Running a small business requires consistently making improvements. Even when things are running smoothly, they can always be better. And that is usually the best time to be making changes and tweaking things to enhance areas of your business that offer the biggest gains. So how do you gain more efficiency?
A lot of tasks can be automated in your business, freeing up your time. Whether it’s automated invoicing, or follow up emails, business automation is no longer a luxury it’s a necessity. The automation of monotonous repetitive tasks will save your employees and you time, and allows you to do more productive work.
We are most productive, when we are able to get through tasks without being constantly interrupted. One way to do this is to check email once in the morning, and then not again until noon. If possible, take your breaks at the same time, and try to schedule multiple meetings in one day, rather than scattering them throughout the week. Other offenders to your time are constant phone alerts and there are apps to help you reduce that. Blocking out your time for actively working may help you focus better and be more efficient.
The huddle concept has been adopted by a lot of companies, and the results have been generally positive. Huddles are usually held first thing in the morning, and their purpose is to keep everyone in the loop about what has been accomplished so far, what is on the agenda, and any challenges that are expected to show up. Huddles take 10 minutes, and they keep teams running smoothly and efficiently, as unnecessary meetings are eliminated.
Find Best Practices
In every company there are processes and practices that are done not just well, but excellently. Find those practices in your business. That might involve breaking down silos and communicating effectively to learn from different teams. Keeping everything transparent is important.
Keep Financial Score
One of the challenges of small businesses is that very few have an accurate idea of their daily numbers, much less their weekly or monthly numbers. It may seem like you’re spending precious hours looking over your books periodically, but it’s necessary to be current on cash flow. You don’t have to do it yourself, you can contract an accountant to come in and handle that for you, and still be informed and on top of your finances.
Similarly, setting goals for your business is an essential part of what will make your company successful. Goals are a great tool for ongoing planning to ensure that you’re continuously moving forward.
Task Management Software
Emails aren’t always the ideal communication method when you’re working on a project with a team. Task management software keeps all communication and work progress in one place. It can help everyone on the team work together, have access to changes and updates, stay on task, and be efficient. This eliminates going back and forth on emails. If a task is done, then it’s in the software and progress can be tracked easily.
Yes, your focus is laser sharp on your business. However, no business operates in a vacuum. You sell in a market, you have customers, and any changes that impact them, impact your business. Furthermore, events in the global landscape also have an impact on your business. It is important to stay current on trends and things happening in your industry, as well as your community.
Know Your Limits
As a business owner, you should have a clear idea of what your limitations are. When you know your weaknesses as well as your strengths, you can manage your resources and find help in the areas you need it.
Know When To Take A Break
Small business owners spread themselves too thin. You’re used to doing everything yourself, and running a small business is hard work. And you may think you can’t take a breather. However, sometimes the best way to improve your business is to take a vacation. Getting some time away can reignite your passion for your work. Don’t underestimate the potential value of spending a few days away from the office. You’ll come back recharged and ready to focus.