Efficiency is one of the cornerstones to building an empire from your small business. When your business is efficient you are able to work on it rather than in it. The benefits of an efficient business are:
- that it lowers non-essential costs,
- increases customer satisfaction,
- strengthens your business’ competitiveness and
- grows your operational organization.
With these benefits in mind what can you do today to improve your efficiency in your business:
Communicate with your employees
Many small businesses fail due to the lack of or inconsistent communication with their employees. It is important to have avenues of communication where your employees can air their problems and give their ideas to you. It is then your responsibility to actively listening to what is being said. If the idea is great but will need to wait for funding, then let the employee know and reward them. If the idea is not, then explain to the employee why you feel that idea won’t work for the business. By having open communication with your employees you will build trust with them.
Review your processes
It is important to consistently review your processes and try to find new ways to improve them. Walk through your customer’s journey in your business and see where the problems are or could be. When you have identified the problems in your process then you can improve them. If you decide to bring in new technology to improve the process, it is critical to speak to the people who are involved in the process. They may offer insights which you would not know about because you don’t do the process on a daily basis. If you want to implement a new software programme, try to get a trial to see if it is the best fit for your business before you spend a lot of money on something which won’t work and which people will struggle to adopt and in the end make them more inefficient.
It is important to automate as many processes as possible. By automating process, you will free up your employees’ time to focus on the nitty gritty of their position while the daily simple tasks are taken care of through the automation. For example, if you are looking at the marketing of your business, you could use a content management system which will send out your content at certain times which you have set. Then all you need to worry about is the creation of the content.
Check your technology
Make sure that your technology is reliable and secure. You can waste a lot of time and energy through unreliable technology that has your employee redo their tasks due to a crash or system failure. It is also important to work on the security of your technology to protect you from hackers and malware. If your data lines are slow, this will also affect your efficiency and can be inexpensive to remedy so ensure that your data pipelines are large enough to carry all the information you need to distribute throughout your business.
When you start your business, you may get take in by a large money deal but make sure you have the resources to do the deal. If you expand to quickly, you may implement too many quick fix plans which will affect your efficiency in the long run. It is great to grow but make sure it is done in a sensible and sustainable way.
Furthermore, standardization is necessary for growth and efficiency. By having standard forms which people use in the various processes, you will have a good record of information and everyone will be efficient because they will know what information they need to capture for that process.
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