Before automating your company's processes, you'll first want to improve those processes. There's nothing worse than an automated system that compounds your problems. Compare it to a cookie that looks scrumptious on the plate but tastes awful. Whether a bad recipe, salt instead of sugar (hey, I can't be the only one that's switched the two) or mis-measured salt is the blame, the results are the same—inedible.
Over the past several weeks, our goal has been to help you streamline your business, so it works for you. Too many business owners work IN, rather than ON, their business. You chase fires rather than closing clients or serving customers. Too often, we confuse activity with productivity.
Automation at its heart is like a taste-tested recipe that delights every time. Compare it to your favorite holiday treat. If you make grandma's famous treat substituting almond milk instead of heavy cream, it might have fewer calories, but the taste just isn't the same. Or this... have you ever asked for someone's special recipe, but when you make it, it just doesn't taste the same? A long-time practice is for the cook to leave out one "secret" ingredient that makes the recipe shine. It's that dash of cinnamon or spoon full of instant coffee in the chocolate cake that makes it stand out from all competitors.
Your automation recipe needs that little extra ZING to help you stand out from the rest of the companies in your market. And don't worry, it doesn't have to be complicated. A dash here--a spoonful there, and voila'! You have the prize winning recipe!
To get the most out of your day, we suggest you automate tasks which have the most repetition. Consider these as a starting place:
Data Entry of transactions in Quickbooks
CRM Automation - reminders, task assignment
To Do List Task Management - that spell out each step
Notes in systems to remind user of process
An Automation Recipe for Success
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Document ALL the steps used. You can do that on a piece of paper, an Evernote file, project management site like Asana, or a Word/Excel document.
Step 2: Measure
Evaluate each step of the process. Is it redundant? Is it necessary? Does it create a bottleneck? Don't take the step at face value and don't get stuck in the "but we've always done it this way" mentality. Take the story of the woman who cut off the ends of the brisket (because I live in Texas) before she cooked it, because that's what her mother did, and her mother before her. She thought that was the best way to make brisket. Later, she finds out that the only reason her grandmother cut the ends off was because the brisket didn't fit the pan she was cooking it in.
Step 3: Mix the ingredients in the proper recipe order.
Eliminate or augment problem-causing steps. If the step is necessary, transform it into a secret-sauce to amp up the power of your process.
Step 4: Prepare your pans and the oven.
Document your new process. Test to make sure it meets your needs.
Step 5: Taste Test Time
Start using your new process. Let the new process run through a cycle or two to make sure it "tastes" right for your business.
Let us be your "secret sauce" to new growth levels. Contact us today for more information on how Waggoner Professional Services can help you create an irresistibly delicious recipe of success.
And since we're talking about cookies... how about this recipe?
Oh, and MY secret ingredients? I use Enjoy Life chips and Double Stuffed Cookies
Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep 25 MIN
Total 28 MIN
At first glance, these are just plain, average, run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies. But take a bite, and what’s this? Is that a second cookie stuffed inside?! This Oreo-filled treat proves that yes, two cookies really are better than one. By TBSP Kitchens Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz)
1 package Oreo cookies
1 - Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 - Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3 - In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, along with chocolate chips, until just combined.
4 - Using a one-inch cookie scoop to measure out dough, place a single Oreo™ between two equal scoops of cookie dough. Use your hands to mold the dough around the Oreo™ until edges are sealed and cookie is completely enclosed in dough. Repeat with each cookie until all dough is used.
5 - Place onto a parchment-or Silpat™-lined baking sheet. The cookies will expand a bit when baking, so use two pans if necessary to provide enough space between them. Bake 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.