Every single one of us is in a results-driven business. At the end of the day, if we are not able to produce the results our internal stakeholders or clients desire, we’re in trouble. But, in order to produce the level of results that are expected of us, our businesses need to be running on all cylinders.
Much like supercharged sports cars, our businesses are highly-sensitive machines that need to be finely tuned in order to achieve maximum performance. What I’m talking about here is, essentially, in order for our businesses to be successful (however you define that) and sustainable in the long run, we must be efficient in everything we do.
Here at BBT, we have earmarked 2019 as a key point in our journey. Not only are we celebrating our 5th birthday, but we have made it our mission to seek out areas we can create significant improvements within our processes, and how we can turn that into tangible results for our clients. Like any fast-growing business, it’s important no one rests on their laurels and we are constantly reviewing how we do things. What worked for us 6 months ago might not work for us today.
Right now, our focus is on improving our company-wide efficiency, with the overarching goal to free our team up from those tedious admin tasks and allowing them to spend more time on their areas of expertise. Not only making the company more efficient and profitable, but also allowing our team to focus on what they love doing; whether that’s developing a cutting-edge website, launching marketing campaigns or designing a bespoke brand for our clients.
In my experience, undertaking an internal review is often something that businesses our size rarely undertake or simply don’t do. I often find myself talking to clients or other business owners, whose sole focus is on the external environment. However, I argue that for many businesses, real growth comes when you take the time to review your internal structures and implement the processes and technologies capable of improving how you operate.
When I’m talking to our clients about improving their internal efficiencies, I always have several key checkboxes that we focus on.
1. Know what you want to track
Before we can design and implement the processes capable of improving our efficiencies, we first have to determine what efficiency looks like. So, I always ask, what are we measuring? For us, at its core, it is a balance between estimated hours on a task and whether we come in or under that estimate (simple, huh). However, every business is different.
2. Use technology to automate
Next, we do a deep dive into their technology stack. The reason we do this is, in this digital world, we have the ability to automate just about anything. There is simply no excuse for any business owner or senior staff member to be spending time on laborious admin work. In tracking efficiency, we have automated our systems to pull multiple data sets that spit out a weekly report.
3. Get internal buy-in
For me, this was the most important part of this process. For a fairly sizeable shift in processes and operations to be successful, it is critical everyone is on the same page and you get 100% buy-in. We are a people-based business and without our people believing in what we are trying to do, no amount of automation is going to do much.
In this meeting, I was completely honest with the team about where we were, where I see BBT and how we were going to get there. It also allowed us to walk through the new processes together, explain what their KPIs were and get them engaged. It was a time that allowed me to answer any questions they may have had. And, the response couldn’t have been more positive.
4. Commit to the process
Lastly, for a number of businesses when they try to implement something new, it gets off the ground but over the coming months, it falls by the wayside. We were determined for this not to happen. The key to this is keeping the team regularly updated and accountable.
What I’ve seen since we implemented this new way of thinking, is our team are taking total ownership. They know we could improve and are taking our new processes and focus and holding each other accountable for the results. The ideal scenario and the results are speaking for themselves.
It’s an exciting time to be in business with all the amazing apps, methodologies and information at your disposal. Being at the forefront of all that change is a difficult task. But if you constantly look inwards, be honest with the reality and are looking to improve, you’re on the right track.
This is not the first shake-up we’ve had a BBT and it won’t be our last. Because what has got us to this point, won’t necessarily produce the same results in the next five years. Thus, we need to be constantly evolving and improving.