Reducing ‘Stupid’ Mistakes Is the Best Business Growth Strategy

Andy Cook
March 13, 2020
Reducing 'Stupid' Mistakes Is the Best Business Growth Strategy

Too often in the business world, we’re distracted by trendy growth hacks. The tactics featured in the articles that make us instantly click, such as “How XYZ Company Grew 1 Million Percent in 2 Days”, seem like the silver bullet to business growth. 

But, in reality, these growth hacks actually distract us from the lowest hanging fruit of business growth — fixing obvious mistakes. 

While this solution is crucial for business growth, it often goes undetected. Let’s check out some common areas for improvement that, when corrected, can fuel growth.

internal communication

Internal communication

Regardless of your company’s size, each of your teams need to be able to effectively communicate with each other to scale — there’s no way around it.

Fortunately, by implementing processes for internal communication, you can break down silos, keep everyone on the same page, and work toward the same goals.

One of the facets of internal communication that you can implement a process for are meetings. Meetings can be a time suck. In fact, each of your employees spend about 31 hours sitting in unproductive meetings each month

Plus, most employees aren’t even engaged during meetings — only 36% of workers report that they actively contribute to the meetings they attend. 

More importantly, meetings can cost companies money. In the United States, Atlassian estimates that meetings cost companies $37 billion in salary money annually. Additionally, Doodle, a smart meeting scheduler, reported that meetings cost employers across the globe over $560 billion each year. 

To slash the amount of resources wasted on in-person meetings, consider leveraging other modes of communication, such as asynchronous meetings. Asynchronous meetings are meetings where employees publicly write down their thoughts about a certain topic on their own time throughout the day, using communication tools like email, chat apps, and video recording platforms. 

This type of asynchronous communication frees up time during your colleagues’ day, encourages productivity, and, in turn, can boost business growth.

For instance, at the beginning of 2019, Buffer, a fully remote company, had employees scattered from the US to Taiwan. It became impossible to find a time to host their weekly 45-minute meeting. 

To include every employee in these meetings, they decided to experiment with asynchronous meetings. After their experiment, Buffer not only discovered that they could empower quieter team members to speak up but they also found that the team no longer needed a designated notetaker, since the meetings were self-documented by their very nature.

Of course, some meetings are necessary. In that case — and especially if there’s a high chance it runs long — schedule breaks, create a detailed agenda, and stick to the allocated time. Share these plans with the team ahead of time to ease concerns and hold yourself accountable. 

hirting and onboarding for business growth

Hiring and onboarding for business growth

The hiring and onboarding process is where you kick off an employee’s tenure with your company, setting them up for success (or failure). Unfortunately, too many companies gloss over how optimizing this employee experience can fuel business growth. As a result, they implement convoluted processes that struggle to onboard new team members. 

According to a survey we ran with Databox, agencies, on average, take three weeks or longer to onboard a new hire. In addition to being lengthy and disengaging, these processes are often unorganized. Processes aren’t documented or uniform across the organization, and the documentation that does exist is hard to find and not centralized. 

Drawn-out onboarding is ineffective because it can overwhelm new hires. They may have difficulty retaining all the information you’re giving them, which can set the impression that your organization is inefficient. Your People Ops team also has to dedicate a significant amount of time to manage these processes — time they could use to do something more beneficial to your business’ growth. 

Instead, document an established onboarding plan to reduce confusion and the time needed to complete the process. You can do this by centralizing all the information needed via an internal wiki, and create a concise one-sheeter about your tools and processes. This enables your new hires to learn and solve problems themselves, which will quickly ramp them up. 

At Tettra, we use a one-pager to document all of the internal tools we use and instructions for how we use them. We give new hires access to this information before their first day, allowing them to get familiar with our processes and hit the ground running. 

Our one-pager also makes it easier for employees to find the information they need when they start working. Rather than wasting their time searching for documents, asking colleagues for information, and browsing the intranet, they have a go-to reference that they can find in less than a minute. One of our customers rely on a similar approach to onboard new hires, and they’ve been able to cut their onboarding process from 90 days to just six weeks.

project management and workflows

Project management and workflows

There are plenty of ways to optimize your daily to-do list, but we’re usually so fixated on checking off everything on our list that we often forget to stop, reflect, and find ways to optimize our everyday tasks. 

For example, a lot of corporations still lean on manual processes to complete core business tasks, even though we have access to a stockpile of advanced technology. These inefficiencies squander both time and money. In fact, each year, office workers spend approximately 552 hours performing these tedious tasks, which is almost one-third of the working year, wasting $5 trillion each year

By introducing greater efficiency, accuracy, and reliability through automation, though, you can eliminate these time-consuming tasks and plummet expenses. At Process Street, a fully remote organization that offers a process and workflow management tool, the number of documents and checklists they were in charge of grew as their business grew. But without a centralized knowledge management system, these quickly became siloed. So Process Street decided to implement Tettra and began using the Zapier integration to automate this type of work. 

The sales team, for instance, now uses a workflow each time they close a new deal, passing along important information from their CRM to Tettra and triggering an automation that creates a new Tettra page and pushes it to Slack. The team can celebrate wins together this way. And by automating common workflows and reducing the time spent hunting down information, Process Street frees up time to do more impactful work.

postmortems fuel future business growth

Postmortems fuel future business growth

At some point, it’s inevitable that your product will have bugs. When this happens, teams need to resolve the issue and communicate important information to the rest of the company to ensure that these bugs don’t show up again. 

But when you take too long to do a postmortem, it often falls by the wayside. The information is often outdated. Even worse, if you don’t document postmortems at all, the rest of the team can’t learn from them. 

To avoid creating this bottleneck, consider documenting each postmortem case in your wiki to quickly share learnings with your team. 

One way to do this is with Tettra’s Zapier RSS integration. You can create an automated template for closing an issue on your status page, allowing your team to quickly share critical information in a uniform manner. You can also connect it to Slack for team-wide updates. 

Another way to use Tettra and Zapier to optimize the postmortem process is with the Pingdom downtime alert integration. Each time our system detects a Pingdom alert for downtime, a new Tettra page is automatically created so you can log the postmortem details for future reference.

With these processes in place, your team can resolve the issue quickly and communicate important information to the rest of the company. In other words, you’ll be able to empower your teams to focus on fixing issues instead of dedicating that time to documenting them.

Process is key to achieving business growth

Documenting your processes and important information might sound like a simple task, but it’s crucial for growing your business at a sustainable rate. And while it may be tempting to gloss over the documentation process, skipping this vital step could catch up with you over time and stunt your growth.