As your business grows it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday requirements and keep doing what you’ve always done. If it worked in the past why change it? But as you grow the things that worked in the past might not be as effective now, potentially reducing productivity and losing you revenue.
Your business is on a journey and by making adjustments along the way, like oiling the machine where it needs it, you can keep it running smoothly and improve its efficiency. Here are 5 easy ways you can get the process started to improve your business efficiency.
1. Talk to Your Employees
Your employees are the people keeping your business operating. Ask what frustrates them, what tasks they find tedious. Do they have the resources they need to perform their role effectively? After working in your business for a period of time, every employee is likely to have suggestions on how to improve their department. Giving them the opportunity to provide feedback can be very valuable, and will strengthen your relationship with your staff.
2. Clear Communication
It is crucial that each employee knows exactly what their role is, in relation to specific projects and the overall business in general. Communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings (I thought someone else was doing that) and making employees responsible and accountable. Face to face discussions tend to be more productive than emails, giving employees the chance to ask questions and seek clarification where required.
3. Keep the Focus on the Desired Outcome, Not the Process
It is easy to get carried away with policies and procedures. While these are necessary for a business to function, it’s important to keep formal policy and procedure guidelines in line with the size and complexity of the business. Smaller businesses will generally need to allow staff more flexibility to deal with issues quickly. Encourage staff to think about the bigger picture and ask “What are we trying to achieve here?” rather than blindly following lists or templates.
4. Planning Ahead
It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking time out of working in the business to work on the business can be extremely productive. Think about your short, medium and long term objectives and discuss these with senior staff and managers. Work collaboratively to devise realistic targets and communicate these to staff. Discuss whether any systems need to be modified or overhauled. Prioritise tasks and make staff aware of what should take precedence.
5. Automated Systems
With a plethora of software and platform options available, many tasks can be automated or completed electronically. While there may be a steep learning curve, updating manual procedures is an absolute necessity for business growth and development. The most important part of implementing any new process is staff communication – explain what you are doing, why, and how it will impact them. Ensure they are trained properly on how to use any new system, so that you are getting the maximum results out of it.
What Efficiencies does Your Business Need?
With you at the helm of your business you don’t always see all the nuances, so getting your staff at all levels involved in feedback and generating ideas is a crucial step in each of the above options. This can help you pave a much clearer path about what is actually required to boost the efficiency in your business. Keep in mind that this is not a one-off process. This is something that you should regularly review and update to ensure your business is running at its optimum level.
To dive deeper into efficiencies you can create in your business and work out strategies to get these implemented in the best way, please consider talking with us. Our team at BLG Business Advisers work with clients daily who have all come across hurdles in their business that are stalling their progress and need a hand to overcome them, so our team are available to assist you at any point you need it.
Whatever you decide we wish you every success!