The Holy Grail of any business is to become more efficient. If you can raise your efficiency, you can earn more as there is very little waste.
The only problem is that becoming more efficient is not an easy task. To put it into perspective, some of the most valuable companies on the planet are still trying to cut down on waste. And, they are billion-dollar companies.
However, the good news is that you are not a billion-dollar company, which means there should be plenty of changes you can make.
After all, if they can raise efficiency then why can’t you with your small to medium-sized business? The answer is you can, all you need to do is find out how.
For all the business owners out there looking for inspiration, you have come to the right place.
Below you will find a host of tips that should improve efficiency. Enjoy!
Obviously, you need to stop wasting money if you want to reach the pinnacle of efficiency. At the minute, you may think that your expenditures are proficient because you spend what you need for your business.
However, the opposite is probably true. For starters, you are almost certainly spending too much on your business processes. If you are still performing tasks like customer service management internally, you are wasting. Secondly, some of the costs may not be important.
Take your phone bill. You can cut that in half by emailing instead of calling or signing up to Internet banking. There is no need to pick up the phone with online processes, and no need spend the money.
Outsource And Automate Where Possible
Cutting costs brings you to the next tip – outsourcing. Outsourcing is not a secret anymore as the whole industry knows how important it is to a business’s survival.
To begin with, you need to understand that outsourcing is important to your cause. But, you also need to figure out what you can outsource and what should stay in-house. Subcontracting the work to an external firm will only save you money in certain circumstances.
One area you need to concentrate on is customer service. External firms offer a far better and cheaper service than you can provide yourself, so it makes a lot of sense. Also, try and apply it to the business’s labor.
With automated voice and intercom systems, there is no need for security guards or a secretary.
Target Specific Customers
As much as you wouldn’t like it to be true, you can only target a certain sample of the population. Unfortunately, your products or services won’t appeal to everyone. So, stop trying to make the impossible possible.
The time and the money that you waste on this pointless exercise are time and money you could put back into the business. Plus, you are more likely to make money if you target the people that will part with their cash. If you focus your energy on these people, you will soon see the benefits.
Don’t Chase Lost Causes
The last point is a nice segway into this one – chasing lost causes. As you well know, there are firms in the industry that hire your services and then don’t pay.
No matter how many times you contact them and ask them for the money, they always have an excuse. And, no matter how many times they say your money is on the way, it never shows. You may think that the next step is to take them to court and try and force them to pay.
However, the truth is that you should forget about the money. Unless it is a big sum of money, you will only waste money trying to chase them up. If you did go to court, for example, the money may not cover the court costs.
It is not easy to admit because it feels as if you are burning bridges, but calling it a day is a legitimate money saver. If you still want to get your own back, let the world know they are not people to do business with. A bad reputation is a death sentence in the business world.
Create An Online Presence
Websites are the future of business for one reason – they save businesses a fortune. Yes, your website will save you a fortune and make you one if it is set up properly. For starters, you can promote your brand through your website and social media.
All you have to do is start a following and then post links on Facebook and Twitter. And, you can raise awareness of your business through search engine optimization.
SEO is a neat trick that propels you up Google’s search rankings. Because millions of searchers use Google, your site’s traffic will skyrocket.
All in all, you will make more money without having to spend a penny. In fact, you will make more money by cutting costs. There are not too many tools that can have that effect.
Train Your Staff
Employees are not efficient. They do not mean to slack off, for the most part, but they do because they are only human. Thankfully, you can make a difference by improving them as workers. To do that, you need to invest in training.
A handful of basic training courses will teach your workforce a lot more about their job. The result, hopefully, is that they will go back to work and use this knowledge to their advantage. If they get quicker and more skillful, they will produce more work to a higher level. That is all you can ask for from your employees.
Improve The Working Environment
Employees also tend to slack off when they get bored or can’t be bothered with work. Usually, this is because they are disillusioned by the office. Instead of focusing on their work, they focus on doing nothing.
To negate this problem, try and make changes to the working environment that will encourage productivity. One such change is more breaks. Although taking a break sounds counterproductive, it refreshes the mind and the body.
When they come back from their breaks, they should work harder and get through more. You may also want to try and improve the lighting and the temperature to make them more comfortable.
No More Meetings
The meeting is a tradition in business. Over the years, and to this day, people in offices around the world have convened to talk about the day ahead. While doing this, they also wasted a whole lot of time.
In all honesty, meetings are fast becoming obsolete because they are unnecessary. For the most part, you ca tell someone everything they need to know over instant messaging. Or, you can email them without leaving your desk.
Unless you need to speak to someone face to face like a crucial business meeting, pick up the phone and do it remotely. The time you will save with this method is quite significant as it is manpower you can put to better use.
Stop Emailing All Of The Time
Yes, emails are a great way to communicate in the office. They mean that you can continue with your work without having to take your eyes away from the screen. Still, they are only a good form of communication if you use them sparingly.
The more that you get involved in an email conversation, the less you concentrate on your work. Try and only look at and reply to the major emails that need your attention. The others that are just confirming what you have already said need avoiding until you have the time.
Also, you can limit your responses to certain times of the day. For example, respond at lunchtime when you have some free time.
Invest In Up To Date Tech
The one-piece of technology that an efficient business can’t do without is a mobile device. A mobile device will transform your business in a positive way because it opens so many doors. Instead of having to sit behind a desk, you can work from anywhere in the world.
That makes multitasking much easier, and that also means you can be more productive. Say you are going to a meeting (shock!), you can spend the commute doing something useful. Without a mobile device and the Internet, you would never be able to split your time so wisely.
Sadly, you can only do as much as your business allows. There is always a temptation to take on as much work as possible. After all, that is the best way to make more money. But, it will harm you in the long run.
The weight of the work and the pressure will get too much over time. Before you know it, the entire business will be affected because you didn’t know when to stop. Being able to say no is a coping mechanism as much as anything, and it is vital.
Every efficient business around the world implements these strategies.
It is about time you did too.