It’s difficult to run and manage a business these days, there’s a lot for organizations to keep track of, whether it’s monitoring cash flow, optimizing sales channels, or evaluating internal processes and procedures. With so many plates to keep your eyes on and to keep them spinning all at the same time takes some doing! It’s no wonder that there isn’t much time left to consider how to make your business more efficient. The great thing is, it doesn’t have to stay that way, if you don’t want it to;
Give your processes and procedures the ‘once over’
A good place to start would be to; concentrate your evaluation on internal components of your company, such as current staff productivity levels or giving your company’s website a sense check. It’s important to make sure that it’s easy for consumers to browse and that its functionality is what you would expect as a customer, go on a journey through the eyes of your customers.
Your business should be assessed regularly anyhow, if it’s not, then that’s one more thing to get stuck into straight away. There will be areas of your business that could run in a more efficient way, you may not know what those areas are although there is no doubt that your employees will, a quick whip round should give you some valuable feedback to work with.
Once you’ve gotten a better idea of what it is you need to work on, you’ll want to think about solutions and how either yourself or your team can help with suggestions or implementation of some new ways of doing things, you could be surprised at where some of the best ideas come from. The areas that are highlighted will likely be practical things like your lack of managed IT services, which are essential for a smooth-running business. Website design and usability or maybe the staff need to be better trained in particular areas, all of which can be done.
How good are your communication systems?
Probably one of the biggest and most important areas of business development or, in some cases, underdevelopment. Not only is it important to assess your current communication systems between your company and customers, but, perhaps even more importantly, how are people communicating within your business?
It would be impossible to have a superb level of customer satisfaction if communication with your business is lacking, that could be anything from interdepartmental issues or even issues within departments themselves. There was probably at least one surprise when you did that ‘whip round’ to get some ideas of where things could be improved, how come you weren’t aware already, why didn’t somebody do the same thing? Those kinds of self-assessment checks are precisely where you’ll find the most valuable information.
Conferences and meetings
Many people have experienced the ‘meeting’ scenario whereby, certainly to the employees, it might seem a little unnecessary and, in some cases, a complete waste of time. It isn’t unknown for managers or team leaders to call unnecessary meetings just because they can which, wastes time and money that could be better off spent elsewhere. You’ll want to do some observation exercises or enquire with your potentially ‘best source’ of information, one of your staff.
Actually, making an effort
This might come across as a bit far fetched, however, it happens in pretty much every office across the globe, people who sit within the same building, or even within the same team will message each other instead of actually standing up, walking over to the person and having a discussion about whatever it is. Of course, email trails are really important so they could summarise what was discussed as a follow up, but people have become too lazy and antisocial where tech is involved.
On paper, the use of tech does make things quicker and more efficient, however, it also provides people with a way of not communicating with others face to face, it affects relationships which ultimately affects productivity, there’s a trend here; lost time = lost money.
Welcome feedback and be prepared for what you might hear
In addition to your initial self-assessment, it’s important to conduct regular feedback checks, perhaps once a month or so. Not too close together that you aren’t able to implement any changes and not too far apart that you end up with a list as long as your arm to deal with also, be ready for what you might hear. What if the staff are unhappy with something that you have put into place or a subject that touches a nerve or two.
How you receive the feedback and what you do about it is perhaps even more important than asking the questions in the first place, stay open minded and remember that the process is all part of making things run more efficiently.