How to Streamline Your Business Processes

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

Automate processes

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 do less. 

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