How Business Process Management Can Help Your Small Business
What is Small Business Process Management?
Business process management can help your small business in two ways: (1) identifying repeatable processes and (2) automating them.
Automating repeatable processes (straightforward ways of doing things that you do over and over again the same way) saves time and money by removing guesswork, making training easier, and allowing you to take a break from running your business without the whole thing falling apart!
Simply put, business process management takes into account the things you do every day to make your business run and lays them out visually, so you can see just how your business looks when drawn out in a diagram. This is a great way to discover your repeatable processes. When you work with a small business process consultant, you talk through your business processes, where you can trim activity and where you can ramp up activity, so that your business can run more smoothly and be more profitable.
For example, if you own a small cafe or flower shop and every Monday you take inventory and order supplies, it would be ideal to find a way to automate at least part of that process. Or, if you run a small organization of 50 employees or contractors, it would be ideal to automate the help desk system or supply ordering process. If you are a solo entrepreneur, you can automate billing, setting up accounts, tasks you send to your virtual assistant, article writing or blogging, responding to basic questions or concerns, or even your social networking!
Small Business Process Automation in Action
You probably will recognize some or all of these things, but you may not have learned to implement them in your own business. Which of these is right for your business? All of them? None of them?
- Automated or semi-automated supply ordering (e.g., food, office supplies, etc.)
- Automated new account creation
- Frequently Asked Questions booklets or page on your website
- Help desk system for internal employees or outside clients
- Project management software
- Time tracking systems for yourself, employees or contractors
- Billing management systems
- Online postage/printing shipping labels
There a hundred more we could add to this list. What have you automated in your small business? Leave a comment; I’d love to hear about additional ways of automating small business processes!
You can also read this post as originally posted here.