The built-in complexities of running a business can be nerve-racking. You have to consistently generate leads, collaborate with your team, meet your monthly goals, remain profitable, stay sane, stop losing hair, and the list goes on. Not many people survive the daily storms that entrepreneurs face; that’s why many give up on their journey with a strong sense of frustration and failure.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to address your business challenges, focusing on improving your business operations will do you a lot of good.
When you think about it, business — just like most things in life — is all about the process. Taking care of your customers is a process. Order fulfillment is a process. Collaborating with your team members is a process. Let’s check out five tried-and-tested tips you can use to improve your business operations.
Set up a Clear Line of Communication
There’s no going around this. If you want to improve your business operations, you need to have a clear communication line — both internal and external. You can accomplish this several ways. Many people will tell you to use Skype or Slack, among other software, and while these tools are helpful, consider setting up a business phone system. It has glaring benefits that can help improve your business processes.
Business phone systems have advanced features, such as automatic call forwarding, voicemails, and caller IDs. With these features, you can minimize communication gaps between your teammates or your clients. Also, your sales potential drastically improves because your clients can reach you easily.
A comprehensive guide by Neil Patel covers the best business phone systems in the industry. If you’re wondering which service provider best fits your business, check out his post.
Use a Reliable Project Management Platform
Imagine running a restaurant. How tedious do you think your operations would be if your kitchen was in building A, while your dining area is in building B, and your cashier/billing station is in building C? One business. Three separate buildings. Just thinking about it will stress you out. You even say to yourself, “No one in their right mind would ever operate their business that way.”
Well, it turns out that a lot of businesses are doing this. Even in a virtual setting. Instead of having one platform where team members can meet and collaborate, some businesses use multiple online platforms.
If you’d like to improve your business operations, use a reliable and feature-packed project management platform where your team can work together. There are a couple of features your project management tool should possess including:
- Task assignment
- Task status updates
- Messaging features
- Set user permissions
With the help of project management platforms, handing off tasks from one team member to another becomes a breeze. Also, tracking the results of your projects can be accomplished in just a few clicks.
TL;DR: Project management tools can centralize and streamline your team collaboration. Be sure to get one. It’s worth it.
Document Your Processes
Would you spend thirty minutes to train your newly hired employee? What if there are two of them? Three, perhaps? Or if you’re really growing, you might have to hire ten new people. If you spend thirty minutes on each of the people you hired just to get them situated, your productivity would go down the drain.
That’s just hiring, by the way. How about onboarding new clients? Or training your staff on how to do certain tasks? There’s a myriad of time-consuming things that can be added to your plate. Instead of manually going through all the tasks, why not document the process?
Instead of talking to each new hire and teaching them about the company dynamics, why not create a video one time to send to all your newly hired employees moving forward. Can you imagine how much time you’d save? What’s more, there are cloud-based document sharing platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox that you can leverage to share documents easily.
Remember, you don’t need to spend countless minutes (or hours) doing repetitive tasks. You can document the whole process, save the document on a file-sharing platform, then share the file with whoever needs to see it. Follow this tip to increase your productivity, make your life less stressful, and improve how your business workflows run.
Solicit Team Feedback
Several things happen when you encourage your team to share their feedback:
- They feel heard, therefore, valued.
- You’ll learn from people in the trenches the good and bad things they’re experiencing.
- You inspire company loyalty.
- You get a better grasp of your business’ health.
All of these benefits are crucial to helping you run a successful business. Not only will you learn which areas are broken (and how they’re broken), but you can even improve the morale of your team.
Create a Google Form and do a survey. Set up one-on-one meetings with your staff. These are some of the easy yet effective ways you can solicit feedback from your team. Considering the benefits, you can get from obtaining your team’s feedback and how easy it is to pull off, you have no reason not to do it. If you’re dead serious about improving your business operations, you need to hear from your team.
The tips we shared in this guide are far from being complete. However, if you follow and fine-tune them based on your business dynamics, you’ll see a considerable improvement in your business operations.
You and your team will spend less time doing certain tasks, your task handoffs become more seamless, and your team’s motivation level will shoot up– all of which will contribute to your business’s growth.