For whom does the bell toll? The wristwatch. Yes, it will still be around as a piece of jewelry, but for practical purposes, we just don't need it anymore. And just as the watch is relegated to a bangle, so should be many of the processes in the way you do business.
What prompted me to write this post was my wife, who teaches at Boston College, was telling me about how the clock tower bells interrupted her class every Tuesday nite. And while the bells have some charm, they really are a relic of the days when students could not afford a watch.
Back in the days of the early industrial revolution when personal timepieces were rare, the clocks in the towers helped the students (and professors) get to where they were going on time. By the end of World War II, they really weren't needed, but the clock towers stayed as symbols of heritage and history.
Kind of like the wristwatch of today. You have the time on your phone. It's almost always with you - probably more than any watch you own. (I used to get frustrated in meetings watching people look at their phone until someone pointed out to me that they were just checking the time.). We've changed the device we have used for tracking our time, and social acceptance of looking at your phone for the time will soon follow.
So what business processes are you still doing that should be considered a relic? Are you still mailing paper invoices? If so, Why? Most systems will print to a PDF that you can email and the online systems almost insist that you email the invoice. In addition to saving time and postage, sending the bill by email presents you with a marketing opportunity. You can easily include a link to a customer service survey, a special offer on your website or a strategic partner offering.
Or what about selling your goods or services on line versus just in person? I know, you looked at it but it is just too expensive to set up an ecommerce site, and sign up for credit cards and deal with all that. To channel my inner Col. Sherman Potter, I saw Hogwash. Google checkout makes it incredibly easy to set up items on your current website for sale. You simply add a “buy now” button with a little bit of code that Google Checkout provides and bang, you're selling online. Google handles the credit card processing and puts the money in your bank account. It's even easier than Paypal.
Here's one more processs that you can toss: trading emails or phone calls to set a convenient time to talk. Go to Tungle.me and set up an account. It's free. Tungle looks at your outlook, Mac calendar or google calendar and then puts its on the web in a free/busy format that keeps your meetings private but let's people see when you are available to meet. It even let's you block out times you don't want available, even we you are free. And you can add some branding to your page as well.
We are moving to the mobile, social cloud. Your business processes need to go there to. You will not only gain speed, with a little creative thought you'll gain some marketing opportunities as well.