What is workflow?
A workflow is an expression, which means what it says: the “mapping out flow of work”.
This term is used to name a set of tools or methods that serve to automate and make your small business processes highly efficient.
Thus, tasks, information, data, and the activities performed by employees will follow an appropriate flow so that a business achieves its expected results.
1- Involvement of employees (Increased collaboration and teamwork)
It is important to have the involvement of team members in designing a small business workflow. They perform the daily tasks, so they know where to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the business processes.
When training new team members, it is very important to have a small business workflow. They reduce human errors.
2- Structure of the processes
In a more traditional company, you tend to observe more hierarchical and vertical based structures.
They base the division of tasks on the different departments, positions, and functions of each one of the employees.
And workflow tools should thoroughly consider this factor.
A small business that adopts workflow tools aligns them with the business processes it carries out and to the activities and knowledge of the team members involved.
In this way, teams will have their responsibilities established in advance.
In fact, the parties involved will act more harmoniously, because everyone knows exactly what the business expects of them, as well as their colleagues.
The members will have their responsibilities aligned according to the completion of each process and with the resources available in the business.
With this, you also organize members’ skills by considering the goals the business wants to achieve.
When structuring a business by highlighting the work that you need to do, it is much easier to find a combination of the skills of the members and the workflow.
Activities can flow better, with greater efficiency and integration.
3- Establishment of responsibilities
It is important to clearly define responsibilities for all tasks.
Within a traditional small business, you usually define member’s responsibilities in each process along the hierarchical layers of existing positions.
This path continues to obey the vertical order of functions and positions.
It is possible to see that this option usually involves a certain lack of efficiency. It is also evident that there are unnecessary costs, generated by the excess of bureaucracy, immobility, and slowness.
Therefore, it is very important to “wipe out” some of these excessive steps, defining the functions of members more efficiently in each workflow process.
Thus, with small business workflow tools, process owners can define the guidelines for designating the different responsibilities among the team. It is one of the most important benefits of a workflow.
4- Breaking barriers
In less structured small businesses, cases in which one department does not share data and information to others are very frequent.
This failure can be very damaging and even disrupt the smooth running of the organization.
And this usually occurs due to managers failing to set limits. This can become one of the most common problems that hinder proper company performance.
Therefore, to be able to detect and meet customer needs, you must have access to as much information as possible. This information from inside the company will help you design the processes that add value.
Moreover, the processes will involve, besides different sectors of the business, external subjects such as customers and suppliers.
And why is small business workflow important in this context?
Because some of its tools operate precisely through well-defined limits.
Consequently, each person will know what they can (and should) share.
Your company processes will gain better results when it comes to meeting the needs of your market.
5- Share knowledge
As mentioned in the previous point, sharing necessary data can be truly decisive for any small business.
In less automated models, the concentration of information in the hands of those team members with higher positions or who wish to retain power is very common.
This is a common mistake that can undermine the construction and execution of effective strategies.
When considering structuring the workflow of your small business through tools, this is one of the factors that will undergo major changes.
Thus, the information will be properly documented and shared with those who need it.
There is much more transparency within the company and in its processes.
6- Measure performance
A very important step for every small business is to be able to monitor and measure performance in every process.
Thus, in this way you can recognize correctness and detect faults that you need to improve.
This leads to reducing waste and operating costs, hence increasing profitability of the business.
7- Implement improvements
And after monitoring and measuring performance, it is usually time to put into practice the detected improvement opportunities.
Poorly structured models segment this stage into several improvement projects aimed at solving isolated problems. They also use Quality concepts.
This promotes continuous process improvement.
8- Enhancing the customer experience
Small Business Workflows (Business Processes) ensure delivery of products, services and other outputs that meet the needs of internal and external customers. This leads to a growth in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
9- Reliable data and information
Access to reliable data and information in real time is important. This leads to more transparency in the use of information. This data and information support the small business workflow (business processes).
10- Creation of strategies
Why is small business workflow important for building strategies in a company?
Because through their business processes, team members can understand the reality of their business and their processes more broadly.
So, the workflow improvement tools are also able to help put strategies in place.
It creates a kind of circular relationship.
That is, while these workflows help build more effective strategies, they also influence the achievement of expected results and assist in decision making.