Have you ever worked somewhere that didn’t have a good system for communication and task management in place? It can be extremely frustrating. Tasks build up, nobody knows who is supposed to complete any of them, things fall through the cracks, and you and your company come out looking unorganized and unprofessional. Having a good workflow will not only ensure that all tasks are completed, but it also keeps everyone accountable for their responsibilities…okay that sounds like something a boring office manager would say. Seriously though, having a good workflow plan in place will make you and your coworker’s days less stressful. Here are a few ways you can make your work life easier.
Access What is Wrong With Your Process
You cannot have a solution until you figure out exactly where the problem is. What is frustrating you and those you work with? Here are a few questions you can ask to nail down where your problems lie.
- Is your software or hardware outdated?
- Are tasks being properly delegated?
- Is your filing system from 1970?
- Is your filing system too complicated?
- Does the workforce know where to turn for support?
- Are important deadlines being missed because of lost information?
- Are your sales and marketing teams working cohesively?
- Are leads being lost?
These are general questions to get you started, of course every workplace and industry is different. The point is figure out where the ball is being dropped and then organize the issues by level of importance.
Hardware Problems? Call a Pro or Replace Them
If you have outdated hardware (laptops, desktops, even printers and scanners) you absolutely need to resolve this first. Not only is outdated hardware slow and prone to crashes, but it will not be able to handle some of the software tools that will make administrative, sales and marketing responsibilities more streamlined.
Automate, Automate, Automate
Here we are completely obsessed with automation. We automate absolutely everything we can because why lose hours doing small house keeping tasks or data entry or analysis that can be completed with minimal effort? Automating processes allows you more time to develop things like marketing and content strategies.
Ways to Automate Your Processes
Bother Your Website Developer
We don’t mind at all. Your web developer is there for you and your company. The great thing about having a responsive developer on your side is that they can create custom forms that cater to your specific needs. Instead of using a form template they can create custom questions on things like patient forms, surveys, customer information sheets and have that automatically sent where ever you need it to go. Great web developers will let you know if something is too ambitious, but as long as your request is somewhat reasonable (automatic email replies to the 4000 customers that buy your product with an attached customer satisfaction survey anyone?) it can probably be done. If you have a free website with no developer…we have expressed our less than enthused opinion on this in the past, there are some options to automate for you too!
Find a Good CRM
A CRM is a customer relationship management system that can effectively organize customer data to help you better under stand their needs. The keyword here is “organize” instead of having to waste time pulling customer information and entering it manually into some spreadsheet a good CRM will retrieve info for you from email campaigns, websites, and social media, then organizes that data accurately. With a good CRM you can look up customer specifics and tailor marketing campaigns to them directly based on their interests, this then leads the customer closer to the end of the sales funnel and gives sales staff high quality leads and all of the info they need. We highly suggest that if you don’t want to hire SEO pros, try the HubSpot CRM system.
Tedious Tasks can be Automated
If you don’t have automatic bill pay set up for at least some expenses you are losing a lot of time. Don’t fire your accountant you definitely still need invoices and payroll handled professionally, but talk to them about maybe setting up for the electric and gas bills in your building to come out of the account automatically so that they do not have to worry about it.
Filling Out Information Online
Typing your first and last name, company name, company address etc actually can be a pretty big time suck over time, not to mention…it just sucks in general. This is an easy fix, save the information on your Chrome browser and it will automatically fill in that info for you.
Ordering Office Supplies
No matter if it is the CEO of the company or the new administrative assistant, they probably have something better to do than waste a couple hours ordering office supplies. Set up automated shipping for these items through your preferred retailer and adjust the order if needed. Set it and forget it!
Win at Task Management
I think we have all worked somewhere that didn’t have the best communication when it comes to ‘who does what’. When it comes to delegating tasks and ensuring that they are completed on time, you need a company wide task management system. This helps keep everybody accountable and let’s you know which projects are on track and which are not. I use Trello here at Unravel. Trello works well because you can make as many boards (or categories) as you want, color code those categories, set due dates, allow and disallow who can see the task board, make checklists, set due dates, comment back and forth…whew running out of breath over here. I have used Trello for a few years now and have zero complaints, obviously. My point is find a project/task management system that works for your team and make sure they use it!