In the business world, there are few things that matter more than maintaining optimal productivity and efficiency in everyday operations.
Sadly, the vast majority of startups and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) haven’t yet taken the steps necessary to optimize efficiency within each of the mission-critical tasks that comprise the key segments of their process maps.
In fact, many business owners don’t even know what a process map is and they have no problem outsourcing the responsibility of learning such knowledge along with the bulk of the company’s administrative duties to managerial employees.
Whether you’re a company owner, CEO, manager, supervisor, adviser, or just the leader of a project, there are usually some progressive steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your budget, payroll, and work hours.
With that said, here are eight ways any company can begin to operate more efficiently:
Bring in Efficient Leaders
If your current leaders don’t seem capable of a complete overhaul, you might need to bring in some well-credentialed help to get the ball rolling.
Hiring leaders who understand the importance of ongoing efficiency should be the first step taken to drive a company culture that revolves around wise spending and productivity.
Ideally, you should try to find someone who is an expert in the field of finance or has a degree in operations management, as they’d have the skills and expertise needed to implement the same kind of efficiency-boosting systems and strategies used by large corporations.
For example, a fractional CFO can provide a thought-out plan for optimizations or strategies that will tangibly impact your company. Your CFO should provide you a return on investment, improving your profitability in line with or more than their overall cost.
Alternatively, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to go the “do-it-yourself “route, you could earn a master’s in operation management online.
Upgrade Your Software
Since the vast majority of modern companies rely on a suite of software applications to facilitate their daily operations, it makes sense to proceed with your efficiency optimization efforts by trying out some new software systems. Make a list of the apps and software that are most critical to the continuity of your business and start comparing alternatives.
Along the way, you’ll undoubtedly gain a more thorough understanding of the current software you’re already using as you compare individual features. Plus, you might find that switching to an alternative helps your business become more efficient.
Use Web Platforms to Operate in the Cloud
If you’re already allocating work out-of-house to remote employees online, you might want to look into using project management platforms and tools instead of conducting conventional correspondence via email, chat, and phone.
These interfaces are specifically designed to be conducive to productivity and security, with built-in file-sharing, encryption, scheduling, chat, and unique productivity-enhancing features that can make any virtual team more effective and efficient.
Outsource Tasks to Virtual Assistants
If you don’t already have a proficient virtual assistant that can help take some of the burdens off of your shoulders when the workload is heavy, now would be a good time to start looking for potential candidates.
There are millions of freelance professionals around the world who have the skills needed to perform basic and intermediate tasks with a bit of instruction. As an added benefit, you can often find intelligent workers in countries where the local currency isn’t strong, so you can benefit from the exchange rate by obtaining an abundance of cheap labor legitimately.
Set Strict Investment and Budgeting Rules
Many of the efficiency issues faced by growing businesses could be avoided with a few simple preventative measures. Setting specific parameters and rules regarding how much you need to earn off of each investment and how much you’re willing to spend in operating costs will keep you from taking exuberant losses and letting your financial status get out of control.
For example, a retail business could set the rule that every piece of inventory needs to generate a 4x profit, so every $1 spent needs to bring a return of $4. Likewise, setting a spending cap on each category of expenses is another step you can take to ensure efficient usage of company budgets.
Use Better Equipment & Technology
Make a list of every piece of equipment your company uses on a regular basis and look for any weak links that might be slowing you down. Is your computer network as fast as it can be? Do you have the fastest internet connection speed that your internet service provider provides?
Are you using hardware that is outdated or slow in comparison to the latest models? Addressing these deficiencies will help you gain time and productivity in small chunks, but over time those gains will add up and your business will be more efficient overall.
Set Specific Goals and Deadlines
Giving employees something to work towards and holding them accountable for meeting such obligations will ensure that your company isn’t suffering from poor efficiency due to slacking, procrastination, or other productivity-related deficiencies. This step would include setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals for the business as a whole, as well as specific deadlines for every individual.
Essentially, your goal as an owner is to create a working environment in which there is almost zero tolerance for error. Of course, you can still extend leniency at your discretion, but setting the default tone to the highest level of stringency will give your employees something challenging to strive towards on a continual basis.
Use Analytics to Optimize Ad Spend
If you’ve been allocating a generous amount of money to your advertising budget with the reasoning that it is an essential part of doing business, you’re right.
However, you might be going about it the wrong way if you’re not taking steps to optimize your ad spend continually. Fortunately, all of the major advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising provide integrated analytics modules that can help you refine your advertising methods to achieve better click-through and conversion rates across the board.
Greater Efficiency Means More Profit
While you might be thinking “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” it’s important to remember that taking steps towards greater efficiency is ultimately going to increase your company’s bottom line, which is typically the entire point of doing business in the first place.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve accepted that I am where I am and that’s a good thing.
2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I have found that when I appreciate everything I’m in a good space. I need to be more mindful of my tolerance of others.
3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
I’m proud of living my dream of an alternative lifestyle on a smallholding surrounded by animals. My dream is to make enough time to write and paint more.