Starting an online business today can be strategic. The pandemic has practically increased profits for many businesses through online channels. It’s now mostly about e-commerce.
It can be difficult, especially for small startup businesses where founders have to wear many hats. You will be overworked and overwhelmed. It’s common for startup founders to be sleep-deprived and constantly busy.
To be a competitive business, it’s crucial to practice operational efficiency. It can be a problem for small businesses, though, considering the limited resources available for them. What’s more daunting is that the pandemic has shifted how markets work. You have to adapt to keep your business afloat. You need to optimize operations, productivity, and workflow to be at the competitive edge.
Technology can be the answer to this.
Automating repetitive and laborious tasks using technology is an important strategy used by many businesses today. Everything from customer service, stock management, accounting, invoicing, payments, and many other functions, can be streamlined to make your online store more efficient.
A Streamlined Business
To better understand what it means to streamline a business, you need to know what processes and workflows are and how they differ from each other.
Processes, those repetitive activities your business do, are done to achieve a goal. On the other hand, workflows are also repetitive activities your business does, but they are done to accomplish a task. Workflows are important because they allow you to see the progress your business has made with your processes.
To have a streamlined business means you will use up-to-date technology, modern techniques, and digitally automated approaches to improve the efficiency of your business processes and workflows. Complex, unnecessary tasks are removed, while processes and workflows are simplified.
Many startups, small businesses today are streamlined. In fact, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey, technology will revolutionize the future of retailers. If you move forward with streamlining your business, it will be a beneficial and strategic move for your business. Here’s how to streamline your business.
Process and Workflow Assessment
Your first step is to assess your planned processes and workflows. Create a list including the benefits of each process and workflow. Rate them from the most to the least important. Remove any that you believe can become a bottleneck for your operations. Mark those that need to be improved and automated.
Create Healthy B2B Connections
As a small business, you will be invested to work with other B2B customers and companies. They are companies that create products and provide services for other businesses, thus the term business-to-business.
It’s important to foster healthy B2B connections and communications to keep your business running. The World Financial Review even suggests communicating with suppliers and other B2B clients can benefit your business.
With B2B companies as partners, you can have increased profits while reducing inventory and lead times. You will have improved cash flow and more capital savings.
Unify Workplace Collaboration and Coordination
While communication is important for maintaining healthy B2B partnerships, it is also crucial in streamlining a business.
Once again, assess your current communication and collaboration plan. Identify workflows that require collaboration and indicate what tools will be used to accomplish it. Make sure to use at least two different tools for collaboration and coordination. Have a separate collaboration software that can also act as a productivity tool.
Using a unified communication and collaboration system across your business will help you improve your workflow.
Make it easy for cash to flow in and out of your business. Adopt an online payment strategy for your customers. Provide safe and secure payment processing, prepaid card options, and other online payment solutions. For B2B partners, automate billing and invoicing.
Outsourcing certain tasks can save you on operational costs. It also ensures that these tasks are performed consistently, improving your processes and workflows.
To outsource a job, list down your requirements and expected outcomes. Partner with a B2B who can comply with your requirements and produce the outcomes that you need.
Use Up-to-Date Solutions
To effectively use and execute technology solutions, you must have updated hardware. Replace old ones with the latest. Do your research about which laptops or computers are appropriate for your needs. Determine your business objectives and create a long-term technology plan that will help you map out what solutions to use when to use them and how they will benefit your business.
Adopt Business Automation Today
When business processes and workflows are streamlined, you can work more efficiently in less time. You’ll have more time to expand your business and identify which areas need to grow. There will be fewer errors, and progress will be sped up. Job duties are clear, and employees are more accountable. However, make sure that your return on investment will make your business capital happy with any technology that you will use.