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Business processes getting you down?

How to pick them up and process work for you

By Karen A Casey

You started your business and your customer base is growing, but not everything is going as you planned. Maybe it is taking too long to fulfill orders, or you are spending too much time on administrative tasks. You started your business to deliver a product and service to your customer, but other tasks are getting in your way. What do you do?

Step 1 – Review and assess

First, step back and look at your processes. You may have created a process initially to meet the demand, but it may not be the most efficient. How do you get from step A to B to C, and is there an easier way to go from step A to C? Ask your staff if they see ways to do things better. People performing the tasks may have a better view of what is needed to get the job done more effectively. Staff may be doing tasks because you said to do it that way, not because it is the most efficient.

Step 2 – Delegate and assign

What tasks do you not like to do? If you do not like to take orders or sales or customer service, perhaps consider hiring a person, either full or part time to do so. Even an intern might be able to help. It may free you up to deliver your product and service and potentially gain more customers, which can increase your profitability to pay for the extra staff and more. 

Step 3 – Use available resources

Consider asking for outside help to review what and how you are doing business. An extra set of eyes may deliver a different perspective and see things you do not. There are many outside services available to you at no cost such as SCORE, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Center and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Take advantage of them. It will help you in the long run.

Karen A. Casey, CPA, CFP, is a certified SCORE business mentor.

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