Let's say you have been using WorkflowMax in your business for some time now, and you've got your internal processes nailed. You're quoting, time sheeting, costing, and invoicing smoothly. You're even getting some reliable job based reports - which we've found is really a first for many of our clients.
If this doesn't sound like your business, you may like to reach out and talk to us about how to get there, before continuing on.
If this does sound like you, Congratulations! You may now be saying to yourself, 'WorkflowMax is good for us but how can it be great for us?' The good news is you probably have all the information and processes to take your WorkflowMax to the next level. The objective of this article is to provide the groundwork that will allow you to put that into practice.
But first, a bit of economic theory: the efficient market hypothesis states that there is no such thing as a free lunch. This is a common business idiom but it means more than just 'nothing is free'. What it holds, is that an efficient market will not provide profits for bearing no risk. For a business owner, what this means is that anything you're doing which can be done better by someone else, will be. And the market (your clients) will not be happy to pay you anything above a reimbursement of cost.
This principle extends into every non value-add area of our businesses. It means we need to redouble our efforts to not only invest our time into the activities our clients truely value, but reduce the administrative burden of all other client-related activities down to their lowest possible time and cost - without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
To help us start to identify which activities are value-add and which are not, we can break everything we do in our business systems into three categories. Repetitive, Repeatable, and Unique.
Repetitive activities can be repeated without variation. The details might differ client-to-client or job-to-job but the steps do not. These include drafting a quote or proposal, capturing client details, some project correspondence, invoicing. An example of a repetitive process from Architecture might be consent lodgement or documentation. If your clients are paying you anything above cost for these activities they probably won't be for too long. These activities don't add any unique value to them, they are the commodities of your industry. It is our job and the job of WorkflowMax to automate these repetitive processes, so they are delivered the same way every time, with as little administration as possible.
Repeatable activities change client-to-client and project-to-project. These are the unique combination of steps, people and processes that make what you do different. Although these steps are also recurring and are often not unique to your business, the way you do them is, and they add value to your clients in their method of delivery. The objective of WorkflowMax is to automate the steps involved in delivering these services profitably. Everything under the 'Our Services' tab of your website should fall into this category, an example from a creative industry might be a 'social media marketing campaign'. Anyone in that industry might be able to deliver a social media marketing campaign but nobody does it quite like you.
Unique activities are the unique thoughts, ideas and activities specific to a client or project. These cannot be imitated, detailed out, or repeated consistently, and are the special sauce of your business. Unsurprisingly these activities come from the people in your organisation. The role of WorkflowMax is to be as uninvolved as possible in the brewing and creation of this sauce, but to take care of the recurring activities in the background so your people can focus on this high value-add area. An example from Architecture might be design which cannot be imitated, cloned or repeated project-to-project.
Each job or project will involve a combination of each of the above types of activities. If you want to go next level with your WorkflowMax, we recommend starting by identifying those services which are most profitable, and the associated processes in your business. From there, you can structure these into usable Job Templates to manage the procedures involved in delivering them.
The question of designing Job Templates is a big one, and a core part of our implementation service (that is, one of our unique activities). What we're suggesting here is that the best way to design or revise a Job Template is based on historical data. When we set WorkflowMax up from scratch, we have a set of activities that helps us discover our clients' processes that we can translate into Job Templates. If you are already using WorkflowMax, then you are a step ahead, as you most likely have this information available to you.
Using WorkflowMax’s Job Templates to manage the repetitive and repeatable activities in your business allows you to spend more time focusing on those unique activities which deliver value and ultimately drive your business growth. You may be able to work through this process entirely by yourself, but equally, we're very happy to provide further insight - just get in contact and let us know.