How To Make Your Business Much More Efficient

There are many great reasons why you would want to make your business more efficient. For one thing, higher efficiency means that you have a higher productivity rate. That is important because it allows for you to get a lot more done and means you have a better chance of growing your business in the future. It also means that your people work to a much more efficient degree, allowing for higher satisfaction. Engaged and efficient staff work smarter, accomplishing goals financially efficiently, which leads to better returns and happy customers.

Running a truly efficient business is challenging but is well worth pursuing. So how can you actually make your business a lot more efficient? Here are some of the major ways that you can do that in your own company.

Improve Resource Planning

A general top-down thing that you need to focus on if you want to have an efficient business is something known as resource planning. As the name suggests, this is simply a means of ensuring that you are keeping your resources being used for what they should be used for and allocating them correctly. One of the best ways that modern businesses achieve this is through SAP, which you should definitely make use of if you are not already doing so.

To massively increase the effectiveness of that, you might also want to seek out the help of a consulting firm that can offer SAP integration for your system. With the help of a team like ABusiness Tech on your side, this is going to be so much more effective and successful.

Build The Right Team

Technology and processes are important in creating efficiencies, but the people you employ are central to the entire plan. Having the right people in place who can work collaboratively and are accountable for their work being done to the correct standard. When hiring, it’s important not just to consider their ability to work in a team to achieve goals.

Encourage Feedback At All Levels

Sometimes it takes someone else to point out any areas that could be improved. After all, when you’re too close to the issue it can be difficult to see the entire picture. Encourage and seek feedback from employees all over the company, customers, and suppliers. This 360 view of your business means that you can evaluate every aspect of your business. Try not to be defensive of any perceived areas that you need to improve, take any criticism as constructive and act upon it.

Provide The Right Tools

It might seem very obvious, but you do also need to make sure that you are doing all you can to provide the right tools for your employees across the board. Having the right tools is an essential and obvious way to make sure that you can do a task easily and quickly, which also means efficiently. Tools refer to anything used, from computers and software to physical tools in a warehouse. If they are all the correct tools, a lot of time and energy will be saved in the long run.

Document Your Processes

Documenting and streamlining your processes can play a huge role in embedding efficiency within your business. For example, if the knowledge of a particular role is only in the person’s head currently doing it, what happens if that person is ill or quits? Then the knowledge of the job leaves with them. Documenting processes in all areas can also make it easier to review and amend them if needed in order to make them even more efficient. 

Automate

Assess your business to see what you can automate. Automation can help you realize huge efficiencies within your business. Cutting the time it takes to complete tasks or being able to do them at scale.

Common areas to automate include marketing, invoicing and accounts, HR, and logistics.

When choosing automation software, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs that doesn’t cause unnecessary disruption and is easy to use with training.

Focus on Employee Engagement

You may have heard the phrase employee engagement before, but do you know just how important it is to your business overall? It’s been established that happy employees are more engaged with their roles, more dedicated, and this can have a transformative effect on your business. Engaged employees take fewer sick days, have fewer workplace safety incidents, and are more productive. A more productive workforce is efficient and effective. But don’t try and go for superficial quick fixes when it comes to your company culture. Free coffee and dress-down Friday’s are only going to get you so far. Strong employee engagement is built on a foundation of reward and recognition, trust, professional development, wellbeing, and acting on employee feedback. Then, you can top it off with any perks you think are appropriate.

Invest In Professional Development

Your employees are your greatest asset, and it is in your best interests to keep them as highly skilled as possible. Professional development programs ensure that your employees are at the leading edge of their profession and better able to develop good ideas and better ways to do things.

Work Towards A Common Goal

Sometimes it just takes a psychological stance to ensure that your business is working as efficiently as you would hope. In particular, you should find that being focused and encouraging your staff to be more focused will be a great way to ensure that they are working with much greater efficiency and that you are all heading in the right direction as a team in general too. Focus means that you know where you are going and why, and how you are actually going to get there. Make sure that you are clear on all that if you want this to work out for you as well as possible.

Those are just some of the things that you can look into if you want to make your business more efficient. As long as you get those right, you should find that you can much more effectively improve the efficiency of your business from the start.

There are a number of ways to embed this throughout your organization. It starts with open and honest communication with employees about business goals and expectations.

Learn To Communicate

In today’s modern workplace, we’re always switched on, moving between calls, video conferences and meetings. Collaboration is great but it can be very difficult to streamline communications. In order to keep productivity levels high, develop policies that let your employees do their job rather than having to be constantly communicating through various channels. You can set this as company policy or coach employees to recognize how they work best and let them customize their workdays accordingly.

Similarly, when you do hold meetings or calls, you want to make sure that they are necessary and productive. Reduce unnecessary meetings and learn how to run effective ones so that everyone will feel it is time well spent.

Moving to a more efficient meeting process will remove a lot of disruption. For each meeting, encourage organizers to ask if they need to be a one-off or a recurring event? Is the meeting the right length or does it go on too long or get short before the objective has been achieved. Are the correct people at the meeting?

Knowing when and how to communicate is important for everyone in a business. Poor communication can lead to misunderstanding, additional costs, and slipping deadlines.

Define roles

Many businesses fall into the trap of letting the roles of employees become blurred. Asking employees to take on additional tasks outside of their job remit can cause them to lose focus on their main job. This can cause many issues, including lack of productivity, reduced job satisfaction, and even poor performance. For example, if you hire someone to work in sales, but they are good with computers, you might end up asking them to handle a few small IT projects or become the go-to person for any IT problems from their colleagues. Soon, they feel pressured to perform their sales role and might resent being asked to pick up the extra responsibility. Either hire a new resource or outsource the role to an IT company or you risk losing good employees.

Know the difference between asking employees to step up and take a little extra responsibility and stopping them from doing their jobs.

Outsourcing

Running a business requires so many different skills, it can seem overwhelming to try and get everything done. Trying to take on everything can take a lot of time and energy that takes you away from your core business activities.

Look at areas you can outsource to increase productivity and efficiencies. Common areas to outsource include accounting and payroll, social media, marketing, IT and legal.

Outsourcing is a great option if you need professional help quickly. It is cheaper than hiring and you can often get better-qualified help without the commitment, salary and training costs. You can flex the amount of work you outsource as the needs of the business change too.

Remove Unnecessary Travel

The COVID pandemic has caused companies to re-think how they see business travel. While some travel is necessary, utilizing other channels of communication such as video conferencing can be just as effective. Spending too much time traveling unnecessarily can cause decreased productivity and is financially inefficient too.

Of course, the type of industry you work in will have a bearing on the amount of travel you will need to undertake. Reducing your travel is a way to reduce your environmental footprint as a company. Fewer flights and car journeys reduce emissions and can be a feature of your CSR policy.

Use Task Management Software

Email is great but it’s not fit for purpose when it comes to collaborative working. Task management is great for teams and can be the difference between a project succeeding or failing. Having a central platform to coordinate tasks saves time and money.

Don’t Rely On Multitasking

Modern life seems to be all about multitasking and technology is rushing to help us do just that. But multitasking isn’t the holy grail it’s purported to be. However, spreading out attention too thinly can have a detrimental effect on our work, health, and overall productivity.

Focus instead on concentrating on a task until it is complete until moving on to the next. It might be a totally alien way of working somehow, but it is a very effective way of completing tasks rather than having multiple tasks at various stages of completion.

Review Your Prosesses Regularly

You can’t rest on your laurels when it comes to running a productive company. What works for you today might not be suitable for your needs tomorrow. Regularly review your internal processes to see where there are any areas that could be improved further. You could choose to look at your marketing automation, employee productivity, or supplier management. When you’ve developed a process, create a schedule that will let you review it after a certain amount of time. You should aim to do this annually for most systems.

Conclusion

A well-run business needs a high level of efficiency built into it in order to operate at the highest levels. Efficiencies can have a huge impact on productivity and profitability at the highest levels.

There are many technologies out there to enable you to achieve this. It is just a question of identifying the right areas within your business and using the most relevant technologies to do the job.

There’s no magic bullet to efficiency, and you will need to tackle a number of different areas, including the logistical, practical, and technological. The benefits are well worth it though.

Contact ABusiness Tech today to talk about taking the first steps to making your business more efficient and profitable.

Adam Hansen