4 Ways to Make Your SME Run More Efficiently

Running efficiently is far more critical to SMEs than larger conglomerates. This is because SMEs have far less access to financing options. As a result, should they run into trading difficulties, then they’re more reliant on the cost savings from previous greater efficiency and ongoing improvements in this area to carry them through. In that sense, a larger business can be less efficient and still survive; many SMEs are not so fortunate. Here are 4 ways to make SMEs run more efficiently.

1.     Use the Most Appropriate Software

The software makes a huge difference to businesses. Not only can it help to ensure staff members are productive, but it can also save considerable time. While some software suites like Office 365 serve a useful purpose, not every solution is best packaged in that way. When it comes to SaaS solutions provided online, increasingly businesses are seeing the benefits of specialization.

For example, LoanPro provides a loan servicing SaaS that allows different size lenders to manage their lending arrangements, monitor repayment history, and to follow up on delinquent payers. Trying to do this with software not designed for this purpose would add extra steps, miss others, and complicate matters considerably.

2.     Reduce or Minimize Unnecessary Meetings

While it’s useful to know what is going on within each given department, having regular meetings is not always helpful. Quite often, it just becomes a place either for people to make general complaints or worse still, to gossip.

Instead, meetings should have a fixed agenda. You should then stick adamantly to it, and proceed through until the end with unwavering deliberateness. This allows for all important matters to be covered without wasting the productive time of multiple members of staff.

3.     Move Staff to a Multi-Skilled Status

It’s necessary particularly with SMEs to encourage staff to become multi-skilled. Just because a staff member is off sick, their work cannot afford to grind to a halt. It becomes difficult for the manager to know what they were exactly doing when it’s needed and if a customer or client is waiting on it. As such, this creates a bottleneck.

By multi-skilling and ensuring that all work being done is known ahead of time, another staff member can step into other people’s roles when they’re absent. This way, while overall productivity will reduce, the ball isn’t dropped.

4.     Avoid Waste

Making a push to avoid waste helps SMEs to do better and contain expenses too. Waste can occur in many ways. It can be from overordering supplies, paying for every upgrade regardless of whether it will make a difference to the bottom-line, and making other costly errors.

Also, staff should be mindful of wasting resources, energy, and time in their roles. That will add up meaningfully when accounting for all employees across the company.

Businesses should also look to renegotiate supplier deals to get better pricing than the year before. By playing off one supplier against another, they can ensure they’re not overpaying and contain the rabid effects of inflation on operating costs.

For SMEs, efficiency is an inside job. It’s up to managers and employees to be more efficient in every area they can. It does add up at the end of the year.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.