Being a small-business owner is associated with being a busy person. Every day I grab a steaming cup of tea and then dive into the grind, sometimes only getting up in time to work out and then eat dinner. If you’re passionate about your work, it does not seem like “work” however, I’ve discovered how to do my job “smarter” rather than “harder.”
It’s not necessary for every day to be a 12-hour workday. With the proper tools and services to make your life more enjoyable, you can truly relax and enjoy your evenings (or, more importantly, your life!)
Efficiency can be improved in various ways. However, as you are aware, managing a business can be complex and can be daunting to decide the best place to begin. The process of streamlining your small business will help you avoid burning the candle on both ends. Examine the impact each area that requires improvements will have on the bottom line as well as your customers, the people who you might be working with (i.e. suppliers, business partners and employees) and, of course, you!
How do you begin? Make these five areas clearer for the business you run first.
Perform tasks efficiently
If you are a small-business owner, there is a never-ending list of things to do that keeps you on the job at all times, all day and even at night. Therefore, it is no surprise that efficient time and task management is an essential element of running a smooth business. With planners, highlight calendars, reminders for phones and a to-do list every day, we’re all in a rush to organize!
There are few things more enjoyable than writing the list of things to do and then crossing off each item when you complete them, But how would you manage all of your daily tasks from the same place?
Utilizing a free program such as Producteev, for instance, will integrate with the Google Calendar and allows access to a variety of platforms and allows for the creation of multiple workspaces for employees. This is extremely beneficial since not only can you sort tasks by importance but also delegate them more efficiently and get updates instantly by managing projects. As my dear friend and the CEO of Women Network, Michelle Patterson, affirms, “Choose three things that require attention and concentrate on them.”
Do not interrupt the flow of work.
The majority of questions, comments and complaints are addressed to you by your customers or diverted at you by your employees. To avoid being caught in the cycle of continuous interruptions, remember that not ALL issues and decisions require an immediate answer. It’s okay to set up an auto-responder in your email to be sent out in the afternoon or block the phone call. This allows both your customer and your employees to know that you are doing something else and can’t be interrupted. By keeping interruptions to a minimum, you’ll be amazed at the amount more you are able to accomplish.
One great suggestion is to set up a timer on specific tasks and to avoid any interrupts till the clock runs out.
Standardize Business Processes
“If it’s not broken, do not repair it.” If you’ve implemented efficient business processes that work for you and your company, Why would you change them? It is essential to remain in line and make sure you standardize your processes. Anything from the file format to emailing customers and clients. In the end, this will help you save time in training and retraining your employees. It will also make it more organized.
Create Inventory and Maintain an Accurate Record of the Inventory
Do you think you’re organized? If you’re a consumer-based business owner, then you’re likely employing the Excel spreadsheet to track your inventory and sell-through. This is why I am here to inform you that this is no longer the case in the past. There are a variety of reasons for this. It’s inaccurate and could cost YOU time, money, stress and even more. Try one of the many low-cost automated inventory control systems. This will give you to focus on things that are much more important than finding the order that wasn’t recorded in Excel.
Make the most of your business.
Growing your small company is the ultimate target, but you need to first realize how to increase the output you are currently producing. Most business owners are focused on expanding their business first in order to earn more money and profit, but they miss out on maximizing their business by becoming efficient. What’s at stake is that outdated software and unproductive techniques for business will prevent your business from the position it should be.
Beginning, running and building a profitable business isn’t straightforward; however, by taking the initiative to streamline your processes, you can improve the flow of information as well as speed and accuracy. Perhaps you’ll have some extra time for your own needs!