If you’re looking to cut costs for your business, then you should look into streamlining your business operation. This is quite simply all about making your business cleaner, more organised, more time efficient and generally more profitable. There are so many different ways to do this, whether you’re a small business or a much larger corporation. We’re here to cover the different steps you can take when it comes to streamlining, from fine-tuning your process to investing in updated technology to identifying the areas you’re missing.
Thoroughly Analyse Your Current Business Model
The very first step when it comes to streamlining your business operation is to thoroughly analyse your current business model. Break it down into each process of your supply chain, for example from initial contact with the customer right through to the returns process as an ecommerce brand, through to initial client contact and then through your entire service model as a service-based business. This is so different for every business, but the best thing to do is compartmentalise into sections as small as you can and go through every step. There are lots of different programmes you can use to help with this process, and for large businesses with a bigger budget, you can also invest in professional help which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
For example, you may have worked with a particular credit insurance provider for years, but when you speak to a credit insurance broker you might see that there are much better deals where you access far better cover. Another example would be the delivery provider you’re using, there may be unnecessary steps that make the delivery process more complex and expensive, so you could speak to different providers and see what they can offer.
Get Input From Employees
Part of the process of analysing your current business model should definitely involve getting input from your employees. Your employees know the intricate details and day-to-day runnings of your business that you may not be able to as closely identify, so there may be protocols in place for small business tasks that are actually quite wasteful, or policies in place that are much more expensive than they need to be. For example, employees working in a warehouse may have good ideas about how to set up pick zones more efficiently in the warehouse based on common order combinations, or ways to improve communication within the warehouse again to improve efficiency. In a service-based profession, you may currently have two different spreadsheets that are used to analyse data, while one automated spreadsheet will be much more efficient. Make sure to ask your employees for feedback on the current set-up, and you can provide incentives for ideas that cut costs to make people put some effort in!
Don’t Be Afraid To Invest Upfront
If based on your analysis of the business, you find ideas to streamline that require some investment, then you should go ahead with it. Sometimes it takes investment in new software, technologies or processes to really get your business to thrive and save money in the long run. For example, this could be investing in working with a streamlining specialist or investing in new machinery for your production lines. Don’t just assume that updating something will automatically save money, as the research needs to be behind everything, however, once you know something will save you money in the long run, it is worth investing if possible.
Look At Automation Options
Automating processes within your business is a great way to save time and money. Here are a few examples of different ways your business can be automated:
- Email automation – have your email marketing campaigns set up properly so that customers receive emails automatically at different points in their customer journey.
- Have standard operating procedures – this takes away excess unnecessary work and keeps teams across the business on the same focus
- Social media scheduling – bulk schedule posts so they can all be approved quickly and set live automatically
- Customer service – reduce the amount of time required to speak with your customer service team by having bots gather initial information
- Improve communication – centralise internal communication efforts with efficient calendar systems
There are so many more examples like this that will be specific to your business, so do your research and get ready to find ways to save time and money for your business with automation.
Whilst streamlining your business may take time, effort and some initial investment, it can save your business a lot in the future when it’s done right. The most important thing is to get feedback from your employees, as this can make a huge difference to the depth you are able to go into when analysing your business.