As your business grows, so does the number of tasks you need to complete to keep a smooth-running operation. With more orders, you’ll need better stock management, more warehouse staff, a bigger payment service or plan, and you’ll need to make sure your website can keep up with demand.
Amazon processes 35 orders and approximately £3,900 per second. With your current processes, do you think you could do the same? The technology that makes this possible is readily available, so if your answer is no, it’s time to find out how you can streamline your processes to maximise productivity and efficiency. This is a guide to fast, simple streamlining to do more while working less.
How do you know where to start streamlining?
With the huge variety of technology available to businesses, it’s not always clear where you should start. But the object is to take a difficult task and turn it into an easy or non-existent one with the help of technology. You need to think about your everyday life and consider what you:
- Hate working on
- Love doing
- Love doing but aren’t good at
- Think your hourly wage is worth
When you collect information around these topics, you’ll get a better understanding of where the main issues are in your processes. You should be able to create a list of tasks that need streamlining according to priority. The most concerning ones being those that are very time-consuming, you don’t enjoy doing, and you’re not good at.
Streamlining these tasks first will have the biggest impact on your efficiency. Doing this will open your business up to creativity and growth while the solution takes care of the rest.
How do you find the right software?
There is always competition among business software providers, so naturally, some are better than others. However, you must make sure the software you choose is the right fit for you as well as being reputable, reliable, and effective. If you want to purchase the perfect software, you’ll need to consider certain aspects:
- Look how other similar businesses have streamlined their process, the effects, and what software they use. Be careful doing this though as software isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution. Just because it worked for your competitor doesn’t mean it will work for you. For example, if you pride yourself on home-made goods, it wouldn’t make sense to automate the production process using machinery. It could harm your reputation and drive customers away. Or one company might have a much younger workforce who are more efficient using advanced technology than other businesses with staff who work better in other ways, which brings us to our next point.
- Choose the right technology for your employees. Before diving into any new software, get feedback from your employees about whether they think it will be beneficial and which type of technology they are comfortable or want to work with. You won’t always be able to please everybody, but you need to do what is best for the majority. Once you implement new technology, you need to formally train everyone, otherwise you could see a drop in productivity from the confusion.
Other things to think about when streamlining
Technology’s hugely important for building a more efficient business. But there are intersecting factors too. You should consider:
- Cloud-based technology – If you’re not on the cloud, you risk expensive downtime and difficult business recovery if there is a problem, such as a cyberattack. You also don’t have the luxury of remote working which can save you time and money, particularly when staff can’t reach the office. The cloud boosts communication between all members of your team.
- Using contractors – It’s sometimes tempting to do everything yourself because you think it’s the cheapest option. But if you’re spending hours on tasks you’re not great at, you’re wasting resources. You could better spend your time focusing on other aspects of your role and driving growth, while a professional can handle everything else. This can be anything from accounting to product design and will likely be more cost-effective than wasting your time.
- Measuring your performance consistently – If you don’t measure your performance, there’s no way to measure how much you have improved or if there are problems causing setbacks. You should measure performance at regular intervals to boost informed decision-making.
With streamlining, a lot of businesses get hung up on what others in their industry are doing and end up playing a game of catchup. The key is to look at what you’re doing and implement effective change to solve your unique problems, using technology that has all the features you need.
Shopit offers a complete eCommerce platform solution solving multiple efficiency issues at once. All customers get access to all our features including multi-brand setup, advanced stock management across locations from one interface, pre-integrated payment platforms, and customisable back-end features which you can adapt to suit your needs. To see our other streamlining features, take a look at our website.
Surahi believes in that good people, good processes and structure produce great companies.
With a keen interest in globalisation and personalisation, she writes about the opportunities for growth to everyone