Going small is a risky business. If you’re an owner of a small business, you know that your operations cannot tolerate major mistakes. Margins are much smaller, and so waste is all the more harmful should you let it accumulate.
Streamlining is therefore an essential strategy for any small business. How can you maintain the leanness of your company? In this article, we’ll go over ways through which you can increase your small business efficiency.
Lay down rules for device useThe increased ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has likewise increased the opportunities for your employees to get distracted. This is particularly true of small businesses, which likely have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Your employees will likely bring in their own laptops and mobile devices.In business, time is money. If you find that your employees are playing games on their tablets more often than they are doing their jobs, you will need to establish rules and regulations. What are the guidelines on mobile usage at work? You may have to limit their phone time to their breaks, or, if the situation calls for it, invest in inexpensive work phones. BlackBerry handsets, despite the parent company’s recent troubles, remain tailor-made for enterprise users.
Streamline your company's address bookKeeping your address book up-to-date, be it an actual or virtual one, is important to running a business. When you fail to receive a reply from a client or a contact, you’ll want to remove the uncertainty that comes from not knowing if they received your mail. If you spend the time, effort, and money in a correspondence campaign, you’d rather know that your messages are being sent.With considerable amounts of data being stored in the cloud, online databases are available for people who take advantage of the service. You can create your company directory, and keep it referenced against these cloud databases so that your directories never become inaccurate. You’ll be surprised at how many more people will respond when they actually get your newsletters.
Use social media in moderationDespite the meteoric popularity of social media—and its proven power to drive campaigns for startups and other small businesses—you’ll need to keep it restrained so that it becomes as effective as possible. You’ll need to conduct studies to determine who your target audience in, and launch your campaigns in those niches.If you go into social media with guns blazing, you’ll waste company time putting up promotions and information in places where it likely won’t be seen and read. Apart from demographic studies, use analytics tools to see if your social media blitz is successful, or if you need to set your sights elsewhere. Furthermore, use social media management tools to cross-post between platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which lessens the time spent on social media.
Upgrade your tech infrastructureWe’ve mentioned the cloud earlier in this article, but its importance in modern business operations cannot be emphasized enough. By utilizing the conveniences and redundancies that online-based services offer, you’ll minimize the chances that any company work is lost forever.Using a service such as Dropbox will keep data on your computers safely backed up in the cloud. Taking advantage of the collaborative word processing—and accounting—of something like Google Drive will let you conduct brainstorming sessions despite being in separate locations. Plus, many cloud services are free, which will work wonders for your bottom line.
The key takeawayThe most important point to consider when promoting efficiency in your workplace is that the changes you make should be as minimally intrusive as possible. If you’ll start to use the cloud, ease your employees into it, giving them plenty of time to adapt.
In addition, there’s always a way to make your business leaner. Examine every aspect of your workflow closely, and identify all speedbumps in your process. See what works, see what doesn’t, and continually adapt.