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How Small Businesses Make Work More Productive with Slack

What if you could streamline your small business operations and boost productivity with technology? Find out how three companies transformed their workflows with Slack and how you can make your business run smoother and more efficiently, too.

Running a small business has its highs and lows. Maybe you’re stuck with outdated processes that slow you down, or perhaps you’re finding it tough to keep everyone on the same page. 

But whatever challenge you’re currently facing, you’re not alone. Chances are, other business owners have faced these same issues, found smart solutions, and come out stronger and more productive on the other side.

So, let’s dive into the stories of three successful small businesses that are tackling these common productivity challenges by working in Slack, and see how you can do it too. 

Slack is Where Work Happens

See how Slack brings conversations, collaboration and automation together to make work more productive.

Swap Inefficient Processes for Today’s Digital Tools

Efficiency is crucial for any thriving small business, but many still struggle with outdated methods that waste time and lead to errors. Think about those stacks of paperwork, manual data entry, and the endless stream of emails. It’s frustrating and time-consuming. Taking your processes digital can make a huge difference, cutting down on work hours each week and letting you focus more on growing your business.

Australian cloud software company Stax, spun off from Versent Group, was determined to opt for a better, more efficient way to work from the start. “We were not using email with Versent,” says James Coxon, Stax’s Chief Product Officer and one of Versent’s founders. So, when it branched out to create Stax, it chose to set up operations on Slack.

Now, with about 50 employees spread across Australia, Europe, and North America, Stax developers use Slack channels to share ideas and provide direction to colleagues asynchronously. This means it doesn’t waste time trying to coordinate meetings across different time zones.

“Slack was our collaboration tool of choice. So when we branched out with Stax, we knew we’d spend all day, every day in Slack,” Coxon says. “Slack has to be a core part of your company toolbox if you want to do business these days. I don’t know what we’d do without it.”

Break Down Siloed Systems with Integrations

Many small business owners start with whatever tools are handy – a mix of apps and makeshift systems. While it might work initially, over time, this can lead to a fragmented setup where vital information gets siloed. You end up with the hassle of managing multiple tools and without a complete view of your operations. By adopting integrated systems that sync seamlessly, you can save yourself the headache of juggling various apps and spend more time making informed decisions.

One way that businesses can unify fragmented operations is with Slack integrations. X-Team, a remote team of developers based in Melbourne, initially relied on a combination of Skype and in-house collaboration apps.  It soon realised it needed a more cohesive solution to unite its team. It decided to make Slack the core of its operations, undergoing what it describes as the “fastest transition ever” to integrate Slack as the central hub for its business.

With Slack, X-Team connected hundreds of tools, from invoicing to HR to issue resolution, so that everything happens in one place. This integration means the team doesn’t waste time switching between apps. 

“At a high level, Slack is the home of workflow. By pumping data from integrated apps into Slack, you can open up views of all kinds of information,” says Brad Giblen, X-Team COO.

And for CEO Ryan Chartrand, Slack integrations are a secret weapon for the business. “The amount of features and API power that Slack has given us to create experiences for our community has been pretty phenomenal.”

Speed Up Decision-Making with Data Transparency

Making decisions in small businesses can often be slow because of unclear processes or delays in sharing information. Flattening the organisational structure, where decisions are made closer to where the action is, can really speed things up. Using Slack to provide real-time data helps your team make informed decisions quickly, allowing them to adapt to customer needs and market changes swiftly

McLeod Cranes, a New Zealand-based crane, Hiab, and transport company was moving fast, but their pen-and-paper processes and makeshift communication methods just weren’t keeping up. In 2023, it switched to a Slack-first way of working, integrating everything from site inspections to asset maintenance and health and safety reporting into Slack.

Overnight, Slack channels transformed its team collaboration and gave it much-needed visibility into daily operations. Now, management can see problems as they come up and react faster, all with fewer meetings. This more transparent way of working helps McLeod make better decisions about resources and the direction of the business.

With Slack, what used to take 3-4 days to understand and resolve now takes me a minute.

Scott McLeod
Managing Director, McLeod Cranes

“With Slack, what used to take 3-4 days to understand and resolve now takes me a minute,” says Scott McLeod, Managing Director at McLeod Cranes. This shows how real-time data and a connected team can significantly improve decision-making processes.

Aligned Teams are Productive Ones

All of these productivity challenges boil down to a fundamental issue: lack of alignment. When systems, processes, and teams aren’t aligned, productivity suffers. Giving your team the right platform for communication and collaboration is essential. When everyone has access to the same information and can communicate easily, it’s much easier to keep things running smoothly. 

Slack can centralise information, streamline communication, and keep everyone aligned while ensuring that work progresses without unnecessary hiccups.

Slack is where work happens for teams that move fast, stay aligned, and deliver big results.

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