11 Ways to Simplify Your Business
Running a business comes with many key challenges, including finding ways to free up your time so you can stop putting out fires and start being able to focus on getting results. Unfortunately, far too many business owners get caught up in problems throughout their day that need solving, and they don’t have time to focus on building strategies that can help the business grow. Simplifying your business is key to ensuring you have enough time and energy to devote to growth strategies, partnerships, and customers. Here are a few ways you can simplify your business.
- Integrate Digital Processes
You can integrate just about anything these days, including your business website and CRM, such as Salesforce, to make it easier for you to understand your sales funnel and market to your customers better. By integrating digital processes, you can have a clearer picture of your business and how it’s performing.
- Consider Automation
Automation can help your employees, managers, and your entire business saves time and money. With automation, you can start to automate repetitive, boring tasks to free up employees’ time to focus on the bigger picture. For example, you can automate email marketing to align with business goals without having to have someone around to manage the campaigns. You can automate many different areas of your business, including accounting, HR, and marketing.
- Make Information Accessible
If you spend a lot of time fielding questions from customers, you can reduce the number of calls you get by making frequently asked questions (FAQs) accessible on your website. Instead of asking customers to call you for every question they have, ask that they first check your website to see if their questions have already been answered.
- Hire the Best Employees
Hiring quality employees is expensive, but it’s actually much cheaper than hiring mediocre employees who don’t care about your company or that don’t have the right skill sets to help your business grow. You can streamline the hiring process by creating an application form and using hiring software to help organize the list of candidates. From there, you’ll need to interview one by one to get a sense of who would be a good fit for the position.
Of course, you should also be willing to pay more for the experience. If you can’t budget more for candidates with higher qualifications, don’t expect to be able to get the best candidates out there; you must always remain competitive.
- Manage Projects Efficiently
There are many different project management software that allows you to collaborate with teams and streamline projects across departments. Of course, you should always do some research to determine which type of project management software you need to ensure everyone is meeting deadlines.
- Consider Fewer Meetings
Not every meeting is important, but most of them do take up a lot of time. Instead of having meetings, consider sending email updates every week or asking that employees come directly to you for questions. While meetings may seem like a great way to get the team together and boost morale, they can hurt productivity and unnecessarily stress your employees.
- Focus on One at a Time
Focusing on one thing at a time can help you simplify things slowly to avoid doing a major overhaul of your business operations. Instead, you can start with one department, simplify that department’s process, and move on. For example, you can simplify the marketing department by introducing automation tools and project management tools to help team members collaborate and track statuses on open projects.
- Consider Business Metrics
As a business owner, it can be tempting to measure every metric you have available to you. However, measuring all possible metrics doesn’t allow you to focus on the main metrics that drive your business. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should be used to track how your business is performing. You can have KPIs for every department, but make sure you’re not trying to evaluate and change too much at one time. A few important KPIs all businesses should measure are:
- Conversion rates
- Acquisition costs
If you’re not measuring any metrics, it’s time to start. Measuring your KPIs can help you figure out which processes are working and what you need to improve upon. For example, you may find that your acquisition costs are high, which can lead to you developing a new successful marketing campaign to lower acquisition costs and bring in more sales to increase your revenue.
- Consider Emerging Technologies & Applications
Technology and applications can be used to help your business save time and money while helping it grow. Not only can this help automate daily processes, but it can also improve many departments. For example, you can use technology to streamline customer service; instead of having a call center and asking your customers to call about questions and concerns, you can utilize a chatbot or online customer service software to communicate with customers one-on-one to get their issues resolved quicker than ever. Not sure where to start? Check out free applications that your business can download to test out automating new initiatives.
- Outsource When Necessary
You can’t do everything yourself, so it’s important to learn what tasks you can start to outsource. For example, most small business owners can manage their personal finances, but it becomes difficult to manage business finances, especially as the business grows. These individuals might want to outsource bookkeeping and accounting services to ensure the business is financially stable and making money instead of losing it.
You can outsource just about anything these days, including administrative work, marketing and advertising, and human resources.
- Store Important Information Digitally
The cloud can be your best tool as a small business owner because it allows you to store important information and documents without worrying about losing them. The cloud can store anything from customer data to company paperwork while also allowing your employees to collaborate, edit each other’s work, and communicate effectively without wasting time calling each other or holding meetings. If items like cards need to be stored physically, make sure you’re using an RFID-blocking wallet to ensure its safety.
Running a business means making difficult decisions, but it’s up to you to figure out the best ways you can simplify your business and earn more money. Remember, cutting corners doesn’t necessarily mean cutting costs; instead, find ways you can improve your business operations while also saving money.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.