If you own and operate your own online business then chances are you have a multitude of processes. Each process contributes to your bottom line. And each process consumes time. Your time is money as they say. If you take the time to streamline your processes you can make more money in less time. Here are four steps to streamline your business processes.
Step #1 Test and Time
Do you know how long it takes you to accomplish each core task associated with your business? For example, do you know how long it takes you to pay your bills each month? Bill paying is a task that doesn’t generate any income. Therefore it makes sense to reduce the time spent and streamline the process as much as possible.
The first step to streamlining your processes is to gather the data. Time yourself with each of your core processes. For example, when you sit down to pay your bills this month, write the time that you start. When you’re finished, take note of how long it took you to complete the task. Repeat this process with each of your business tasks.
Step #2 Know The Value Of Your Time
Do you know your hourly value? This is essentially your annual income divided by the number of hours you work each year. It’s often easier to determine if you break it down by month. So how much did you work last month and how many hours did you work? For example, if you worked 20 hours a week last month and you earned $3600 then your hourly value is 3600/80 (assuming there were four weeks in the month) or $45/hour.
The value of your time is important. It serves as a motivator to spend more time on profit generating tasks and less time on administrative or management tasks. Additionally, it’ll help you make budgetary decisions when deciding how to streamline processes.
For example, if you are trying to streamline your bill paying processes and you determine that it’ll cost you $35/hour to outsource the task to a bookkeeper then you know that it is a financially wise decision. You’ll save $10/hour. Of course this is assuming you replace that hour you would have spent paying bills with a profit generating task.
Step #3 Look for Ways to Save Time
In step #2 outsourcing was mentioned. There are essentially three main ways to streamline a process. You can:
Outsource or delegate
Use templates or blueprints
As you’re working through each task, always look for opportunities to save time. Embrace the tools that make sense for your business.
Once you’ve added technology or outsourced some or all of the task, consider timing the task again. Just as you did in step #1, assess how long it takes you to complete each task. Also occasionally evaluate your hourly value. Ultimately, the goal is to make more and earn less.