We humans are creatures of habit. Our lives at home are a series of routines, one following the other, that create the lifestyle we desire.
Business is no different. Putting aside tools and materials, a business could be said to comprise of a series of tasks, repeated over and over, that generate money. It’s true of florists, real estate agents, grocers and bankers.
Big business has long recognised that it’s worth studying these series of tasks to determine whether the same goal can be achieved with fewer steps or by fewer people. If an enterprise can achieve either of these it will either be more productive (same output with fewer staff) or more efficient (higher output with same amount of staff).
But there’s no reason why small businesses can’t follow the same process. It’s a lot harder for many owners to do, however, because they tend to be so busy working in the business that they don’t have time to step back and look at how they can make their operation work a little smarter.
The simple reason is that it’s hard to get perspective on a series of tasks when you are so close to them yourself. And these big business concepts haven’t really been discussed by smaller businesses because the software tools for reviewing and improving these processes have been designed for large companies.
The cloud changes all that. Cloud software gives small businesses access to enterprise tools for a couple of dollars a month. Now that the tools are available for managing these series of tasks – or workflows, to use the official term – businesses of all sizes can start streamlining how they operate with the ultimate goal of making more money.
Every Friday BoxFreeIT will explore how small businesses can measure and improve the way they operate by setting up workflows. The series will answer questions such as, Which areas hold the most potential for improvement? Backoffice or front of house? And what are the best tools to do this?
If you have any suggestions or examples of how you’re already using workflows, send them to Sholto@BoxFreeIT.com.au.