Improving and managing your business opportunities flow with Kanban:
Every freelancer who manages his own business needs to
manage his leads.
Yes, we can use Excel - but that’s just a software tool.
It’s not a method, or a way of understanding our load, being able to control it
and being able to get more efficient. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have
any spare time. I have a business to grow, and having a simple tool to help us
get more leads is more than just ‘nice to have’.
Luckily, everything can be done with Kanban.
Kanban is more than just a whiteboard with a flow. Kanban
is about efficiency. We already know that Kanban is an amazing tool to get
things done, but I find that it’s an amazing tool for my business to know where
I am, and what steps I need to take next, whether it’s planning, execution or
Kanban visibility really holds an enormous value.
Just by visualizing your flow you’ll see areas where you need to make
adjustments, and bottlenecks become visible.
Kanban enables you to easily understand how to
control your workload for each step of the flow. After all, it is pretty
obvious that we won’t be able to deal with all of the leads, all the time, for
all the stages of the workflow. Visualizing the load will help us solve business
issues and rethink our flow of work.
Besides the ability to visualize the flow, rules and
policies help make the flow efficient. Not theoretical rules - but rules that
are adjusted and tailored to our day to day business activities, as shown in
So how do we do it?
workflow: As a business we need to identify the flow of events that
generate opportunities from market leads
or make opportunities into money.
In our example it can look like this (with slight
changes to the original business)
The following describes the steps taken from the time we
have the lead to the time it become an account.
2.A white task board
reflects the flow - each new lead is a sticky note. Start off simple, and add the leads to the board according to their process
stage as tasks/goals.
Now ask yourself:
What are your bottlenecks?
Can you handle the work in each column?
Are there any wastes in the process that we can remove or
should plan to remove?
Are we prioritizing correctly?
visibility enhancement: Now, start
adding details to the flow to suit our visibility needs and the new changes we
made to the flow. Classification and enhancements usually come when we start
using the board. That’s when we see where we want to make adjustments and
change things to what we want them to be.
For example: You might want to add a color for each
different type of customer or type of
opportunity, use different colors
assignees or for lead source, add more columns - and so on.