First off, I want to say how excited I am to start this five part series on improving your workflow. Helping businesses to improve their efficiency is something I truly enjoy doing. The most common question I get related to workflow is “why does workflow matter?” Think of workflow as a map that guides you step by step from your start point to your end point. If your map is off or drawn incorrectly you will never get to the end and the same holds true to workflow.
In order to understand how important workflow is, lets look at the results of bad workflow. So for our example I will be very generic to accommodate multiple creative wedding business (photographers, wedding planners, florists, etc..). If your workflow is not sound:
- Your client experience will not be standardized. Every client experience, in general, should be the same. This ensures that you are not short selling your clients or neglecting them during the process. Your clients pay you for your product but they really want a great experience.
- You will find yourself missing steps. Workflows, essentially, are a list of steps in a process. Without a standardized workflow you really don’t know what has been completed or is in the process. As a result, many things will be missed causing a lot of frustration.
- You will find yourself working to hard. Above all, this problem holds a huge place in my heart. I see fantastic business owners working 60+ hours a week, and giving everything they have. Why? I can understand working like this sometimes to develop a new product or advance your business. But, most businesses I deal with are working this hard just to keep their business afloat. This is insane. Another way to think about it is, if you are spending all your time keeping your business viable what are you not spending your time doing? Marketing, developing new products, building vendor relations…
Workflow can, above all, give you the freedom to grow your business and free your time to focus on the things important to you. I have had multiple business owners tell me that by working with them on their workflow, I have given their lives and families back to them. I truly hope you enjoy this series, and take advantage of our coaching sessions with the Restart Specialist to improve and streamline your workflow.
Jason is a Arbinger, Spectrum, and Crucial Conversations Coach as well as a workflow specialist.