How To Streamline Vital Small Business Admin

By Swindon Link - 29 July 2022

Business

A small business often runs on a skeleton crew, the staff have a lot of responsibilities, and their daily tasks can quickly mount up.

Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of admin work involved with running a small business. These processes can take up a lot of time, time which should be directed elsewhere. Luckily, there are things that can be done to streamline these processes to alleviate the burden and free up some time.

The Benefits of Streamlining

Making an effort to streamline business processes has a number of benefits. Firstly, depending on the methods used, streamlining can increase cost efficiency because fewer staff are needed to perform the tasks, and less equipment is needed too. For example, using streamlining software can automate processes and encourage the business to reduce its paper usage. Employees also have more time which can increase their productivity because unnecessary, tedious tasks are minimised.

By making an effort to streamline communicative processes, communication between departments and employees improves, which helps to make things more straightforward. As a result, tasks are assigned more quickly and easily. When communication is improved,confusion is removed, and expectations are made clear. Taking away these tedious tasks will free up time which means that staff have more time to dedicate to their other responsibilities,and it can lead to better time management skills.

Reassess Your Current Processes

In order to streamline processes, you first need to reassess your current way of approaching the tasks. This can give you an idea of where exactly the inefficiency lies and, therefore, how you can improve. It might be helpful to write out the workflow or processes from start to finish, including each step and how many people it has to go through before completion. This can help to pinpoint unnecessary complications.

When thinking about the current processes, it might also be worth considering the importance of each process. This can give you an idea of where you need to start. You can then overhaul the most important processes first before moving down the list to the least important or lower priority processes. Changing the way things are done can take some time but in order to ensure that you are tackling the most influential processes first.

If you are struggling to categorise the processes or workflows, it might be easier for you to start at the end. Think about the outcomes or the results that you need, and then work your way backwards. By thinking about the result or the outcome, you need, you are able to design a new, more efficient and streamlined process to help you get there.

Make it a Collaborative Effort

Instead of trying to come up with the answers yourself, you could ask for the input of other team members. Their feedback can be invaluable, especially if they are the ones that have more to do with the processes; working with them every day, any solutions or streamlining efforts will directly affect them, and therefore working with them is important. In addition, the staff might have their own solutions or ideas about how processes can be improved and streamlined.

Think about the best forum for these ideas to be put forward. For example, it might be worth holding a meeting or producing a survey to put your ideas forward and ask for feedback on them or for staff to put forward their own ideas. Staff could even submit ideas anonymously if it makes them feel more comfortable. Obviously, managers will retain the ultimate veto power on the suggestions, but it is worth taking on board the suggestions because they come from those that will be directly affected by any changes made.

Automating and Integrating

Automating business processes is one of the best ways to streamline the processes. Automation refers to the implementation of technology which automatically updates itself and triggers other processing removing or minimising the need for human intervention. The routes to automation will depend entirely on the business, how it operates and to what end. Research is key in choosing the right programmes and tools. Integration also helps to streamline processes by updating data sets across platforms, and often, automation and integration go hand-in-hand. For example, one person converting a file to a PDF would then ensure that the PDF existed across platforms to be easily accessed by staff.

Review

After streamlining the processes, they then need to be reviewed to ensure they have had the desired effect in saving the business time and money. As the business grows and technology progresses, it might become necessary to reassess and readjust the processes again. The results will speak for themselves, but the employees again should be consulted to ascertain whether they think the processes have indeed been made easier or not.

Summary

Streamlining workflows and processes is a worthwhile practice in order to ensure that the business is running as efficiently as possible. There are a lot of options to consider which can help to transform the way in which the business operates. Again, research is crucial to ensure that the right solutions are being put in place.

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