Business

6 ways to improve efficiency in your small business

Need to boost your small business efficiency? Read on to find out how

As businesses look towards making some changes around their efficiency for 2019, we’ve listed a few tips that will help give you a boost in workplace efficiency and cut back on operational costs.

It’s common for small businesses to skip out on trying to improve the efficiency of their operations as they believe they’re too small to do so. Many businesses struggle to see the value in altering their processes. What they don’t realise is that small jumps in efficiency can massively improve cash flow, improve customer retention and even make employees happier and more engaged at work.

Provide Secure, Consistent Information Access

As a small business, you’ll have one great advantage, being small means flexibility and ensures information can flow quickly through the entire business. This should be one of your main focal points if you’re looking to improve efficiency.

It’s important to be able to immediately respond to inquiries, questions and requests from your clients and customers, so make sure that all employees know exactly how to respond to these by having an information sharing protocol in place.

Summary: Implement an information sharing system.

Streamline Your Hiring Process

Both Australia and the US have seen massive jumps in job additions since the early 2010s, and that’s great news. What isn’t such good news though, is the long and complex process that is undertaken to hire each new employee.

Most businesses find that the search, interview and hiring process is time-consuming and very expensive, so there’s a space to improve right there. The best way to improve this is to plan out your entire hiring plan in advance. Schedule the entire interview, questions and create a personality profile of the ideal employee months in advance.

On top of this, have an expert or a copy team draft your job descriptions. This way you’ll be able to get the message across in the ad, and cut back on applications that aren’t a good fit, and will just waste your time in an interview. The information you should include in here are things about your company culture, job requirements, work that will be undertaken as well as who is the best fit.

Summary: Plan hiring months in advance, and ensure your listing is detailed.

Enhance Communication with Customers and Prospects

The ultimate focus for every business should be their customer, and the relationship they foster with their customer. That means keeping an eye on everything from how your sales funnels are operating, as well as how to keep your customers engaged through the data found in CRM software.

Keep watch of all interactions your customers have with your business both online and offline and use this data to help you foster new relationships with each customer. There are plenty of business management software programs available, such as ServiceTitan, to help you get a comprehensive look at your business and customers. The better you understand your customers, the better experience you can provide.

Summary: Utilise business tools and software to maintain relationships with your customers.

Train Your Employees

The growth of your business is inevitable if you’re operating correctly and keeping your customers happy. So with that, growth should also come new training programs and responsibilities for your employees. Responsibilities that employees will need training for.

To maintain a safe, effect workplace all employees need to know exactly what they’re doing and how to follow protocols. So, don’t let your business grow without having training on a routine basis. Teach new skills, allow employees to work better and improve your business efficiency.

Summary: Keep all employees trained for their responsibilities.

Make Your Website Work for You

We live in the future, and business is done almost exclusively online, and for good reason – it’s far cheaper than over the phone or in-person. This is why you should focus on conveying as much information as possible on your website so customers know what you’re all about and how to get what they want from you.

Don’t leave anything open to interpretation and share all you can on your website. That includes billing, an online store and a digital help desk.

Summary: Use your website as the ultimate information hub.

Automate Where Possible

Finally, automation is your best friend for creating an efficient business. Embrace automation software in every place it fits and that will keep all of your employees free of repetitive boring tasks. That means mailing paycheques should be done by an outsourced team or an app.

Freeing up time through automation means employees and external teams have more time to work on more difficult and rewarding tasks.

Summary: Automation is essential to create an efficient business.

The above suggestions should hopefully push your business to reach it’s efficiency goals for 2018 and 2019 if they’re implemented correctly. Look for anywhere you can improve and you’ll see great returns.

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