Scale Your Business: Eliminate, Automate, Delegate
10 May, 16 | illumisoftadmin
These days it’s pretty easy to start a business, but quite difficult to create one that is lean, efficient and highly profitable. If you’re just starting a business or have been building one for a while, it’s important to think of how best to scale it. Being able to scale your business means you have the ability to quickly adapt to new technology since more and more business growth is fueled by technology adoption. Adapting to these new disruptive technologies is becoming the most important characteristic of both new and old businesses. It’s is also becoming the most sought after attribute in employees.
Scaling a business can be explained best using three words: Eliminate, Automate and Delegate. The first thing to think about is what can be eliminated in your business operations. After you’ve eliminated the unnecessary, you should consider what processes can be automated. Next, After you’ve filtered through all your business operations, eliminated dead weight and automated as much as you can, you can now focus on delegating the remaining tasks. Let’s explore these three areas in detail:
Eliminating the things that are not going to add the most value to your business will keep your operations lean and efficient. That is, what parts of your business processes produce less value but take considerable time? Ask yourself, “Can I run my business without them? What is the cost of these processes, in relation to the value they bring to my bottom line? Is there redundancy, or process overlap?”
Look for redundancy throughout your business. If you see any processes that overlap, get rid of them. Eliminate steps that don’t create any value. Just because you’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean it should continue that way today. Technology is forcing everything to change.
If you’re having trouble seeing steps to eliminate, it might be wise to bring in someone from the outside to look at your business operations from a fresh perspective. Or, alternatively, ask one of your employees who is particularly observant. In every organization, there exists employees and resources that are underutilized. Maximize the resources that you have to eliminate processes you can.
After you have eliminated as many steps as possible, examine your existing business processes to figure out which ones can be automated. You may not be aware of the available technologies that can automate your business, so it’s important to consult with experts who can help you understand what possibilities exist. Another powerful, but time-consuming method is to educate yourself about new technologies in automation. A combination of those two approaches is best. Educate yourself, and then discuss your findings with an expert.
There are several components to consider when thinking about automating processes in your business. The human component, or how you change from doing what you’re doing to doing what you’ll be doing after the automation, is the most important component, but is often overlooked. The software component is how you capture your process in computer-friendly language, and the hardware component is both where you run your software, but also, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) it is how you talk to your physical machinery, appliances, or any robotic hardware you use.
If you are struggling with seeing your business as a set of processes, combined with a set of rules and a group of people that have skills, you should definitely consider hiring a consultant to help you put it into perspective. But, even if you have a good grasp of your business from these perspectives, it’s still a pretty good idea to get some other opinions.
After you have painstakingly exhausted the two previous steps you should consider delegating tasks to others. There are two types of delegation that we will discuss. Delegating to internal resources to better utilize their skills, and delegating responsibility to another company, or outsourcing.
The world is changing with respect to the needs and wants of our workforce. Today’s human resources demand respect, freedom, challenge, and empowerment. To some, this new way of thinking, and the change to the employer/employee relationship is very challenging. But, it doesn’t have to be a negative. In fact, it has been shown that by working with your internal resources to build a plan for their work, that includes all of their demands, produces far better results than the more common way of interacting with new employees by giving them a manual to read, a desk to sit at, and a boss to make sure they’re reading the manual and sitting at their desk. Employee utilization is going to become increasingly critical to a company’s ability to succeed and scale.
The other way of delegating is by hiring a company that specializes in doing what you need done.This way of thinking is opposite from the traditional model of hiring employees at the outset. What you should be asking before you hire anyone is, “What machine, software program or automated service can perform this function?” If you find that no program exists to do the task, then at that point, it’s time to consider hiring someone. This approach may sound like it lacks compassion, but it is the current business environment in which we live. Furthermore, this structure allows people to perform operations and jobs that require uniquely human skills and that cannot be replaced by automation. By getting rid of rote and boring jobs that machines can do better than humans, your business can focus more heavily on operations that are wholly dependent upon human interaction. This also frees up your business and allows it to focus on what it does best, whatever that may be.
Accomplishing these three steps can greatly streamline your business, and make it leaner, more efficient and more profitable. Also, an additional benefit of doing this three-step process is that it produces agility within your business, giving you the ability to pivot when newer technology become available.
The last industrial revolution favored steel but the one we’re currently in favors the properties of water: it’s fluid and fast-moving. My name is Dan Prince and I’m the founder of illumisoft. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or my cell phone at 816.564.9595. Feel free to reach out and ask me any questions you may have about business automation or anything else.