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Part III: Don’t Wait — Automate

When I began working at Geekdom, I thought I was the latest addition to a well oiled Geekdom machine. Truth be told, things were a little chaotic. Geekdom was nearing the final stages of its 8th floor expansion, we were in the midst of an aggressive growth period and staff members were being asked to do things not necessarily included in their respective job roles. During my first year at Geekdom our member base quickly grew from nearly 800 members to well over 1,100 members and our business processes were quickly beginning to show their age.

geekdom pre-2016 workflow

At Geekdom, we are always striving to improve the entrepreneurial journey, whether it be beefing up the resources available to our members, revamping our mentorship program, fostering community through new events or increasing membership base. But scaling and improving a business doesn’t come without its obstacles and challenges.

As our membership numbers began to grow, the once manageable everyday tasks spiraled into a vicious cycle of redundancy. Shackled by our manual processes, we were no longer able to implement new ideas, provide our members the attention needed, and to put quite simply, provide quality service. We could no longer evade the wind of change that was fluttering in our faces. We began to question our processes — exploring new applications and ways to better leverage our existing tools.

Emergence of Application Integration & Tasks Automation

We were soon introduced to Zapier, a web-based service that connects applications, allowing these applications to pass data, and perform automated tasks (shout out to Christian Torres & Chad Keck for this one). We thought Zapier sounded like a viable solution so we decided to kick the tires and put it through its paces. I was asked to meet with our staff members, to find their pain points, to explore new applications and to brainstorm new ways to automate our processes. If you asked me about our new found glory, Zapier, I would swear we had found the holy grail of automation. Some of the tasks we were able to begin automating are as follows:

  • Auto add new members to multiple email list
  • Auto send Slack invitation
  • Auto add all form entries to sales pipeline/CRM
  • Aut add new members to Membership Manager funnel/CRM

 

Some other notable improvements to our workflow have been:

  • Email Marketing – We began utilizing the email drip campaign of our existing email marketing solution (thanks Sean Wen & Leroy Bobadilla).
  • Net Promoter System – In order to gain some insightful feedback, increase our member loyalty, and improve the Geekdom experience we upped our use of NPS surveys (thanks Promoter.io).

AIO Coworking Space Management Platform – Because it made sense for us, we made the switch from a subscription billing platform to an all-in-one platform to manage our coworking space. Our members are now able to manage their account, add-on services, book conference rooms, view our member directory, access how-tos, and more.

geekdom-2016-workflow

Although these improvements to our workflow may seem minuscule, their impact has been immense. It has freed us from the constraints of time. That’s right baby, we’re f****n’ time travelers! OK, maybe not, but the new workflow has allowed for us to reallocate our efforts and focus on enhancing the membership experience across all areas of our business.

 

Going forward, I challenge you to always revisit and question your business processes. Discard of “muda” (useless/wasteful tasks), implement automation where it makes sense, and take back the time you need to focus on improving your business.

 

Special thanks to Luke Owen, Jaakko Piipponen, Sean Wen, Camille Seyler, Leroy Bobadilla and the whole Geekdom staff for making the new workflow possible! 🙂



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