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3 Ways to streamline your business processes

As your business grows, your job within your business changes. At some point you get to go from working at your business (everyday tasks) to working on your business. One of the most important ways you can work on your business is to streamline and improve business processes. By doing this you can make it easier for your employees to do their job, which increase productivity and profit within your business.

There are lots of ways you can streamline your processes, but today we’ll look at just three. Using each of these three approaches will provide a base to increase your efficiency and allow you to make further critiques to your processes (if necessary, of course).

1. Back to the basics
Remember those core values you wrote at startup? Or what about that mission statement? Vision statement? Take them out and read them. Give yourself an afternoon to read through these documents and compare them to different aspects of your business.

For example, if one of your values is “communication between departments,” is this reflected in your meetings? Poll your employees and managers to see what they think. Look for ways to improve. When your employees (and you) feel that the operation of the business is in line with the stated vision and values, they’ll be more focused and passionate about what they do. Since your employees are the biggest part of the process, this has the potential to streamline your processes better than anything else.

2.Capitalize on software
Software is a two-sided coin. Spend too much time trying to figure it out and you’ll destroy your productivity. Used correctly, however, your efficiency will skyrocket.

The kind of software we’re talking about isn’t cell phones or the latest iPad. Rather, we’re talking about strictly business-related software. For example, a database is a great way to organize and compile information. But have you ever considered streamlining your database? Database streamlining software manages and analyzes your database. For example, one software called Ignite helps you find problems you didn’t know about and helps makes the systems run faster for your employees.

Another type of software will help you track new enterprises. For example, QAD produces Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software than can help you track a new endeavor from any device. ERP software, which is produced by multiple companies, increases your tracking, inventory and other processes with minimal work on your part.

Lastly, find other business-related software by polling business owners you know. Ask which they find most useful, and why. Then use what applies to you.

3.Outsource whenever possible
You have a specialty. Everyone does. Don’t let tasks tie you down if they don’t fall within your area of expertise and if they bog down your process. Some examples of outsources might include hiring a printing company, contracting with an outside shipping department or working with a freelance writer to publish on your blog.

While it might cost you a little upfront to outsource, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Outsourcing allows your employees to focus on what they’re good at. Used effectively, the revenue you bring in by focusing on more important tasks will outweigh the cost of outsources less-important or less-technical tasks.

Conclusion
Spending time working on your business (instead of just at your business) can take it from good to great. Don’t forget to take your eye off of the next tree coming down the line. Take several hours every week to survey the entire forest. Streamline your processes. Grow your business. Succeed.

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