Small businesses are sure taking a beating these days.
The current COVID-19 crisis has left many of America’s small businesses struggling to stay afloat, with 70 percent of these businesses in debt, many facing restrictions on their operations and dwindling resources, in addition to no relief from the federal government coming anytime soon. Even though the current conditions are sobering right now, believe it or not, this could provide your business a golden opportunity to redefine its productivity and efficiency.
Here are some great tips on how you can make your small businesses more productive and efficient so that your company’s future will be bright.
Find Out What’s Not Working
Before you can assess how you can improve your business efficiency, you first must see what parts of your business are working and which parts are no longer functioning in the manner you need them to run.
Focus on your customer base first. Is it too narrow? Is your customer base too niche? If so, then create a plan to expand the base so that you can capture more of your market’s customer base. That may entail expanding your product line to attract new customers.
Also, take a look a the industry you’re in as a whole. Sometimes, it could be the industry itself that has grown to be inefficient. Identify the ills of your industry and pick out the problems that may be plaguing it. Once you identify those issues, then you can assess your own business to see how you can improve its efficiency.
Outsource Your Recruiting
Recruiting a talented workforce is very important for any business to function and strive.
However, recruiting can cost time and money, driving down your business’ efficiency. Instead of doing your recruiting in house, think about outsourcing your hiring to a recruiting service that can take that pressure off of your business, allowing you to focus on making your company more efficient and productive. There are recruiting services that can take on this task for a nominal fee.
You can also post your job openings to recruiting sites like Indeed that will shift through applications and match you with the right candidates. It pays to have the workforce behind you ready to make your business great, but don’t get your company bogged down in the recruiting process. It’s best to outsource that to a professional service so that not only will you get great talent, but you will also be able to save money, which will go a long way to building up your company’s efficiency and productivity.
Make Your Building More Accessible
Believe it or not, there are office buildings that have a problem with accessibility.
If your building is hard to get around, not only will that be a turnoff to potential customers, but it will also drag down the efficiency of your company because it will be hard for your employees to move around, thus dropping productivity.
Make your business as accessible as possible. If you’re having elevator problems, contact an elevator company that can come in and repair it. Also, check and see if your building is handicap accessible. If it isn’t, you might want to install a ramp so that those customers can easily access your building. Improving the accessibility to your building will make your company more efficient and will bring in more customers.
Outsource Your Customer Support
We’ve talked about outsourcing your recruiting. Now, let’s talk about your customer support service.
Customer service is the grand pillar of any business. Without customer service, your business will not be able to survive long, especially in this climate. While having a great customer service staff is great, staffing customer support can be a drag on your finances and your company’s efficiency. More and more companies are outsourcing their customer support services to save money on labor costs, and your business should think about doing the same.
A call center can take on the customer support duties of your business for a monthly fee. No, you don’t have to contract with a call center overseas. There are call centers right here in the good old USA that can take on your customer support. Work out a contract with a call center that will be favorable for both your company and the call center.
Also, you might want to think about outsourcing server hosting duties to an outside company. There are several companies out there that will be ready to take on your server hosting duties for a fee. This marriage can act in the same manner as your call center marriage, in which you pay an outside company a monthly fee to host your servers.
It’s a win-win situation. Outside companies get more business, and you will have the freedom to work to improve your business’ productivity and efficiency.
Outsource Your Web Services
Not everyone is web-savvy, and if this is you, then it will be a no-brainer to outsource your web services to an outside vendor.
A web design agency can create the perfect webpage for your business, and they can also take care of the technical maintenance of your site, taking that pressure off of your company.
Automate The Process
“Automation” seems like a dirty word these days.
Yes, automation will replace a human worker with a machine that can do the job more efficiently. But it shouldn’t be because some parts of your business can be better if automated. Small businesses can easily get bogged down with tasks that are repetitive, leading to a drop in efficiency with your business.
Think about automating some parts of your business, such as distribution. By automating the more repetitive tasks, this will improve your company’s bottom line and will also free your employees to work on projects that are critical to the success of your business.
If used properly, you can automate parts of your business without having to shed workers. That is why automation shouldn’t be a bad word in the business world, especially for a small business.
Keep Your Equipment Running Cool
No one wants to work in a hot workspace. Not only is it bad for workers, but it’s also bad for your office equipment.
Equipment such as servers and other tech stuff don’t operate well in a hot environment and could even lead to an unexpected shutdown which will drag down the productivity and efficiency of your business. It is critical to keep your equipment cool during the workday. Ensure that your air conditioning unit is running the way it’s supposed to run. If not, call an AC professional out to get it fixed.
Consolidate and Keep Focus
It can be hard to stay focused, especially during a time of increasing uncertainty in the business world.
However hard it may be, you have to keep yourself and your staff focus and an eye on the price. Staying focused for an extended period will make you more productive. Focus on completing one task at a time and don’t get bogged down on having to complete multiple tasks at one time. That will lead to distraction and a drop in productivity and efficiency.
Consider scheduling your day for a task that will allow you to focus. For example, you can set aside a half-an-hour in the morning for checking and responding to emails. What this will do is free up the rest of your days for projects that will require more of your attention while not having to worry about checking your email.
That is also called “consolidation,” in which you consolidate your work to a portion of the day so that it won’t be a worry for you later on. This simple tip can improve your company’s efficiency and productivity without having to spend one cent.
Keep Your Building Maintained
The last thing that you want is for your office building to have problems.
It can be stressful to keep your building maintained, but you have to keep your building up to code to maintain a safe work environment. Bring in professionals to come in and do a routine inspection of your building, from commercial plumbing services checking out your building’s plumbing to HVAC and roofing professionals inspecting your building’s HVAC system.
Having your building maintained will help save on bills and keep your office running smoothly and efficiently.
Keep Office Clutter to a Bare Minimum
No one has to explain how clutter can drag down the productivity and efficiency of an office.
Clutter can be a distraction and will surely be a drain on the productivity of your office. How can a business function in a dysfunctional environment? It can’t, which is why, if your office has a clutter problem, you should bring in commercial cleaners to come in and clean the office up. Also, promote waste management within your office, encouraging your employees to be mindful of their waste and recycle when they can.
Invest in a commercial dumpster rental that your company can use to dump all of the trash out from the office, in which the company that you rent the dumpster can empty the container on a nightly basis.
Integrate Your Digital Platform
Part of growing your business is ensuring the growth of your digital footprint.
However, you should make sure that your digital footprint isn’t becoming a drag on your business. According to Gartner, businesses lose competitiveness due to inefficient digital integration. Don’t go this route, and make sure that your digital integration is working for you, which will improve productivity and efficiency if done right.
Go Out and Take Risks
Taking risks can be, well, risky, but it can also lead to an increase in your business’ productivity by reinvigorating your workforce.
Again, think about the industry in which your business is based. Think about the different ways you can improve on and make that industry better. Think about making changes to your structure and how that could be a positive effect on your business. By taking risks, it will show your workforce that you are willing to spice up your company, and those changes can also lead to your business’ efficiency rising.
Use The Tools You Have In Your Toolkit
For small businesses looking to improve their efficiency and productivity, you don’t have to look outside for improvement.
The tools that you need to improve your business is right there at your fingertips. There are several tools available that will be there to help you solve the productivity and efficiency problems that may be plaguing your company. If you’re having issues selling your goods, seek out a partnership that will help you move product. For accounting issues, use software like QuickBooks to keep a better tab of your small business.
These, and other tools, can be available for a small price, but the ultimate payoff will be in the long run: A more efficient business.
In the end, it doesn’t take much to improve the efficiency and productivity of your small business. Running a business takes a lot of your time, your energy, and your money, which should be the main drivers for improving the productivity of your business.
It doesn’t make sense to put a lot of your time and energy into an inefficient business. Look for weaknesses that have developed and correct them. Make sure that you have employees doing critical work for your company, not focused on repetitive tasks that will drive down productivity. For those tasks, think about automating them to improve the efficiency of those tasks.
Think about outsourcing some of your business to outside vendors such as recruiting and customer service that can save your company time and money. That’s what being more efficient and productive is all about; saving time and money while making your business better.
Inefficiency can ruin a small business. Luckily for you, there are several ways in which you can save your business from the rut of inefficiency while saving you money and time, two things that are always precious to a small business.