Streamlining Your Startup Can Be a Cinch – If You Follow These 15 Tips


15 Ways To Successfully Streamline Operations at Your Startup Business

Ensuring your business flows effectively is key to the success of your company. In the first few years of any business, it can be difficult to achieve a new level of efficiency that you are comfortable with, and that helps your operations steadily keep up with demand. That’s why we asked 15 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“How can you successfully streamline operations when there’s so much else to focus on in the first few years of business?”

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How to Streamline Operations at Your Startup

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Create an Operations Manual and Software

“Streamline your efforts by creating a dynamic manual of operations and by using free management software, such as Podio, to get information out of your head and make it more easily accessible to your growing team. This also helps create generative thinking to problem solve.” ~ Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg

2. Review Processes Often

“When processes aren’t streamlined, your business will be faced with customer complaints, frustrated employees, mistakes, delays and wasted resources. A business, especially a small one or a startup, can’t afford to not streamline processes. A good place to start is with designating an employee to regularly map and analyze processes to avoid inefficiencies, low productivity and poor customer satisfaction. ” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

3. Process, Document, Train

“The only way to build and scale a company is to create replicable processes and document them. Otherwise, employee turnover will lead to massive brain drain and your team will be re-learning from mistakes that have been made before. Ensure the team has access to these documents, and train new employees during onboarding. Teach people that if a process breaks, they need to fix and document the changes. ” ~ Jonathan Gass, Nomad Financial

4. Implement Automation Technology

“You can implement various platforms and tools that automate tasks for you. This maintains a streamlined organization so you don’t add people just to do very basic, yet time-consuming tasks. ” ~ Serenity Gibbons, Calendar.com

5. Make Operations a Priority

“One of your early hires should be a natural operations person, even if that’s not their formal role. What you’re looking for is the type of person that naturally organizes as they go, and if you give them the reins to do that, they will. ” ~ Tim Chaves, ZipBooks Accounting Software

6. Look for Multifaceted Talent

“Look to bring on talent that can assist in multiple areas or that is willing to learn more skills to do so. This can keep the streamlined effect while allowing you the time to focus on strategy and execution. ” ~ Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

7. Have a Mentor

“Use a mentor to help you focus on the process and operations. It helps to have an expert guide your work and show you what you may not see. ” ~ Murray Newlands, ChattyPeople

8. Hire the Right People

“There are a lot of processes you can streamline yourself — but there’s nothing like efficient, hard-working employees to make those processes easier for you. If you’re filling your company with out-of-the-box thinkers who believe in the mission of your company, you’re going to see processes streamlining left and right.” ~ Kevin Conner, BroadbandSearch

9. Focus on Systems Over Strategies

“The first thing is to focus on your systems over your strategies in order to streamline the process. How are you going to track your revenue and what systems pertain to helping you track ROI? Those are the systems that need to be set up first so they can support you during the tough times of your business. Your systems will sustain your business and propel it forward.” ~ Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

10. Find the Bottleneck and Fix It

“Pick the single biggest bottleneck in your company and start there. If you don’t know what this is, consider your activities and determine whether that activity yields the highest value and makes the best use of your time. If your time is wrapped up in a repetitive task, you can choose to delegate this responsibility, automate parts of the process or systematize it to make it as fluid as possible.” ~ David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

11. Take a Granular Approach

“Take a more granular approach and look for ways to streamline the smaller things involved with running a business. Maybe you find a way that your team can get customers taken care of more quickly and efficiently, as one brief example. Then, move on to the next operational point. That usually will give you the time to focus on all of the other items in the first few years.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

12. Keep Asking What You Don’t Need

“When you keep adding on, whether it’s staff, equipment or any type of tool or system, you’re making things more complicated. Sometimes this is necessary and beneficial, but streamlining requires you to do the opposite. In any process or project, ask what could be cut back and simplified. This often helps you save time and reduce costs. ” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

13. Do Constant Research

“Many people have attempted similar business ventures and operations with varying degrees of success. In order to capitalize on this, it’s important to study your peers, rivals and mentors. This is a great way to ascertain what aspects of operations can be streamlined without negative ramifications, almost like a form of A/B testing. If others have attempted similar strategies, learn from them.” ~ Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

14. Start From Day One

“Streamlining and automation is not something you should “start someday,” it is a practice that is best applied when it is implemented from the very beginning and routinely exercised. Streamlining grows increasingly difficult the further you are in your business. Take simple steps to automate your business and make them a routine, you will thank yourself later for starting early in this process.” ~ Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

15. Outsource, Outsource, Outsource

“There will be many things that you’re not an expert in, and whether it’s accounting or IT, work with a consultant or agency that knows what they’re doing. You’ll be much more effective in organizing the operations of your business if you’re able to step back and manage several functions and their relative workflows, as opposed to actually learning about and doing all this work yourself. ” ~ Roger Lee, Captain401

Photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

3 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    It is important to have a set system especially if you are operating in a limited budget.

  2. You have to do everything yourself in a startup. Without a good process, it is easy for things to become disorganized immediately.

  3. It is about having a process that yields the most results with minimal effort and cost. That should be the goal.

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