Optimizing your startup should be a priority. You see, by making your business more efficient you essentially stretch every penny, utilize every skill and give every employee a purpose. It’s not difficult to optimize a business, but it does take a wake up call for someone to realize that something in their business isn’t working as intended.
It’s easy to forget something in your business, such as neglecting to update a software package that could save you money in the long run due to new features. Similarly, while personnel issues are tough, especially in the startup world, leaving a disruptive employee in your workforce can taint the well, crippling your business in the future.
Removing Inefficient Systems
Inefficiency is the killer of all productivity in a business. One of the biggest inefficiencies that most business encounter is when a monotonous and repetitive task isn’t replaced with an automated system. Let’s take basic calculations as an example. If you have a novice accountant who is manually counting up payments and distributing salaries with nothing but a calculator, pencil and notebook, then you owe it to them to at least have a computer. But you can take it a step further and make your accounting even more efficient.
By investing in accounting software, it’s possible to completely eliminate errors in calculations and streamline the entire bookkeeping process with ease. As shown in this list of features at www.dataserv.com/solutions/ap-automation/features/3-way-match, accounting software can make your business run more efficiently by automating and speeding up typical tasks that your staff perform. Improving workflow by eliminating bottlenecks, even if it means firing an employee, can be the most effective way of improving your business’s efficiency.
Promote Flexibility Among Your Team
Employees are the most expensive investment you’ll make for your company. You have to pay them salaries, train them, focus on their comfort and productivity at work, and you might end up training them to teach them new skills. It’s for this reason that hiring an employee needs to be taken seriously and there’s one trait that every successful candidate needs before you hire them: the will to learn and be flexible. An employee that refuses to learn new skills will become useless when their job is eventually made redundant due to automation and computer systems.
For instance, if you have two employees answering customer support emails, then one of them will eventually have to be replaced if email support phases out in favor of instant messaging services or answering support via social media. They will need to be assigned a new role in the office, and if they aren’t willing to learn new skills or change, then they will need to be replaced. By teaching new skills to your employees, you ensure that their familiarity with your business isn’t wasted and that they continue to be productive members of staff for years to come.
Monitor Business Performance
It’s impossible to improve on something if you don’t first understand its flaws. One of the most effective ways of monitoring your business is to install specialised software or hire people with the aim of analysing your business. One of the most common things to monitor is the amount of profit you make on your business’s products. For instance, if you spend money on the raw materials and production costs of your company’s most popular product, then you need to monitor how many products are successfully created, their quality, the percentage of stock that is flawed and thus can’t be sold, and so on.
You could also monitor statistics such as employee productivity, customer retention and even advertisement relevancy. These are very important statistics that will speak volumes about how your business is operating and where you can improve. For example, if you notice that your production line is failing on a regular basis and it’s creating a lot of flawed products that need to be recycled, then it could be that your raw materials simply aren’t high enough quality or the factory you are outsourcing production to isn’t taking good care of your manufacturing process. Once you identify these problems, you can make a strategic decision on the best way to mange the situation.
Stay One Step Ahead
A business without a vision is a business that will slowly rot, fail and fade away. It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a tech company, an outsourcing business or even a farm--every single business needs to have a vision if you want to grow in the future. Stunting your growth by refusing to expand not only ruins your business, it also prevents your staff from learning new skills and advancing their careers which could potentially make them lose faith in your company.
If you want to stay ahead in your chosen industry, then you need to have a plan for the future and every single action you take in the present needs to pave the way for the future. For example, if you want to be a globally recognized company with a lot of international influence, then you better start hiring and starting new branches in popular countries with promising economic growth.
Waste Not, Want Not
Lastly, we should talk about waste in business. Waste can come in many shapes and sizes. The most obvious situation we encounter in the office is when we buy far too many supplies that our business can’t make use of. This is usually fine when the items aren’t perishable, but you’d be surprised at the number of companies that buy gallons of milk and other kitchen supplies that have to be thrown out. Buying excess office supplies, such as paper and stationery, also invites employees to help themselves to your stock. Eventually, your office will be devoid of the supplies you bought and you’ll be wondering how on earth you could burn through a box of 100 ballpoint pens between a dozen staff members in just a single week.
Waste also comes in the form of the services and hardware you use. For instance, if you take a look at this guide at http://fitsmallbusiness.com/office-computers/, you’ll realise that it doesn’t take much money to buy an office-capable computer. Many businesses waste money on expensive hardware that is made for video production and complex simulations but use those powerful machines for trivial tasks such as word processing. If you’re going to spend money on your business, make sure it’s not being wasted.
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