Fact: Every business owner wants their company to have effective, efficient systems. Efficiency is all about making the most out of all your resources (which includes time, money and human resources, among other things). Whatever market or industry your business thrives in, efficiency means unleashing your company’s full potential. For small and medium-sized enterprises, however, it goes beyond reaching objectives and becomes a matter of survival.
By improving business efficiency, SMEs can lower their overhead costs and make full use of their employees. This translates into business survival by keeping you one step ahead of your competition and a step closer to keeping your customers happy. Adopt these business process improvement tips and jumpstart efficiency in your company.
1. Remove redundancies.
Streamline your systems by removing nonessential positions and tasks in your company. In terms of organisational structure and workflows, redundancies are efficiency roadblocks that curb performance and innovation.
2. Don’t rush in when adopting new technologies.
Jumping on the latest tech trends takes a lot of time and resource investment for your company. Before rushing in on apps and programs that (ironically enough) promise efficiency and effectiveness, test it in a small group/department. Widespread application of new, untested systems that might get abandoned later on wastes your, and your employees’, time.
3. Plan your expansion.
Seeing a strong, positive response from your consumers might seem tempting but it doesn’t always mean that you’re ready for an expansion. Plan your business expansion by starting off with market research. Many small businesses get overwhelmed by positive sales/feedback and make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew. Aside from leading to inefficiencies in your system, this could be risky if you invest too much and miscalculate the numbers.
4. Map out workflows.
Instead of constantly peering over your employees’ shoulders, map out workflows and deadlines. Monitor how your employees are spending their time and find ways to improve their workflows. By outlining the processes within your company, finding chokepoints for efficiency becomes easier.
5. Consider offshoring.
Aspects of your business can be outsourced to other companies. While some business owners might be apprehensive about the idea or clueless about the systems and logistics of outsourcing, note that top companies all over the world outsource a range of functions. Aside from being cost-effectiveness, outsourcing lets you focus on the other important aspects of your business.
6. Choose your customers.
In real life, customers are not always right. Don’t waste your time and resources on customers that make it hard for you to serve them. Instead, choose customers that share your values, respect your company and are reliable when it comes to their end of the deal.
7. Keep your employees happy.
Unless your company has a workforce comprised entirely of automatons and robots, your employees are the most important factors that affect efficiency in your business. Keep them happy by creating a system that rewards efficiency. Encourage collaboration and create an organisational culture that fosters communication and openness.
Aside from these tips, there are many ways you can improve your business. Get our free eBook on The Five Pillars of Business for tips on various aspects of your business.