By: First Union
Workplace Efficiency and Streamline Business Operations
The bottom line when it comes to your company is, in fact, the bottom line. If you are wasting time if projects are getting consistently delayed and needless meetings are eating up huge portions of the day, then obviously somewhere money is being lost and your bottom line subsequently affected. So what can you do to make your small business more efficient—how do you go about streamlining? Below we've compiled seven ideas for helping to make your company run faster, more effectively and far more productively.
1 Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
In the beginning yes, you may have been a smaller business, perhaps even a one-person show. But as you grow and your business scales, you need to adapt accordingly. In many instances, this means delegating responsibility to your subordinates. And yet, this is one of the most difficult things for many entrepreneurs. They don't want to let go of those reins; only they know what's best for the company. You've hired talented people for a reason—now it's time to put your trust in them.
Not only is delegating some of the responsibility taking things off your plate so you can focus on other areas, but it is also helping better prepare your team for their future roles, not to mention for the future of the business. You are going to need leaders. Get them ready now.
It is also important to delegate in such a way that they are in fact learning and that things are getting done according to a plan. Consider the following:
- Make sure the desired outcomes are made abundantly clear
- Delegate to all levels, not just the immediate subordinates
- Provide adequate resources
- Show them how to balance authority with responsibility
2 Rethink Your Approach to Multitasking
You certainly do have a lot to attend to. We get it. But sometimes multitasking can actually hurt your company more so than help it. You want to try and limit the amount that you multitask each day. You can do this by first dividing up the tasks at hand into more manageable chunks. Put the high priority ones at the top of the list and then work your way through without trying to juggle multiple projects at one single time.
Sometimes what could happen when you do try and turn to multitask into an extreme sport is that you just end up going in circles and ultimately nothing of true importance gets accomplished. Really examine how you approach your responsibilities and make smarter choices.
3 Revisit Those Priorities
Similar to streamlining how you approach your many tasks, you also have to ask yourself how you prioritize what needs to be done for the company. If you have a priority list consisting of a dozen or more things, then this will probably not lead to a focused approach when it comes to running your business. What are the top one or two priorities for your company at a given time? Understanding this and then honing in on those couple of things, will make your company far more productive then if you try and operate based off of a list of twenty things.
Strategizing is the name of the game here—what are the best strategies to make your company more efficient? Don't get overwhelmed with an oversized priority list, be strategic in your decision making.
4 Trim the Meeting Fat
It goes without saying that some meetings are more productive than others—in fact, some aren't even all that necessary. Wasting time in a futile meeting basically tanks your company's efficiency. Sometimes you can do via a platform such as Slack what you would otherwise consume an hour or more discussing during a meeting. And this way everyone is on the same page while still being productive in their roles.
When you do need to meet, streamline the overall approach by providing an agenda ahead of time, gathering any feedback and/or questions prior to convening. This way you're prepared and can make better use of the time. You might also consider utilizing video conferencing platforms to further trim the fat out of your meetings.
Your team's workflows need to be automated plain and simple. There is an abundance of tools out there which will enable you to do just this. Just think of how much faster and more efficiently things will get done once you do take the time to integrate more automated processes into your company's infrastructure.
Various tools and services allow you to automate everything from data entry to customer service protocols. Consider automating the following for your business:
- Payroll services
- Marketing campaigns and advertising initiatives
- Data management
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- Project management
Check out things such as Quickbooks, MailChimp, Hootsuite, and Salesforce among others. There are a ton of resources out there, don't be afraid to use them. It can only make you a stronger and more dynamic company.
6 Look into New Technologies
Very similar to automating, you need to be abreast of what is available as far as technologies that can make what you do easier. Sure, they tried and true ways may be good, but are they good enough for this constantly changing business environment? Are your "old" ways of holding your business back? This is about being as productive as possible after all; why not utilize those cutting edge technological advances to become stronger.
For instance, you might think about making use of the cloud in order to more efficiently and securely store data. Your employees can thus access the information they need precisely when they need it with less hassle and headache. This will speed up your workflows immensely and allow your workplace to run much smoother than before.
7 Promote Creativity
The great thing about having a talented team is that everyone has their own ideas; everyone brings something of value to the table. As a leader, your job is to foster their ingenuity and creativity. If they think that perhaps there might be a better way to do something, rather than dismissing them, listen to them. You want to encourage innovation and outside the box thinking, and maybe then you will find a more efficient approach. Flexibility is key. Yes, managing your team players is also critical, but don't manage to the point where you stifle, but give them room sometimes to take risks—they may pay off.
At First Union, we have the funding is your business operations is in need of funding. Call today to find out how we can help you!