Everyone knows the importance of running an efficient business. Small businesses know this better than most because of their limited resources that must be used as wisely as possible.
No matter what the size of your business, however, efficiency is always a good thing. It leads to higher productivity and increased profits. Although it is easy to talk about creating an efficient workplace, implementing one is much more difficult. What follows are seven ways a business can ensure it is always running at peak efficiency.
1. Make communication count. Nothing slows down workflow more than miscommunication. Miscommunication also means work has to be redone—wasting even more time. Before any project or task is assigned, employees should have a clearly defined plan of action which includes who is responsible for each task.
2. Update technology. It may cost a little more at the outset but investing in the latest and best technology will pay for itself over and over. When you cut corners on technology you will experience slow response times, problems with data, and a variety of other issues.
3. Meet less. Unless a meeting has a clearly defined (and necessary) goal, don’t hold it. Often sending out a detailed email can eliminate the need to gather a number of employees in one room. It doesn’t take a math wizard to figure out how many hours a business wastes each year holding unproductive meetings.
4. Talk to one another more. Have you ever sent several emails back and forth to a coworker sitting down the hall? We all have. While email and instant chats have their place, many times an issue or question is resolved much faster by picking up the phone or popping into a colleague’s office for five minutes.
5. Go green. When you go paperless, you will save more than money. The speed at which you can share work-related information and other important data improves drastically, as well. You should also request that those you do business with—your bank and vendors, for example—send statements and invoices electronically.
6. Allow employees to telecommute. Many businesses are leery of embracing the remote employee but studies show that people who work from home are actually more productive than those who come into the office each day. This can be attributed to a wide range of factors including the fact that working from home is often quieter than working in a busy office, there are less distractions and two-thirds of people who work from home report working longer hours.
7. Put your money where your mouth is. If you are really committed to running an efficient business, consider rewarding employees who come up with innovative ideas to make your workplace more streamlined.
Making your small business as efficient as possible is critical to its success. The key is to gradually implement procedures that will help you to get the most out of your people and processes.