The path to making a business successful is paved by your operational processes. From managing finances to the day-to-day runnings, operations are the lifeblood of what keeps a business afloat. This makes it crucial to identify and solve key operating issues as soon as they present themselves.
Being efficient in business operations involves combining teamwork, problem solving, critical analysis and leadership to quickly ‘squash’ any issues before they get out of hand - or even better, prevent them from appearing in the first place.
Here are three common issues that can quickly get out of hand - including the solutions!
Lack of creativity
What happens: Your operations have been thought out, procedures have been written and distributed and the routine has started to settle in. While you run your business, there are external factors influencing your efforts and you find that the industry itself is changing quite rapidly.
The solution: You might think that being creative is one of the last things you should do for a business that relies on procedural operations, however being creative can give you many benefits that aren’t instantaneous.
For one, being creative in the way you execute your processes helps keep your operations from becoming stagnant. People get bored, processes become outdated and strategies don’t always apply in all situations. Having a little allowance for creativity helps you to easily adapt to change within the industry, internalise new procedures and keep up with evolving technology that can further advance your business goals.
What happens: While your operational processes and staff have stayed consistent, suddenly it seems that the systems in place have become less efficient than before. Resources aren’t being used to their full potential, people are hanging around waiting for tasks that never seem to come and delegation is nonexistent. All the while, your client’s are getting agitated.
The solution: Collaboration isn’t exactly difficult, often the issue is making sure that the right jobs are delegated to the appropriate staff. While it may seem easy to get your staff working collaboratively, often getting them all to work towards the same goal can be tedious.
A solution is to make all of your employees aware of what their coworkers are doing. Promote a culture of helpfulness rather than one of complete independence and isolation - this way you’ll be able to avoid situations brought about by a lack of collaboration between staff.
What happens: Business as usual, however you start to feel fatigued, even before you’ve started working. You jump at any chance to slow down your workload, however you feel yourself slowly sinking into a rut. You’re comfortable, but you’re scared of trying new things. “Everything is working fine the way it is”, you say.
The solution: Being complacent is one of the worst things that can happen to any business. Aside from preventing creativity (essentially slowing your response to industry trends and allowing your competitors to get ahead), complacency often means there is a high chance your business will not grow.
The key thing to remember here is that operations aren’t completely focused on problem solving; they’re also about optimising your current processes. Assessing your company’s strengths and goals, as well as embracing fresh, new ideas is a good way to start. Complacency is a problem best solved by never settling for “good enough” as an answer.
If you would like to find more ways to improve your business operations, download our free Operations Pillar eBook, or contact us to find out what other aspects of your business we can help you with today!