As small business owners we try to accomplish so many steps throughout the day in order to keep all parts of the business running proficiently.

Right from taking an order to processing it, to shipping and followup. The people around us when delegated do exactly what has been taught the very first time and keep doing it the same way over and over again. It is for you to decide whether the process is...one - working and two - is efficient.

Deanna R. Willis, MD, MBA has written a fabulous article on "Making Every Minute Count: Tools to Improve Office Efficiency" . Although the article that she has written has to do with a doctor's office, the principles behind it can be applied anywhere.

She suggests, To create a flow map, use whatever format is most comfortable to you and simply list the current steps in order of completion. Use "baby steps” to identify every subsequent step that occurs, and soon you will end up with a detailed description of the current process. Once you have identified each of the steps in your current process, you can begin to identify what is wrong with the process. As you identify problems with the current process, you'll need to eliminate steps that are simply waste and implement changes in your practice to make the remaining steps effective.Once you have mapped your current process, identified its problems and agreed on an improved process, your work isn't over.

For the new process to succeed, you'll need to take additional steps
  1. Staff education. Educating your personnel about the new process and equipping them with all the information they will need is vital to your success.
  2. Additional and ongoing training in this area may help improve the process.
  3. Job functions. You may also find that job functions need to be redesigned. and more.....
She concludes by saying..."Dream big, start small"
Link for the article.

Dr. Willis is an assistant professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and director of affiliate faculty for the Department of Family Medicine. She is also medical director of quality and medical management for the Indiana University Medical Group in Indianapolis.