The bottom line is that increasing efficiency in your business will result in more profits being made, whether because you’re cutting down on unnecessary expenditure, or you’re making more money on your productivity. Often, it’ll be a combination of both. For this reason, the pursuit of efficiency is extremely important, even in small businesses. It’s certainly not always an easy thing to, but that doesn’t mean that you always need to seek professional advice. Here are some of the things that you should think about.
This is arguably the number one way of making things more efficient. If everyone knows what everyone else is doing, and at what stage a project is at, things tend to run a lot more smoothly. You might think that you’ve got good communication going on, but it’s not always the case, and upper management can often be hidden from these problems. Talking to your staff, perhaps confidentially, can help you identify where there might be breakdowns in communication.
Sometimes bureaucracy is necessary. There are forms to be filled in, and procedures to be followed. However, excessively bureaucratic processes can significantly hamper the speed at which things get done. Again, ask your employees – is there something that they’re having to do that realty slows them down but isn’t absolutely necessary? Get rid of it if possible. Time is money after all.
Outsourcing can be the answer to clearing the workload of some members of staff. If you’ve got people doing multiple jobs, then you can ease the load and allow them to concentrate on something more productive by giving their extra load to a specialist company. This can include anything from TNT’s mailroom management, to companies that manage your incoming calls or client database. Often their size and expertise means that they can get the job done more efficiently anyway, so everyone wins.
Only with the right tools can the job be done properly and efficiently. This includes everything from having computers running the correct software at a high speed, to reliable delivery vehicles. Make sure everyone has what they need. Are your employees trying to work with too few tools? Make sure there’s never a time when someone is waiting for a piece of equipment – this is where efficiency is lost. Having a good inventory of what your assets are is going to be crucial here.