Your responsibilities as an online business manager or virtual assistant rely heavily on streamlined processes and procedures. Whether your business metrics are on track or not, business process optimization can take your services to the next level.
I don’t mean cutting corners, per se (you need fine edges to outdo your competitors!). Business process optimization means simplifying your tasks without compromising quality.
What Is Business Process Optimization?
It all boils down to efficiency. Fast, straightforward strategies usually yield better results than overly complicated, multi-step procedures.
Take someone in a virtual assistant role for a local divorce lawyer. It’s far more efficient for a VA to automate new client inquiries with standard information than it is to type out a new greeting every single time.
But there are so many processes to consider. How can you be sure which systems are optimal for your business?
Efficient systems save you:
And they do it without sacrificing results or client satisfaction. In the end, business process optimization will seriously boost your brand so more suitable clients will want to work with you and maintain healthy business relationships.
How Do You Know What to Simplify In Your Business?
Time to break out the microscope and discover which business processes need your attention first. You’ll need data to direct you on this! Run reports to figure out where your focus should be—and where it definitely shouldn’t be.
You can move less important parts of your business lower on your agenda (or even cut them out entirely) to streamline your efforts.
For example, your data may show that over half of your social media audience interacts with your client’s LinkedIn posts, but only 10% engage with them on Instagram. Now you know where to devote more time and energy!
Of course, the areas eligible for simplification vary from business to business. (Your data will read differently as an OBM for a software company versus a VA at a nonprofit.) Measure & Maximize will teach you how to read and interpret your data so you don’t waste a minute second-guessing yourself.
6 Business Process Optimization Strategies to Reduce Overwhelm
Once you’ve figured out where to optimize, you need to figure out how. Check out these six business process optimization strategies that can save you some serious headaches.
Start with Your Smallest Tasks
Smaller, more tedious tasks are the easiest to streamline. Some small tasks, you may find, aren’t worth your time to do at all. Others can be automated or seriously simplified.
For example, as a VA working as a client liaison for upper managers, you may find yourself bouncing back and forth perfecting documents or collecting signatures. Implementing some new editing software, plus signature-safe software, can save you loads of time and aggravation.
Work with One Business Process at a Time
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Or, more appropriately, (since we’re cutting back) don’t spit out too much at once! You may find yourself in the position to simplify quite a few processes in your role. Just be sure to tackle one at a time.
Ask yourself: What change will make the biggest impact? And try to make that change by simplifying or taking away. (Adding steps, gadgets, or applications before you’re ready can often make problems worse.)
Determine Your Goals for Optimizing Your Business Processes
Maybe you’re after greater work-life balance. Or perhaps you’re chasing a big win—saving your clients money and resources with a few minor adjustments. Whatever drives you…use it to stay focused and ensure “the juice is worth the squeeze.”
Each decision you make should help you a step closer to your business process optimization goals. If it doesn’t, move past it. That’s a streamlined process in itself!
Figure Out What You Can Automate
Automation works for most repetitive tasks. If you find yourself doing the same things over and over (and you get the feeling a robot could do it), it’s probably something you can write off to automation.
Online business managers can automate calendar reminders or check-ins to their teammates, for starters. Why send a dozen handcrafted messages when an app can get the job done for you? OBMs can also leverage automatic emails for people who interact on their business website. This way there is less lag time between interested clicks and engagement.
Use What You Have On-Hand
Don’t get excited and spend unnecessary funds to set up new software. You can exercise business process optimization with tools you already have around you: remove the middle-messenger, practice document sharing, or regulate a schedule just by thinking it through.
For instance, you don’t need fancy equipment to fix a sloppy editing process. If you’re a virtual assistant who needs approval before posting on your client’s social media or blog page, try writing content a few weeks out. This allows plenty of time for editing without causing panic or exhaustion at the finish line.
Test and Analyze Each Business Process Optimization Decision
When changes are finally made, it’s important to step back and analyze improvements. It helps to outline a list of key performance indicators that measure your progress and trajectory with new systems.
But don’t feel like you need to juggle your data alone! Use Measure & Maximize to learn how to target the correct KPIs and map out the path to success. If your new business process optimization strategies aren’t yielding the results you expected, you can make adjustments sooner than later.
Business process optimization sets apart the most effective, successful service providers from the rest. Use these helpful tips to begin your journey toward maximum efficiency.
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