Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
When was the last time you audited your business baggage? So many processes, rules, priorities, rituals, beliefs, and perceptions develop as a company grows but lose their utility over time. These extra add-ons can weigh your business down and detract from your overall efficiency. So let’s talk about how to eliminate valueless processes in your business.
Why Simplification Is Important in Business
When trying to improve a business, our first instinct tends toward addition. As the business expands, we add new processes to overcome obstacles, new rules as we hire more employees, and new tasks to our to-do lists. But unfortunately, in doing so, we often overlook the power of subtraction.
Think of a PowerPoint presentation. Too many bullet points will overwhelm the audience and cause them to tune out. Focusing on the most relevant topics, on the other hand, lets everyone concentrate on what’s important. It’s the same with every area of your business. Getting bogged down can take the focus away from what matters.
As you might imagine, I became a big fan of this topic—in 2007. So I named my business coaching LLC “Business Simplified.” I believe in the importance of business simplification: integrating a streamlined workflow and eliminating the things that no longer work for you.
How to Streamline Your Business Processes
- Audit your processes. Are any of them outdated holdovers from a different era of your business? Are there rules, policies, or best practices that aren’t working for you anymore? Too many hoops to jump through can stifle innovation and make it harder for your employees to do their jobs.
- Get clear on your priorities. Are you dedicating time and resources as an organization to things that don’t matter much in the long run? Figure out what’s essential and reevaluate things that aren’t. This can be as small as eliminating inefficient software or as large as discontinuing a product that isn’t selling well.
- Eliminate extraneous signoffs. How often must a document be reviewed before progressing to the next step? Do you need the approval of multiple people before moving forward with an initiative? Hire employees that do their jobs well and cut down on the rounds of review and support that their work undergoes.
- Assess your regular meetings. Nothing irritates people like being stuck in a meeting that could have been an email. Cancel the meetings that you don’t need. Try moving weekly meetings to every other week and see if you miss them. When a meeting is necessary, make it a standing appointment to keep things short and sweet.
- Get an outside perspective. Sometimes we can’t see opportunities for simplification because we’re too involved. Explain your processes to a trusted friend or business mentor. Can they identify areas of needless complication? You might also ask your employees for ideas on where to cut back. They can offer a fresh perspective.
Business simplification takes time upfront but saves time in the long run. By eliminating the extra baggage, you can free up time and resources for the things that matter.
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