If you want your business to be more profitable and more successful, efficiency is key. Efficiencies, whether on a small or a large scale, mean improved processes and better output for less investment. There are many ways you can make your small business more efficient, across virtually every area of your business, from strategic planning to staffing.
Here are 7 top tips for ways to make your small business more efficient.
Make a Business Plan
Sitting down and making a formal business plan may seem like a lot of work, but it will make your business much more efficient and save you time in the long run. Furthermore, a business plan is essential for your business to be able to meet your goals.
Your business plan doesn’t need to be long or overly complex, but is should include your business’ goals and objectives, tactics, key performance indicators, and budget. On a smaller scale, planning your day can help make you more efficient too. Studies have shown that having a to do list boosts motivation, keeping you on track to get things done.
Look at Outsourcing
It may feel like you are saving money by doing everything yourself, but this is often a false economy. In many cases, outsourcing tasks to experts and freeing you up to focus on other tasks is more cost effective than spending long hours trying to do something that is not your strong suit.
Generally, it is more efficient to outsource tasks that require a high level of technical skill or expertise that you don’t have in house. This could include IT related tasks, design, or accounting. Outsourcing these kinds of tasks to the experts also ensures they will be done well, saving you time and money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes.
Invest in Your IT
Again, buying and setting up good IT equipment can be a significant investment, but it may very well save you in the long run. Having a reliable and secure network and computing system for your business means you and your employees can do your work more efficiently. It also avoid problems such as letting down your customers or losing potential sales due to IT issues.
Even in the early stages of your business, develop a technology plan that outlines the hardware and software you will need at each stage of business growth. This will ensure that your business has the capacity to run as efficiently as possible.
Network with Your Peers
Another important network, other than your IT network, is the network you build with your industry peers. Having a strong network of colleagues, competitors, suppliers, and industry leaders can give you a leg up in many areas, from new business opportunities to more efficient ways to do things.
Expand your network by attending as many industry events as possible, such as business meet ups, trade fairs, and conferences. Be proactive in making connections as well as following them up to build relationships and strengthen your network.
Automate your Processes
Automating your processes, from customer service processes to how you take payments for your business, means a lot less manual input and therefore makes everything more efficient. There are many ways that you can do this, including automating your meeting processes, using CRM software to manage client interactions, and tools to automate digital marketing processes such as social media management software to schedule social media posts.
Streamline your Communications
Good communications, both internal and external, is critical in any business. Not communicating openly and clearly within the team can lead to misunderstandings, tension, and other issues that threaten the efficiency and performance of your business. At the same time, communication is also an area that can waste a large amount of time for both you and your employees if managed inefficiently.
For example, sending dozens of emails back and forth can take a lot of your employees time, that would have been solved much more quickly with a quick chat. Encourage your employees to talk face to face – this will improve team relationships and avoid misunderstandings, too.
Look After Your Staff
You probably know that it is important to keep your employees happy, but you may not realise that this is also critical for business efficiency also. Happy staff members will be more productive, making your business much more efficient overall.
Keep your employees happy be providing a safe, healthy and positive work environment, from the chairs and desks that sit on, to a break room that encourages social interactions. Encourage your employees to maintain good work-life balance, and organise fun activities such as work clubs or special events.