It’s easy for small business owners to get so caught up in the day-to-day execution of tasks that they forget to focus on the big picture. But if you want to turn your business into an efficient, high-producing company that can eventually be automated and sold, you need to emphasize the process side of things.
4 Tips for Greater Efficiency
Efficiency is something we talk a lot about in business – particularly from a management perspective. But before we go any further, it’s important that we don’t just use this term in a generic way. We must get specific!
According to BBC, “Efficiency is about making the best possible use of resources. Efficient firms maximize outputs from given inputs, and so minimize their costs.”
That’s a pretty good definition; however, the specifics will look different for every business. Thus, it’s imperative that you figure out what it means for your company. Are you trying to be more efficient with time? Money? Raw materials? All of the above?
The clearer you can get on your efficiency goals, the better. Once you’re able to define these objectives, you can use the following tips to inch closer to accomplishing them:
Untether From Email
Email is a huge point of distraction in most businesses. Your employees are spending hours per day checking emails, managing their inbox, replying to emails, etc. And while there are times when email is necessary – like in customer-facing situations – it should not be something you rely on internally to communicate.
Make it a goal to untether from email internally and to use some sort of chat application or project management solution for internal collaboration. Even SMS is a better option than email. Find the medium that works best for your team and create some rules and best practices around it (with the goal of eliminating distractions).
Automate as Much as Possible
Automation is a life-saver. The problem is that most businesses aren’t using it nearly as much as they should be. Make it a goal to pursue automation in areas where your team is bogged down with repetitive manual tasks.
“Chatbot software can automate the process of gathering that initial lead information – and free up your team’s time to actually pitch those leads,” efficiency expert Deanna deBara writes. “Is your human resources director spending a good chunk of her time inputting benefits information for new team members? Invest in a human resources platform that allows employees to input their information directly – and free up your HR director to work on more high-level projects.”
Not every automation tool will work for your business. The key is to integrate the ones that will make the biggest impact (without overcomplicating anything or adding unnecessary confusion).
Switch to Electronic Signatures
If you operate a business where contracts and agreements are common, you can significantly improve your team’s efficiency by integrating an electronic signature platform. This reduces the number of touchpoints a contract has to go through to be signed off by all parties. People simply log in, sign the document from their device, and everything is securely processed and hosted in the cloud. Realistically, this can cut a contract’s approval time down from three or four days to just several hours.
Get Serious About Delegating
You have to get past the notion that you’re the only person who can handle a task. There are very few tasks that only you are capable of doing. More than likely, you’re just hanging on to these duties because you crave control. That might be tough to hear, but if you’re honest with yourself, it’s true.
One of the keys to running an efficient business is to work on your business and not in it. You do that by hiring good people and then delegating out tasks to those individuals. It won’t always be smooth, but it will be fruitful in the long term.
Grease the Wheels of Your Business
If your business is stable and growing, then there’s a pretty good chance that you already have the major components in place. Now it’s just a matter of greasing those wheels so that everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can. Try implementing a couple of the tips highlighted above and see what sort of impact it has.