With everything that needs to get done in a day, everyone seems to be looking for ways to become more efficient. From using lifehacks to setting goals, people use multiple methods to help them make the most of their time and get as much done as possible. Still, between work or school, social engagements, lessons and activities, chores, and other responsibilities, it seems like there’s rarely ever enough time.
Efficiency isn’t only an issue in our personal lives. It’s an issue that you deal with as a business owner as well. You have to try to maximize your own time and cut down on waste while doing everything you can to do the same for your company and the individuals that work in it. And your business’s efficiency goes far beyond energy efficiency—you’ve likely already upgraded all of your lightbulbs and make sure that lights are turned off in rooms that aren’t being used. Your business’s efficiency extends into areas beyond your equipment such as your employees’ interpersonal communication.
Even if you’re pressed for time, it is possible to help your business become more efficient, (hopefully saving you both time and money down the road). If you want to improve your business’s efficiency, here are some tips that can help.
Encourage Face-to-Face Communication
It may seem counterintuitive to encourage your employees to get up from their desks and walk around and talk to one another. While you don’t want to encourage them to engage in superficial conversation or conversation that isn’t work-related, face-to-face communication, (where possible), can be more efficient than sending emails or chats. Because any questions can be asked immediately when discussing face to face, and more clarification can be given, your employees may spend significantly less time discussing back and forth, figuring things out than if they were communicating via chat or email.
Automate Everything You Can
There are several ways to automate your business to help you boost efficiency. By taking repeatable processes, simplifying them, and automating them as much as possible, you can save yourself and your employees time, saving your business money. For example, programming spreadsheets or other programs to pull data automatically instead of having someone enter it manually can make a huge difference.
Invest in Up-to-Date Equipment
As technology develops and changes, older equipment becomes obsolete or runs less efficiently. Whether it be your computers, copiers, security system, data management and storage devices, or anything else, keeping them up to date can make a big difference. Updated equipment is more compatible with other devices and services available today, plus it runs more quickly and smoothly, saving you time and money.
Go Straight to the Source, (Your Customers)
When it comes to running a business, you have to constantly analyze, make changes, and adapt to the needs of the market. Instead of spending time debating about and guessing what you think your target market needs, though, why not go to them directly? Approximately one-third of social media users prefer social media to other customer service options, 67 percent of consumers use social media networks to get resolutions to issues, and consumers are proven to spend between 20 and 40 percent more with companies that engage with them on social media.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great platforms that you can use to ask for or accept feedback from customers and potential customers. That feedback can then be used to help you make decisions about your business going forward, taking away the guesswork and helping you operate more efficiently.
While having too many ideas can cause issues, setting goals can help you achieve those ideas and keep things moving forward. Without goals, your business won’t have a direction or anywhere to go and will be operating less efficiently than it would if you were to set both short- and long-term goals for your company to achieve. It’s always important to set achievable goals to work towards to keep things operating and moving forward.
Bring Your Processes and Procedures Up to Date
Outdated processes and procedures can be a big point of inefficiency, like outdated tech and equipment. For example, if you’re still paying and accepting payment via paper checks, you’re spending too much time and money on the process. Not only do you have to cut the checks, but you also have to address and mail them, wait for the mail to deliver them, and wait for them to be cashed. By updating your processes to use tools like eChecks so the checks can be sent out via email and arrive almost instantly without costing you time or the expense of ink and paper and postage, you’ll be able to improve your business’s efficiency.
There’s so much that needs to get done when it comes to running and operating a business that it can be hard to remember to take a breather, take time away from work, and relax and maintain balance. Balance is important, though, if you want your business to run efficiently. By taking the necessary time to go on vacation or relax at night and encouraging your employees to do the same, you can be better rested and refreshed, helping you and your employees work more productively the next day.
Efficiency is key when it comes to running a business, but there are things you might be doing that can make your business less efficient. In what area do you think your business could use the most efficiency improvement?