CAN AUTOMATION INSPIRE INNOVATION? Why Process Is Your Friend.
There’s something about process, systems and automation that make us think of pocket protectors, robotic behavior and time crushing effort. Personally I think pocket protectors are cool. ;)
But the truth is automation is your bestie. It’s going to save you time, effort and money. And when you no longer have to worry about the day to day; you can turn your creative energy to something else; like innovation, strategy and leadership. How great does that sound?
So what are the benefits?
Save Time – No need to re-invent the wheel here. Automation reduces the number of tasks you and your team would otherwise need to do manually. This frees up your time to work on items that add genuine value to your business.
Save Money- Time is money and if you could get more done and more importantly the right things done; you can stop leakage in your business. Think of it as a funnel- if you’re always spending time and money on getting new clients, but leaking money in your operations; your profit margins aren’t growing the way they could. Just saying.
Client Satisfaction- All people who interact with your business should get the same amazing customer service (referrals right?). As you scale this business of yours, automation will give your customers the same care in every interaction with anyone representing your brand. Delivering consistent high quality customer service results in happier, long-term clients.
Operational Stability – There’s stability in daily processes. This eliminates situations where steps might be missed or documents misplaced and it allows you to look for inefficiencies that goes back to that whole “saving money and time” thing.
So, Let’s Create a Strategy
1. Habits and Routines- Your first step in automation is to automate yourself.
When you do that, you take the brainwork out of routine tasks and free yourself to focus on more important things. That’s why most professional athletes have a pre-game ritual. They work. Routines become habits and habits lead to change. Change can be good or not so good. You get to decide.
Claim my “The Cost of Overwhelm- 5 Tools to Take Back Your Time” on how to set up your habit forming routines.
2. Processes and Systems- A process is a set of written, easy-to-follow instructions for performing a task.
If you ever find yourself thinking, "Man! There's got to be an easier way to do this," there probably is.
Take stock of what repetitive tasks you do today.
Document. Write down the steps involved in detail. Don't skip a single thing.
Evaluate. Does this make sense, can anything be eliminated or simplified, what support documentation do you need? This is your chance to streamline the process, making it as efficient as possible.
Test it. Make notes as you go and correct the workflow until you get it perfect.
Communicate it. This only works when it's shared with your team. This is where the magic happens and it makes delegation so much easier.
3. Checklists and Templates- Now that you have the system, what checklists and templates can support it? Think stock emails, presentations, checklists etc.
4. Technology- This can be a loaded one. Email; am I right? Technology and automation can often go hand in hand but tech can get the data and data doesn’t lie my friends. You need that data to measure. How else will you know if you’re on track? You can find an app or software for just about anything these days and it can be totally overwhelming. Think about what you’re looking to achieve, its capacity to grow with you, the transition and ownership of your information and does it interface with what you have already.
I believe having your own business should create more freedom. More time. More money. More impact.
Less work, not more. Automation is your friend and it’s time to get to know each other better.
What would you do with your extra time? How would you spend it?