As a small business owner, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a business you’re proud of.
You’ve worked on your elevator pitch, figured out the right product-market fit, built processes and systems, and developed a long-term plan.
Your small business runs like a well-oiled machine, and you’re ready to take it to the next level.
But you just don’t seem to have any time!
As your business moves into the continuous growth phase, you naturally find yourself handling a myriad of different tasks, being pulled in multiple directions at the same time.
Every day, you switch between projects and tasks, all day long.
All while cutting sleep at one time or another to ensure everything gets done.
So how can you free up time so you can finally focus on core processes that make your business stand out from competitors and enable it to grow?
Read on to find out.
Table of contents:
1. What Makes a Process Non-Core?
As a business owner, it is essential to differentiate between core and non-core processes.
Broadly speaking, core processes refer to the most fundamental operations in your business that generate revenue and foster business growth, while non-core processes hold lower priority.
For instance, a marketing campaign is a core activity because it can significantly impact your profits.
On the other hand, optimising your social media profiles, though important, is a non-core task because it won’t necessarily increase your bottom line.
You can think of non-core processes as activities or assets that have no direct influence on business operations.
Businesses, irrespective of their size, typically have four to eight core processes, while all other processes are non-core.
While some non-core functions are easy to identify (e.g., mailbox management), it is up to your business to define which functions are essential to your operations.
Various industries may have different definitions, but differentiating between core and non-core activities is ultimately a complex process that requires thoughtful planning.
For example, if you get most clients through your website, all activities that drive traffic to your website (e.g., content, SEO, etc.) are core activities because they help your business grow.
But if you get most customers through social media or sources other than your website, tracking the number of visitors on your website over time, although important, isn’t a core activity because it doesn’t significantly impact profits and growth.
Understanding these differences can help you allocate resources accordingly and ensure that you are focusing your efforts on your most critical business activities which ultimately drive growth and profits.
What’s more, it will help you effectively organise your workload and avoid being pulled in multiple directions and stretched too thin.
Not only is it draining and derailing to feel overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list of low-priority tasks, but it is also detrimental to your business.
You don’t want to slow down the pace at which your business wants to grow because you’re focusing too much on non-core priorities.
By finding ways to streamline low and medium-priority tasks and cut down on busy work, you will be able to focus on the processes that really matter to your business growth – and you might even be able to enjoy your work days more.
2. How to Simplify & Improve Non-Core Processes
As a business owner, being a part of the core business is key to success.
But does that mean you should overlook the non-core processes?
No, it doesn’t!
Your attitude towards both core and non-core processes plays a critical role in determining your business’s success or failure.
When you get sidetracked by non-core tasks and spend countless hours tinkering with low-priority activities, you risk losing sight of those activities that generate revenue and drive growth.
As a result, your business may struggle to keep up with competitors and fail to meet customer demands.
While on the other hand, when you ignore non-core processes that are important for the efficient functioning of your business, you risk creating a domino effect of negative consequences.
Can you imagine the horror of losing your competitive edge, just because you ignored your customer service or administrative tasks such as bookkeeping or IT support?
Ideally, you should strike the right balance between managing both core and non-core tasks.
There are three strategies you can adopt to simplify and streamline your non-core processes:
Outsourcing is by far the most common way to free up time and resources that would otherwise be spent on non-essential functions.
The reason why outsourcing is so popular is that it enables you to access talented individuals while saving money and time on hiring in-house.
This means you don’t need to answer your own calls and you’re able to focus on more productive tasks knowing your customers are always in good hands.
- Delegating tasks in-house
If you’re fortunate enough to have one or more employees, then you have a valuable asset of which you should take advantage.
Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your team. You don’t have to do everything on your own if you have employees who are able to support you.
After all, you hired them for a reason, and if they have the right skills, you should trust them to take some tasks off your plate.
It’s incredible what we can achieve with the power of automation these days.
There are many repetitive, time-consuming processes that can be automated to help you free up time and energy and focus on what you love doing most.
Let’s be real, who has time to manually process invoices or pre-screen candidates?
Automation can handle that for you, plus a myriad of other processes, such as social media posting, customer communication, sales lead nurturing, data backup, etc.
The Bottom Line
When running your own business, deciding what not to do is equally important as deciding what to do.
Sure, as a business owner, doing everything on your own may seem the easiest path to success – especially if you think that you do work better and faster than anyone else.
However, outsourcing, delegating tasks to your team or automating non-core activities is critical if you want to drive business growth.
If you struggle to get everything done because you feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and responsibilities, consider evaluating whether your non-core processes are holding you back.
Here at B2B HQ, we pride ourselves in providing the best telephone answering services and virtual receptionists to take some of the day-to-day tasks off your plate while saving you time for more important activities. Contact us today and let’s talk about how outsourcing customer support could free up your business for growth and success.