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Define Processes and Automate
Running a small business is like being chased by a pack of wild animals. Every one step you fail to take, they gain two steps on you. If you stop, you will be devoured. You must constantly be ahead of the pack and make every effort to increase your distance. You ask how?
Stretch your Resources
Small businesses are notorious for never having enough resources. If you don't have enough of something, it behooves you to use what you do have wisely and appropriately. The best way to do so is to have well-defined processes. Take the guessing game away from your resources. Once proven, processes can be repeated over and over flawlessly.
In every process, you are asking your team to get to a destination. Imagine that instead of them looking around to find their way, you create a railroad track for them. Once aboard, they can go as fast as they can to get to the results without thinking of which way to turn at each cross-section. As you add new team members, they will also follow the track.
It may seem counter intuitive at first, since defining and debugging processes is somewhat time-consuming. However, if a process is to be done over a mere two or three times, you will save enough to make the original investment worthwhile. As a side benefit, you not only save now, but also facilitate smooth growth in your company, something that many small businesses struggle with.
Make fewer mistakes
Sounds easier said than done? Well, it is easier than you think. At InfoStreet, we have a saying that "Only 10% of our employees are human, for the rest we employ technology". When you define processes and if you automate them, they get done accurately, on-budget and on-time, every time.
Look at your company and see what can be automated. The conventional wisdom that most things cannot be automated is wrong. If you interviewed 100 people twenty years ago, 99 of them would say, you may be able to automate some things, but you can't automate sales. Well, E-commerce proved them wrong. Same goes for supply chain, workflow, ....
Send an email to your team. Ask them what actions they repeat over and over in a given month. You would be surprised as to the gems you will uncover. Take those responses, sort them by priority and automate one by one.
By automating, you will make less mistakes, your team would be happier not having to deal with repetitive grunt work and all will win.
Siamak Farah is the CEO of InfoStreet. InfoStreet is a Cloud app provider that offers SkyDesktop, a free patent-pending Cloud Desktop; SkyAppMarket, an app marketplace where a business can choose from the best Cloud apps in the market; and SkySingleSignOn, a federated login solution and network management tool. Together they provide all the files and applications a company needs to run their business in the Cloud. Try SkyDesktop and SkyAppMarket by visiting https://www.skydesktop.com or by calling 1-866-956-5051 for more information.