January 8, 2020

New Year, New Processes

Written By Charesse Spiller

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As we head into a new year and a new decade, it’s important to take a closer look at what’s working in your business – and what’s not. The energy that you and your team feel to set goals and make your practice more efficient during this time of the year can be leveraged to revamp your processes. There are a few key steps I recommend that all of my clients take when doing planning in January.

As we head into a new year and a new decade, it’s important to take a closer look at what’s working in your business – and what’s not. The energy that you and your team feel to set goals and make your practice more efficient during this time of the year can be leveraged to revamp your processes. There are a few key steps I recommend that all of my clients take when doing planning in January. 

#1: Review Your Tech

When was the last time you looked at your tech stack? Truth be told, all business owners should be reviewing their tech stack at least annually to make sure it’s still meeting their needs. Unfortunately, it rarely ends up working out that way. Instead, many business owners continue to accrue different subscriptions, and rarely check to see if there’s any overlap or inefficiencies in how their tech stack is being used.There are several key questions you can ask yourself when reviewing your tech stack:

  1. Are there any new features that I need to know about?

  2. Has pricing changed?

  3. Have my team’s needs changed?

  4. Are there any overlaps in what purpose each tool serves?

Start by writing down all of the different technology you use in your business. Then, ask yourself these questions. It can also be helpful to run through a tech demo with the different companies you work with. This “refresher” can help you find where you’re not maximizing the tools you currently have, and whether or not they have new features that fulfill some of your team’s unmet needs.Want more information on how to perform a tech audit in the new year? Don’t miss this blog post with step-by-step processes for auditing your tech stack.

 

#2: Check-In With Your Team

Now is the perfect time to check in with your team to see whether or not there are any points of confusion or frustration when it comes to your business processes. Over the course of a year, a lot can change when it comes to your team’s dynamics. Roles change, and what each team member needs from your processes fluctuate as their responsibilities evolve.More often than not, I find there are at least 1-2 team members who are missing key information or don’t have the tools they need to maximize efficiency in their role. This is the perfect time to identify these inefficiencies and revisit both your processes and tech stack as a result.Finally, you can use this time to make sure any internal instructions for your team members are consistent and up to date. Best practice documents or standard operating procedures often become outdated without business owners realizing it, which can create problems when onboarding new team members, or reinforcing current practices. 

#3: Review Your Processes

The biggest question you should be asking yourself when reviewing your team’s processes is:What can we automate?Many times, business owners revisit their processes only to find that there are overlaps in tasks being performed by your team, or how your different pieces of technology are being used. The more you can free up your team members to improve your client experience and automate administrative tasks, the more you’ll be able to scale your business this year.It can be useful to review your processes by yourself, and then ask your team members to do the same. Compare your notes to theirs, and don’t be afraid to make necessary changes. Processes are constantly evolving, and it’s important to be responsive when your team’s needs change. Keeping automation at top of mind can help you to create repeatable processes and free up time both for yourself and your teammates as your business expands. 

#4: Check-In With Your Clients

It’s critical to make sure that you and your team are comfortable with your processes and your tech stack. However, your exploration shouldn’t stop there! Reaching out to your clients for feedback is incredibly helpful, and should be done annually. A client survey is often the most efficient way to accomplish this.Keep your survey short and sweet! You don’t want to overwhelm clients, and you want them to feel motivated to answer 3-5 key questions to help you improve your business. A few sample questions might be:

  1. Do you feel comfortable using your client portal?

  2. Was the client onboarding process fast and easy?

  3. Have you felt confident that you know what the next steps are throughout your client engagement?

 

Need Help? Let’s Talk!

The new year is a fantastic time to revisit your processes and ensure your business is as streamlined as possible. Let’s get some time on the calendar to talk about how my team and I can serve you in 2020!

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