Process improvement is the name of the game when it comes to creating a successful online business. You want a process that is lean and efficient, that adds to your ability to promote your products and services. Better yet, you want an efficient process that will enable you to earn more in less time, with fewer resources. Creating a process map can can help you accomplish your goals and give you the eye opener needed to make great decisions.
It's been shown that a picture is worth a thousand words. Images and diagrams are the best way to bring life to written words. They can be used to drive home your point and elaborate on written descriptions that are used to convince us to take action. The bottom line is that most of us prefer visual ques over words.
I think the reason we like images over words is that we skim or scan information before we decide to dig deeper and actually read. It takes less time to scan an image to get what seems to be the main idea, than it does to read and try to visualize what an author is trying to say.
Drawing a Process Map Seems Complicated
Drawing a process map can be as complex or simple as you would like. When you have the right tools and you know how to use them it can be a breeze. Some people are able to function well with a pencil and paper. Others are better with online tools.
A big part of the fear associated with drawing a process map is the "idea" that most people associate with drawing a diagram. The one that comes to mind for me is a computer programmer mapping out a complex algorithm on a whiteboard. That's kind of intimidating if you think of it in that way. But keep in mind that your process doesn't have to be complicated at all.
It's your process and you can make it work in a way that works best for you Your business process is the way you will earn income in your business. If it's too complicated for you, that's an indication that you might want to consider some changes. Your process map should outline a sequence of events that that you're comfortable with. It has to be something that you will be able to accomplish on a daily basis. That's one of the fun aspects of being a business owner... you can create whatever you want because you're the boss.
You Have Options
You also have the option of making it as complicated as it needs to be, and hiring someone to help you map it out so that you have a firm grip on how it works. Once you get started, drawing process maps and diagrams can become your best friend in terms of helping you to reach your business goals.
Another thing to consider is that diagrams are not written in stone. They can be updated, or completely changed as needed. So it won't be the end of the world if you mess it up. The real challenge is that it can be hard to be productive in creating diagrams quickly and easily, without standard tools like PowerPoint and Visio.
PowerPoint is included with the Microsoft Office suite of products that also includes Word, Excel and Publisher. These products work together to help you design diagrams, process maps, and infographics. Don't have Powerpoint or Visio? Draw most any diagram using a free online drawing tool called Gliffy.
What is Gliffy and How Does It Work?
Gliffy is an HTML 5 based online diagram drawing tool that can help you to create process flows, flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, form components, mind maps, charts and more.
If you're interested in saving your diagrams, you can sign up using your Gmail account. They have a free and paid plan but the free plan will satisfy most basic needs. However, in the free plan you can only create 5 diagrams and use maximum of 2 MB storage space. You can also save your diagrams to Google drive for additional storage.
Here are some of the features of Gliffy:
- When you create a new diagram you'll find some default templates. Take a look at these templates and that will give you a great start for your diagram.
- The Gliffy library has collections of categorized shapes for ease of use.
- You can upload your own images into the canvas and use them in your diagram.
- A revision history is maintained for each diagram that you create. Use the revision history option to revert to an earlier version.
- You can use the collaborate option under the share menu to send your diagram to your team members. The only drawback is that they must be a registered user to collaborate on a project.
- By default your diagram will be private. You can change it to public mode and share the link to your social websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This is a way that anyone can see your diagram without having to register with Gliffy.
- You can export your images to SVG, Gliffy, JPG or PNG format
Use the features of Gliffy and other tools to map out various processes in your business. Diagrams can help you design a sequence of events that can lead to solving a problem or making a sale. They are great in terms of creating a bird's eye view of your business and making improvements in sales, service and product development.
Once you're able to see entire sections of your business you are better able to determine whether something should be removed, re-arranged or modified, before changes are actually made. The collaboration feature can help you work with your team to develop a process that works across the board. Your team members have a unique perspective that they bring to the table that can really help you create the best over process for your business.
Should It Stay or Should It Go?
Diagrams help business owners to determine whether a process or idea makes sense from a visual standpoint. Most programs will allow you to change the arrangement of various components with ease, which makes it easy to try out various scenarios on paper before implementation.
Find your online road to success by laying it all out in a diagram. You might even map your process out on paper and then lay it out online. Gliffy allows you to even create diagrams of the floor space in your home office. This is a great way to show the arrangement of furniture before you buy various pieces.
Create mind maps to bring together ideas, concepts and information that elaborates on the flow of information through your company. If you have the need for diagrams, Gliffy is a great tool to use because of its simplicity, affordable pricing (including the free version) and the template library. Find your online road to success by using diagrams and images to make your point stand out.
It’s been shown that a picture is worth a thousand words. Images and diagrams help to drive home your point, however it can be hard to create diagrams quickly and easiliy, without the standard tools like PowerPoint and Visio.