Every business must grow to thrive. Focusing on two general areas of growth yields the highest chance of success. One area is cultivating efficient, empowering, and transparent business practices through workflow optimization. While the other strengthens the business’s resilience to increased cyber threats through continued investment in cybersecurity.
Here, we examine how these two aspects go hand in hand and give tips on nurturing both.
What are Workflows, and Why are They Important?
Workflow has become a buzzword that's gained further traction since the pandemic. It refers to the chain of processes a task must undergo to complete. A sales order is the most common and universal example of a workflow in action.
All the processes between a salesperson issuing the order and its storage after successful completion make up its workflow.
The number of steps between these two points is a good indicator of a workflow's efficiency. Sometimes, even a workflow that involves a few degrees can be inefficient if fulfilling them requires timely manual input.
Every successful business needs to develop and refine a workflow policy. Workflow standardization creates clear responsibilities and fosters accountability. Since everyone is on the same page, it’s also easier to identify and eliminate inefficiencies.
Sticking to the letter of a workflow often uncovers redundancies that generate unnecessary costs and holdups. Evaluating the workflow has other benefits, like discovering employees' aptitudes.
It's not uncommon for talented workers to be stuck doing inefficient or unnecessary tasks. Revising your workflow will free the right people up to perform meaningful jobs. It may also open the doors for advancement opportunities.
How to Enhance Workflow Efficiency
Any business can adopt a workflow policy, and there's always room for improvement! Here are our top tips on optimizing workflow:
1. Evaluate existing processes.
The first step is to take stock of existing processes and see how they reflect on overall productivity. Some parts of your workflows may already work well, while others create unnecessary roadblocks.
2. Optimize productivity.
Once shortcomings in your workflows become clear, it's easier to trim unnecessary steps and assign resources to the most critical tasks.
3. Implement office management software.
Investing in an office management suite like Flanco app, is crucial for streamlining daily and long-term workflows. Such apps provide everything from time tracking through office-wide communication to access control to vital data. Additionally, office management apps automate repetitive tasks while increasing overall transparency.
4. Conduct regular training.
Even the best workflow policies are useless if your workforce doesn’t know or keeps forgetting how to use them. Regular training ensures everyone is familiar with the latest procedures. Developing your knowledge base and refining training procedures as you establish new workflow enhancements is a good idea.
How Does Security Factor Into Business Success?
The benefits of workflow optimization are self-evident. However, many business owners fail to see the importance of investing in proper cybersecurity. They mistakenly think they're too small to fall victim to a security breach. Such a mindset could be a more disastrous oversight than any workflow inefficiency.
Data breaches affected 45% of US companies in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a significant business concern. Moreover, customers are increasingly hesitant to deal with companies that don’t take cybersecurity seriously.
The positive impact cybersecurity has on your business may not be immediate. It's harder to feel day-to-day. However, lax cybersecurity can have long-reaching consequences. Your company might not be resilient enough to survive them.
How to Enhance Your Business’s Cybersecurity
The consequences of remaining vulnerable to cyberattacks can be daunting. That’s why cybersecurity is important. Establishing a basis for a robust cybersecurity policy is what you need for all your business data to be protected.
1. Keep file backups.
Your top cybersecurity priority is having backups of critical files off-site or in cloud storage. Major power outages, property damage, theft, and ransomware attacks can render your data inaccessible and make normal operations impossible. Having ready access to backups mitigates this.
2. Use a VPN for external network access.
Employees who work remotely are likely to access your company network through untrusted connections. Someone may intercept any data or communication conducted this way. That's why insisting on VPN use is a must. A VPN connection is secure, encrypted, and almost impossible to track.
3. Implement frequent password changes and two-factor authentication.
Weak passwords are vulnerable entry points cybercriminals will exploit to access your digital assets. People can only remember so many and often use common phrases or variations. Insisting on fresh, complex passwords at regular intervals minimizes breach risks. No password is impregnable. That's where the second line of defense 2FA affords becomes invaluable.
4. Educate employees on cyber threats.
Enforcing a cybersecurity policy isn’t effective if the people that need to follow it don’t understand why. Regular seminars will keep employees’ cybersecurity habits current. They also help reinforce common sense behavior, like not opening suspicious email attachments.
To build a successful business, there are two general areas that businesses should not ignore: workflow and cybersecurity.
Think of workflow and cybersecurity optimization as two sides of the same coin. Better workflows cut costs, improve productivity, and increase employee satisfaction. Tighter cybersecurity lets everyone go about business as usual while protecting digital company assets from theft.
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