We live in a busy, ever-changing and rapidly evolving world. As a result, the massive demands on our time – and on our staff’s time – have exploded like never before. The phrase “do more with less” has become more commonplace than ever, and every small business owner feels that pressure to wring every ounce of efficiency out of their staff.
Indeed, the demands of our staff time, our resources and equipment are greater than ever, but the good news is that you can become more efficient with real work and effort. Here are nine specific ways you can do just that.
Rely on Technology
Many businesses haven’t updated their technology or equipment in years. No matter what business you work in, you must make sure you are constantly updating and refreshing your technological investment. Sometimes, this may mean spending a lot of money on equipment overhauls. Sometimes, this may simply mean buying new computers. Regardless, it’s vitally important that you invest in new technology. This will enable you to save dollars, better utilise staff time and provide a better product to your customers.
Going green is all the rage these days, but for good reason. Not only is it good for the environment and reducing your climate footprint, but going green can also help you save money. This is because going green often results in cheaper energy expenses than what you pay for fossil fuels. Additionally, depending on where you live, there are many tax incentive programs that can make going green even more affordable – particularly when it comes to saving dollars on the initial expense of building green infrastructure.
Make Meetings More Purposeful
“This could have been an Email!” is a popular expression because it’s true. Countless business meetings are huge time wasters. Thankfully, there are many ways to make meetings more efficient. Have an agenda, a set time limit and make sure to summarise each action step after the meeting. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it is an excellent starting point for saving time at meetings.
Delegate Key Tasks
When you are a business owner, your time is extremely valuable. To that end, if you have tasks that can be handled by someone who has more time or expertise, delegate. Make sure the person you are delegating to has clear instructions and the expertise to handle what task you give them, but if those qualifications are met, hand the task over.
Outsource What You Can’t Do Better
Outsourcing is a dirty word, but it doesn’t have to be. In many cases, outsourcing can be the most efficient way for your company to operate. Indeed, there are a lot of benefits to outsourcing services that your company doesn’t specialise in, like technology services or payroll. You can get experts in a certain field to handle a task. It’s cheaper, you don’t have to pay for benefits and you don’t have to manage a staff. Plus, you can balance costs with expertise, meaning you can quite possibly save money with outsourcing.
Ask Your Employees
Asking your employees for their honest feedback is a great way to get a better understanding of your operations. Remember, no matter how good of a business owner or manager you are, you can’t be everywhere at once. That means you have to ask your employees for their feedback and figure out where in your operation there is room for improvements.
Bring in Outside Consultants
It is unreasonable for any business owner to be expected to be an expert in everything. Thankfully, the business ecosystem is loaded with experts who can answer questions that you may not even begin to know the answers to. To that end, look around for business efficiency experts. These experts will know various tactics and tools that your business can use in order to cut costs and get more done. Of course, there are many consultants out there who may not know as much as they should about this topic. That’s why it’s important that you interview potential candidates and take the process seriously. You can even check and see if your potential efficiency expert has a certification in the efficiency field.
Research Best Practices
It has been said that you should never stop learning, but that goes double for business owners and managers. Indeed, part of the reason for this desperate need to increase efficiency because the world has changed so rapidly. New innovations in technology, management, and finance have rapidly changed the way that everyone does business, regardless of what business sector you are in. As a result, it is incumbent upon you, a business owner or manager, to research best practices. This may mean reading blogs, listening to podcasts or subscribing to industry magazines. It could also involve joining social media groups or attending conferences within your industry. Whatever you do, remember, you have to make a conscious effort to learn more.
Invest in Project Management Software
Your business should look into purchasing project management software that can help you better manage your employees. This software can come with a variety of components, including internal communication, task assignment, contact management and more. If used properly, this can save you and your employees an extensive amount of time. This, of course, can turn into more money for all of you.
Building a more efficient business is not necessarily an easy task. It’s something that takes a good amount of time and research. Depending on the size of your business or the scope of your work, it may also involve a wide breadth of outside help and an infusion of cash. However, you have to look at any money spent in this area as an investment. Remember, more efficiency equals more time saved and more money earned. These ten steps are just a baseline. Your business may have additional tactics that you can use. Identifying those specific items is up to you, but at the end of the day, investing that time and effort will unquestionably be well worth it.
Here’s another great article you might like: How To Motivate Your Team Effectively Through The Coronavirus Pandemic Whilst Working From Home
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