Work procedures are often established early on in the development of a small business. Failing to review and update your regular work processes may mean you’re wasting time or energy on an inefficient strategy. Clean up your work processes to run your small business efficiently.
The first step is to assess what your employees do on a regular basis. Look at the major duties and procedures that your employees do every day. Does your data entry take five steps when you could cut it down to three? Are employees overlapping duties so some tasks are done multiple times? In some cases, checks and balances are necessary to ensure a quality product or service. Other times, they are a waste of time and talent. Identify the work procedures you need to rethink during the evaluation.
Now that you’ve identified the problems, what are you going to do about them? Sit down to determine your goals for the tasks. Does the process of distributing sales leads to the salespeople take too long? Is the process disorganized? Your goal may be to get the leads to the salespeople immediately. You might assign the leads based on individual sales staff strengths or on a rotating basis so each person gets an equal number of leads. Figure out how you want the process to work before you start making changes.
With the goals in mind, figure out how to do it. What steps can you cut? How can you make the steps easier? Is there a new software program that can streamline a process? Does your staff need training to do something more efficiently? When you figure out the roadblocks, write out the new process as you want it to happen.
Put It to the Test
Don’t implement a new procedure without testing it first. Give your top employees a chance to review the changes you’ve made. Have them actually use the new procedure to test it out in a real situation. Does it work? Do you need to tweak the procedure? Or was it better left alone? Make sure your new simplified procedures are actually better than the old method before you implement them business-wide.