As a small business owner, you’re almost guaranteed to have had a moment – usually when you’re still hunched over your desk well after you should have gone home, where you wondered whether there was a smarter, more efficient way of running things. The good news is, there usually is! Efficiency is absolutely paramount when you’re trying to develop a small business, so here are three great steps for improving it you should consider taking soon…
Put a Cap on Emailing
Emails are a huge time killer for many small business owners. While you should make sure you’re replying to everything important as promptly as possible, if you’re checking and replying to emails more than once or twice a day, then you may be letting this take up too much of your time. Set a time period – as short as possible – right at the start of your working day, which you’ll use to check your emails and reply to anything that’s urgent. You should also try to discourage too much internal emails as well. It’s almost always faster to call someone up and discuss a certain issue with them, rather than dragging it out as you jump back and forth from a task, typing a few more words into a draft email.
Outsourcing and Automation
As a rule, you should try to automate every routine task your business performs as possible. Obviously, this is going to require a pretty considerable investment in software and technology. Calculate how long each routine process takes over the course of a month, how much you have to pay employees per hour to do make that process happen, and then how quickly you’d be able to break even on the software you’d have to buy. If this is less than a couple of years, then go ahead and make it happen. You’ll then free up your staff’s time, which they can put towards other tasks that can’t be replaced by a computer. You should also look into any outsourcing possibilities that will allow you and your higher-ups to focus on what your business is good at. For example, if you’re running a graphic design firm with little technical expertise in your workforce, you may want to check out a company like Office Solutions IT. Outsourcing your weaknesses will improve efficiency more or less overnight!
Concentrate on your Staff
Your employees are what makes your business tick, so obviously, you should devote some of your time and resources to making them more efficient in all the important tasks that they’re taking care of. Start empowering your workers to make as many decisions for themselves as possible, cut down on micromanaging, and see how they fare with the added responsibility and sense of ownership. In many companies, this shift in culture will push the staff into much greater organisation and productivity. It will also free up a lot of time for you and management, that can be invested in carrying the brand onto the next milestone in its long-term strategy.
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