A total of 2 hours and 53 minutes every day. That’s how much productive time the average employee has during the day.
While this number may sound shocking and make it seem like people are lazy, things aren’t that simple. Most people can only focus on productive work for so long during the day. That’s why business efficiency is something every business needs to take seriously.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to run an efficient business. You have a lot to handle, so you need systems in place that make things easier. Keep reading to learn seven business efficiency tips that will help you set up an efficient business.
1. Create Standard Operating Procedures
One of the biggest reasons businesses are inefficient is that they have no documented process. Managers give employees a task and expect them to handle things on their own.
The problem is that your team will come up with different ways of accomplishing the same thing. The chances are good that you won’t have a single team member that comes up with the best way to handle things.
Coming up with a documented process for your team to follow will keep everyone on the same page. Once you have your procedure documented, your team can then provide feedback on areas they think need work. This process will help you come up with the optimal way of handling tasks.
2. Automate Everything You Can
You don’t need to do every task in your business anymore manually. For instance, many administrative tasks only require you to take data from one place and enter it into another. You can automate repeatable processes like this.
You’ll spend some money upfront hiring a developer to automate the process. However, you need to put an hourly rate on your time and consider how much time you spend handling these tasks.
If it won’t take much time for the time you save for automating this task to pay off, automating it should be a no-brainer. The more time you have to focus on meaningful work, the more efficient your business will be.
3. Make Use of Tools
You don’t need to do everything manually in business anymore. Now that most of the work we do in business today happens on a computer, you can use new technology to make life easier.
Look through all your business functions and investigate software that can help. The more you can use technology and software to streamline your processes, the more efficient managing a business becomes.
If you look into buying one tool to get started, make it project management software. This software will help you keep your projects organized and help your team stay on task.
4. Learn When to Outsource
The chances are good that many of your team members handle work that falls outside of their job’s scope. As businesses grow, so do the number of things that you need to do to keep things running.
However, you and your team won’t always be experts at handling some of these tasks. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to hire someone full-time to handle the work since there isn’t as much of it to do.
That’s where outsourcing comes into play. Finding reliable outsourcing lets you hold out on hiring someone until you have enough work for a new business role to become a full-time job. It will also free up your employees’ time to focus on the job you hired them for and let them shine in that role.
5. Improve Communication Channels
You can’t run an efficient business if your team doesn’t have a great way to communicate. Now that a lot of the workforce is going remote, this is even more important.
While some companies can get by by using email, this isn’t always the best choice. There are now many other applications available that can help with communication.
For companies that need asynchronous communication, a program like Slack is a great choice. It provides a chat room experience with multiple channels for each team.
There are other synchronous communication channels like those in project management software. These communication platforms let your team log into specific project sections to see only the information they need to do their jobs.
6. Know What Processes to Cut
There’s no getting around busywork in some businesses. Many little things go into running a large company. The question is, does everything your employees do every day matter?
While you can automate many of these tasks, that won’t be the case for everything. In the case where you can’t automate something, you’ll need to figure out if it’s necessary for your business to run.
Cutting out tasks produces a similar result that automating business tasks does. It frees up time for your employees to focus on more important work.
7. Get a Phone Operator
Keeping customers happy is already hard enough in any business. The last thing you want to do is have no customer service system in place and keep your customers on hold while you try to find them the best person to speak with to solve their problem.
The best answering service you use will have an operator figure out where to send customers when they contact your company for support. Some businesses use an automated system that gives customers a list of options. From there, customers can select the department they need to speak with.
Other companies use a single person as a point of contact. This person knows the business well enough to identify which department a problem needs to go to, so they can get your customers to the person they need to speak with quickly.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of an Efficient Business
There’s a big difference between doing work for the sake of work and being productive. Unless you create systems for your business to streamline your process, you’ll get stuck working on tasks that don’t matter much in the big picture. Use the tips above to create a more efficient business, so you can focus on work that actually moves the needle.
Are you interested in more ways to improve how your business works? Head back to the blog to learn more about running a lean business.