Doing More In Less Time
A lot of our time is wasted running our business inefficiently. Often it’s just because we haven’t thought to stop and figure out how to improve our efficiency. My old software company developed a business process optimization and workflow tool for large transaction-intensive organizations. This was a tool designed to help businesses create the most efficient processes possible for running their business and automate their workflow. There is an art to perfecting your workflow and I learned a lot over that 10 year span and helped a lot of businesses to become more productive. Although large organizations employ a whole team to constantly analyze and optimize their business, I’m going to share with you the top three ways to reduce your time, improve quality, and get more done with less.
1. Automate everything that doesn’t require value-add
If you haven’t heard the word “value-add” it simply means that you are adding value. When you coach someone you personally are using your skills and creating value for your client. When it comes to booking appointments, you personally provide no value, anyone could be doing it and in fact these days it doesn’t require a person at all. You can easily automate your booking process using online tools such as Booking System Pro or vCita that integrate into your WordPress website, allowing your clients to do their own booking at their convenience. First rule to business process optimization is automate everything and anything you possibly can.
2. Only handle tasks that are your core competency
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it. I have to remind myself of this all the time. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have a lot of skill sets and are willing to take on just about everything. That is a great asset but can also be your biggest liability. There is only so much time in the day and you need to use your time wisely, especially in a lifestyle business. Focus on performing the tasks that are your Core set of skills and/or that you love to do. As we focus on in Creating a CorePowered Biz, this is essential to creating a business that utilizes your best talents and creates an framework that supports your Core Purpose. Everything else, even if you are able to do it yourself, should be outsourced. Companies like oDesk are perfect for finding good talent to supplement your team. Let someone else focus on doing what they do best, for you!
3. Never handle anything more than once
Another important way to improve your business efficiency is to make sure you never handle a transaction more than once. The first time it comes across your desk, make sure you complete whatever value-add is necessary and move it on to the next step in the process. This means don’t open your mail and then file it to read later. Open it (and you should probably question if this is something that should be outsourced!), read it and pay the bill, respond, or trash it immediately, depending on the action necessary.
Honing your business processes is one of the most important ways to become more productive and get more done in less time. If you take on these three simple steps I’m sure you will find way more time to be doing the things you love and spend more time accomplishing your Purpose and enjoying life!
What do you find yourself doing that could be automated or outsourced?