Every business should focus on efficiency. If you improve efficiency, you can get more done and increase your profits. An inefficient business is always at risk of going under. Here are 10 simple tips to make your business more efficient.
Create a business plan
A business plan will help you define and refine what your business is. It will also help you figure out if you have what it takes to make your business work. By creating a concrete plan, you’ll know exactly where you’re going and how to get there.
You should also create a “to-do” list each day. You can start this list the night before or as soon as you wake up in the morning, but having a daily list of activities that need completion keeps your tasks organized.
Don’t avoid the power of a website
Every business needs a website. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out on potential revenue and clients. Your website’s your online storefront – it’s the first impression customers will get of your business. It also provides more information about your products or services than brochures or flyers ever could.
Outsource non-core activities
For example, if you’re a freelance writer, perhaps you could hire an assistant to help with order processing and scheduling. In this case, your assistant would handle the “non-core activities” while you focused more on writing articles for clients.
Focus more on core activities
In the same vein, you should focus on your core activities – i.e. what makes your business unique and valuable. If you spend too much time focusing on tasks that aren’t a core part of your work, it will be difficult to grow or make more money.
Use technology to your advantage
Many people think that technology is inherently bad. They think it disrupts family time and leads to fewer human interactions. The truth is, technology is a tool. Adopting technology can make your business more efficient if you use it correctly. For example, using email marketing software can reduce the time it takes to send newsletters and updates. You could also use time-tracking programs to monitor your employees’ productivity levels, or use CRM software to improve customer service.
Increase your Wi-Fi speed
If possible, boost your wifi to at least 5 Mbps. This may not seem like a lot of data, but it’s more than enough bandwidth to stream videos, download files, or even video call someone on Skype. As a small business owner, you’ll need high-speed Internet so customers can reach you and interact with you remotely. When you roll out wifi across your business, make sure it’s the fastest it can be.
For example, if you’re running an online store, there’s no need to send your customers a physical receipt. An email is just as effective and will save you time. Time-tracking software can keep tabs on employee hours too – you can easily log their time on the computer or smartphone.
Combine communication methods
Many business owners make the mistake of using an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to communication methods. They choose a different app for every single part of their business, from email to booking appointments. This is inefficient and causes more overheads than necessary. One solution is to use one comprehensive scheduling app that links with your other apps (including email and social media).
Improve customer services by using social media
Social media plays a big part in small business communication these days. Many companies have a Facebook page or Twitter account, and some even use Instagram to show off their products in an aesthetically pleasing way. By using social media channels effectively, you can increase your brand visibility and improve customer service by answering questions quickly. It’s also incredibly easy to have social media pages set up – they’re free and take just a few minutes to create. If you don’t have one already, set up profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter now – then spend some time getting used to them before your next big event or launch.
Track productivity on a regular basis
As a small business owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re working harder than ever. However, it’s important not to forget that in most cases, your business only exists because you work hard. On the other hand, you may be wasting time on “low-hanging fruit”. This means tasks that could easily be handled by a more junior employee – or outsourced altogether. It can also mean that you’re working too long each day. If this is the case, try asking yourself these questions: How much are my employees paid per hour? How productive do they need to be for my business to succeed?