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Strategies for SMEs to Optimise Processes and Grow their Businesses

Strategies for SMEs to Optimise Processes and Grow their Businesses

  • 10 December 2019
  • By OCBC Business Banking
  • 5 mins read

Have you heard of the phrase ‘Work on your business, not in your business’?

It's one of the most common pieces of advice dispensed to small business owners, and for a good reason—it works. The idea behind it is that in order to scale up, business owners must be able to remove themselves from the day-to-day tasks that happen in the business. They must focus on the bigger picture of growing and scaling instead.

Fortunately, a lot of the challenges related to this can be mitigated by one thing — properly optimised business processes. We will explain why process optimisation is so important and how the OCBC Digital Business Dashboard can help your business do so.

Processes are the Key to Increasing Both Scale and Productivity
Mega-businesses are always looking at ways to further optimise their business processes. Think of large fast-food franchises. Without proper processes in place, it would be impossible for them to manage their thousands outlets worldwide and serve millions of customers each day.

Although your business is much smaller, the same lessons apply. The processes you have, serve as pillars for employees to lean on. Furthermore, properly optimising these is an easy hack for increasing your productivity — allowing you to do more while spending less time and money.

So, how do you do this? There are two optimisation strategies that any business can benefit from: streamline and consolidate, and digitise and automate.

Optimisation Strategy #1: Streamline and Consolidate
To grow your business, you need to have a high-level view of your business performance and make appropriate decisions from there. You need a way to view all your relevant business metrics in one place and even manage most of them from there. That’s exactly where the OCBC Digital Business Dashboard comes in handy.

By connecting to all your various business apps, from Quickbooks to Shopify to MailChimp, the OCBC Digital Business Dashboard lets you track your sales, cashflow, marketing, and productivity metrics from one easy-to-use interface. This one simple tool gives you the power to do the job of multiple managers — now that’s optimisation!

Optimisation Strategy #2: Digitise and Automate with Apps and Software
We are now squarely in the digital era, yet many businesses still rely on outdated paper-based and manual processes. Here are some areas in your business where digitisation and automation go a long way toward increasing efficiency. Run through them and see if there’s anything more your business could do.

Cashflow Management
Even in this digital age, tallying the books is still a must, but you don’t have to do it in a literal sense! Today, apps like Quickbooks, Xero, and Wave allow you to easily stay on top of your cashflow management.

A significant amount of marketing today is digital, so it makes sense that your tools for managing your marketing campaigns should be as well. The great thing about digital marketing is the data—with apps like Facebook, Google Ads, and MailChimp, you can easily track what is working (and what isn’t) and direct your budget accordingly.

Human Resources
The ‘human’ in human resources notwithstanding, you can use technology to make HR management more efficient. Apps like Deputy, GeoOp, and When I Work allow you to automate functions like payments, annual leaves, and even KPIs. You can now efficiently manage the HR side of your business without losing the human element.

It is a scalable solution, ideal for small businesses all the way up to large enterprises. Pricing is monthly and is charged on a per-user basis, depending on which features you need.

Tie Everything Together with OCBC’s Digital Business Dashboard
You have no doubt started out as the hardest worker in your business. But what got you 'here' might not get you 'there'. For your business to grow, you must optimise your business processes so you can systematically scale. The OCBC Digital Business Dashboard was designed to help you do that — it is the ultimate tool to transform you from a do-it-all worker to a forward-looking leader.


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