that you may not see but they’ll be more open to changes if they’re involved at the get-go, which helps with employee adoption down the line.
Ensure everyone knows exactly what the process is meant to achieve. Then just start working through the problems you’ve identified and come up with ideas to fix them.
Once you all agree on an updated process, make sure it is fully documented.
4) Implement and communicate the changes
Roll out the new process to everyone involved and make absolutely sure everyone understands:
- why the changes are being made
- the problems the changes will resolve
- how to implement the new process
- reinforce that this is the new process and the old process is to be fully retired without exception.
5) Review on a regular basis
Once you’ve updated a process, schedule a regular review. More often at first to make sure it’s working as intended. And then less often but still regularly over time confirm it is still working to maximum efficiency.
How Business Process Streamlining Helps You Grow And Scale Your Business
Here’s the thing. If your current internal processes are chaotic, scaling means you will just create more chaos.
That’s why businesses that focus on continuous improvement before attempting to scale have a higher success rate. When you scale a business that is easy to run and maintain, that’s what you get more of.
In fact, business growth becomes almost effortless when well-executed streamlining has been implemented
Ultimately, streamlining your business processes helps your business get closer to maximum efficiency so you can focus on business development instead of worrying about the day to day business management.
How To Get Started With Streamlining Your Business Processes Right Away
The biggest challenge business owners face when it comes to business process streamlining is not knowing where to start.
If you’re not sure where to start in your business, begin by evaluating your business processes and identifying areas where changes would be beneficial.
As well, many people try to change too many things at once, which can lead to confusion and chaos.
Start by looking at business processes in one area of your business at a time.
For example, look at the business process for customer service or human resources or product development. Apply all of the business process streamlining techniques you have learned in this article until that process is running smoothly, then move on to the next process in your business.
And remember, business process streamlining is an ongoing practice and never truly finished. When you get feedback from customers or employees about business processes or ways to improve them, act on it right away to maintain your competitive edge.
Another option is to get help streamlining your work processes. Our professional knowledge and tools can help you create an efficient operation that will save you time and money every day.
Contact our experts today to learn how we can work together to streamline your business processes or to get advice on how to grow your organisation online.