There are only so many hours you have in a day. Doing everything your business needs is a near impossible task. The moment you think you have a handle on it, a mountain of other things come crashing down.
Simon Sinek – We can’t all be good at everything. Don’t try to take on every single task in your business. And definitely don’t try to take on and learn the volumes of knowledge you will need to run your company’s IT effectively. This will only lead to wasted time. Think back the last time you were on the phone trying to distinguish between two USB cables that look the same to you, but your vendor insists that they are different.
This is why you should streamline your IT. I say should, but I mean need. You need to streamline your IT. Not only to reduce your own workload and get you back to doing the things you do best, but a streamlined IT infrastructure will ultimately increase your company’s productivity, lower your expenses, and even help you engage and do your work better.
A few things to remember when you look to streamline:
Automate, automate, automate!
From emails and invoices to connecting with your team, the time you spend on little tasks you must do every day, or pay someone to do everyday for you, really add up. Each task is very different and even if it takes you two minutes to do, add that up by how many times you must do it and it ends up becoming a large percentage of your day. A percentage that could be focused on other, more pressing things.
You can automate and cut down on your workload so that your time is not wasted on the trivial tasks but on the larger, more important projects and decisions.
For example, you could set up automation on your website to automate your lead generation funnel. Any email that comes in will be automatically sent a welcome email with some of the information your potential client requested. You can also use a process like this to keep in touch with former clients or existing ones.
Look around you right now and list out the tasks that are slowing you down the most. The ones that are taking up a large portion of your day, then find an automated software solution (or better yet your IT team can do it for you) that can mange them for you. This alone is worth the sultan’s weight in gold.
Centralize and Collaborate
Whether you are a team a 1 or 1000, you will need to collaborate and communicate with each other, as well as clients, vendors, and any others that work on your projects.
Communication can draw a lot of time out of your day, but you can learn to master this necessary evil.
How many emails do you have unread right now? If it is any more than 10 then you have a definite need to streamline it (and if it’s less than 10, well bravo, you don’t sleep or eat, do you, robot?). Email can be a beast for marketing and sales alone, now add into it projects and the amount you receive daily could easily be in the hundreds. This can be even more unwieldy if you are passing files back and forth…I am getting cold chills just thinking about this…
Centralizing communication with collaborative tools like MS Teams, Slack, Asana, or Basecamp help to streamline (there is that word again) communication and eliminate a huge chunk of this problem by allowing your team to share the platform you are working in. You can set groups to share messages and files, integrate your devices for mobile access, push notifications and other features can help make sure messaging and other information does not fall along the wayside.
Now throw into the mix your outside contacts such as clients or vendors and you have a centralized place to store, index, and mange communication with them.
Consider IT Outsourcing
So, this all sounds great, right? Absolutely, but to be able to research, plan, and implement these tools, leave it to the experts. Leave it to the guys who eat, sleep, breathe, and probably dream IT (I said probably!).
Not only will outsourced IT allow you and your team to focus on what you do best, but a great one will show you how to streamline even more when new features, or better products come out that allow you to do more with less.
No matter what, you should always vet any potential outsourced contractor before jumping in with both feet. Take the time to go over their portfolio or even get referrals from their past clients.
Outsourced IT can show you how to streamline even more when new features, or better products come out that allow you to do more with less.
Do your due diligence now and the benefits you will reap will be numerous, as well as allow you to form a lasting relationship with company that has your business’ best interests at heart.
So, I hope this was helpful, just remember to streamline, streamline, streamline, and you will be able to free up more time in your day to do the things you excel at, as well as increasing revenue.