Do you feel like your business is just going through the motions? Every company should strive to be as efficient and effective as possible. One thing you should not do is to compromise the quality of your products and services. Tweak every part of your business process and system to ensure all parts and cogs are working in harmony to enhance efficiency.
Sadly, so many businesses get hung up for way too long, compromising the very processes and systems that ensure success. With the help and management expertise of business consultants, here are some ideas you can implement to improve efficiency in your business.
1. Automate Tasks
In today’s competitive business environment, automation is a necessity rather than a luxury. Automating some tasks, like sending receipts to vendors, is one of the best ideas to improve business efficiency because it helps to save on time. Employees can concentrate on other more productive tasks that require critical thinking. Although the initial set up costs are high, once you automate, you will enjoy the benefits lower costs of doing business and enhanced business efficiency.
2. Encourage Face to Face Communication among Employees
As much as possible, water down the use of online communication tools such as Skype, email or chat messages. Though seemingly efficient, you end up wasting so much time with back-and-forth chatting while you could quickly get your messages across the table through face to face communication. This, however, does not mean you should totally do away with emails and messaging apps. Find the right balance to optimize efficiency.
3. Limit Interruptions
Most businesses encounter too many interruptions. These include endless staff meetings, departmental meetings, email alerts, messages, and others. These interruptions often interfere with the completion of tasks. Instead of scattering these meetings throughout the week, one of the best ideas to improve business efficiency is to set aside one specific day for multiple meetings. Employees work better and more efficiently when there are no interruptions. It takes about one minute to resume work after a disruption. If there are too many interruptions, it could result in many minutes lost.
4. Single-task to Get More Done
Often, employees think multitasking and having many tabs open on their computers increases efficiency. Not only does this affect the quality of work, but it also lowers efficiency. Encourage your employees to finish one task before moving to the next. Having one complete project is better than having several pending completion.
5. Hold Daily Short Company Meetings
Some meetings go on for so long that they disrupt a whole working day. Having short meetings before the start of the day, for about ten minutes, is an effective way of keeping everyone in the loop, commending accomplishments and identifying areas that require improvements. These frequent short meetings help to eliminate the need for many uncalled for meetings and consequently saves time.
6. Avoid the “got a minute?” Meetings
These unscheduled random meetings waste a lot of time and energy that could have otherwise gone into something more productive. Truth is, that ‘one minute’ may end up being twenty minutes or longer, which may interfere with other scheduled tasks. To avoid this poor time management habit, schedule quick meetings at specific times and ensure you do not divert from the intended topic of discussion. This is an efficient and effective way of getting your ideas and thoughts across.
7. Stay with the Process
When employees think they are running behind schedule, they tend to start cutting corners to meet deadlines. Doing this makes a bad situation worse. In the process, serious, costly mistakes are made at the altar of ‘completed tasks.’ Stick to the intended process and don’t waiver, even when running behind schedule.
8. Use Task Management Software
Using a task management software helps your team to work better and ensure every member stays on the same task. It is also time efficient as there are no back-and-forth emails or messages. Besides, it eases the process of tracking progress.
9. Encourage Open Communication
Your employees should be able to voice their concerns freely and also critic how the company is running. As a business owner/manager, you cannot monitor every single bit of operation in your company. Your employees should be your eyes to help you pinpoint areas that need to be streamlined. Encouraging your employees to be part of the solution improves productivity and efficiency within a team.
10. Know When to Stop
As much as efficiency in business is a good thing, it is not the most important. Focusing too much on business efficiency may divert you from more important things for your business, such as growth. Know where to draw the line. Do not automate everything. Sometimes a customer may be looking for that personal touch in a product, and that automated customer service voice may be a turn-off. Too much automation may also encourage laziness among employees. Find the right balance.
There is always room for improvement. Whether a business is successful or not, proactively seeking new ideas and tweaking operational methods dramatically improve business efficiency.