Once you’ve taken inventory, you have a clear picture of the types of you do to run the business. Then, after prioritizing and writing out the steps to one process, you have a complete list of what to do every time the process is done. Next is how can you improve your system’s efficiency.
Doing this may be fun (or it may be terrifying).
Ready for efficiency?
Remember the conversation with the business newbie? Well, after explaining steps 1 & 2 to her, she asked another excellent question:
Okay – once I’ve done all this… how is this exactly saving me any time?
It’s an excellent question because you really can’t start saving time until you know what it is you are doing. Once you do, you can figure out how.
In the third step, you can figure out how to make the process better.
You’ll start by assigning one of the categories below to every process step you’ve documented. The 3 categories are:
- Automate it
- Delegate it
- Done by you (batched)
- Delete it
Depending on what you’re doing, you might choose just 1 of the categories and apply it to all the steps documented. Or, more than likely, you’ll find you can use a combination of all 2 or more.
But, don’t worry about when & how often you choose a given category. Every process is different.
We are back at pretending you are going to go through the process.
- You’ve set aside 30 minutes to
- You have a documented list of all the steps to take to complete the process.
- For each step, you will have to decide whether it can be automated, (software); delegated to a team member; needs to be done by you; or is superfluous and can be deleted.
Let’s say you’re looking to make your social media process more efficient.
In Step 3, you will look at each of the steps you wrote down as everything you do to handle your social media.
Each time you work on social media, you:
- Choose a platform
- Determine the frequency you’ll post to that platform
- Create the content to post on the social media platform
- Schedule that content so it goes out when you want it to
- Engage on that platform to build relationships with those who are interested in what you’ve shared
You have the steps. Ask yourself the following questions:
Which steps can be automated?
At first glance, you know you can automate the scheduling piece. There are some great social media schedulers out there that’ll help you create content far in advance and post that content for you when scheduled.
Which step can be delegated?
Without question, social media is a powerful tool for business building and name recognition. It is important that you choose platform and frequency based on your client avatar.
You also must understand what your avatar is looking for from you as far as content. That way, what you publish is helpful, useful and valuable to them.
Once you know these things, you could quickly teach someone else to do it for you. Personally, I feel that creating content is something I want to do myself, even though it can definitely be delegated.
However, the scheduling of the content can be easily delegated. It is a matter of creating an account with a scheduling service, sharing the log in information and creating a timeline for someone to post.
Which step can be batched?
By “batching” I mean that you’re going to roll all similar steps into a single time slot. This way, you’ll make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of your time spent.
[tweetthis]Being engaged in social media doesn’t mean you have to be on social media all day.[/tweetthis]
For example, I choose to engage in any Facebook group I belong to every morning, for no more than 45 minutes in total. When I’m focused on this activity, I know I can make a huge impact and participate in conversations that interest me.
Don’t trust yourself to only spend a set amount of time? Try out an online timer, like E.ggTimer. Or download a timer to your desktop, like EggTimer-Plus. Or even buy a physical timer, like any of these from Amazon.
The technique works wonders but only if you actually do it!
Which step can be deleted?
Lastly, you will look for redundancy or unnecessary steps.
Look across the process steps. What is the step accomplishing for the process? Is the step goal contributing to the overall goal? If the answer to these two questions is “no,” the step is not really needed and is just adding complexity. Delete it!
Who is doing what? Are activities being duplicated? Look at where different processes intersect. This is often a place where redundancy rears its ugly head.
Ask yourself: is there any way that the process can be made simpler, with less steps and do the same thing? If the answer is yes, go back to the steps and weed out the unnecessary ones.
Every possible process
There are tons of different processes in your business, it’s impossible to cover them all in one post.
Once you view each process in terms of looking for efficiencies, you’ll be able to do this to any set of process steps you document.
In my social media interaction example, when I was doing all the steps the long way, I was spent days working on social media.
By taking a step back, writing out the steps and determining efficiencies, I had the opportunity to see where I could build some efficiencies by automating and delegating.
The End Result
There are definitely a lot of things you work on in your business. Some of them cannot be delegated, automated or deleted. They involve you. They require your attention and time. And, it’s important that you pay attention to them.
[tweetthis]Creating processes is about creating freedom.[/tweetthis]
Anything that requires your unique genius, your time is of the utmost importance. And why it is important for you figure out ways to be most efficient in using your time.
What are the ways you create efficiency in your business? Won’t you share your tips with me?