AMB Performance Group Blog
5 Easy Ways to Streamline Your Business
If you’re a small business owner, you know one thing – every minute of the day counts. Running a small business can be tough, especially if you’re going through a growth cycle that’s leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
You may not feel like your company is as efficient as it once was. Maybe the rules that once worked so well are breaking down. Perhaps orders aren’t being filled as quickly as they once were or customers are feeling overlooked.
No matter what the problems, they can leave nearly everyone on your team feeling frustrated. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to streamline your business and create the efficiency that once came so easily to you.
- Stop Using Paper: No one actually likes paper, and in today’s digital world, there’s simply no real use for it. In fact, it may even be detrimental to your company and your productivity. Even with the best filing system, eventually, you’re going to find clutter and problematic filing issues. Instead, create a company-wide ban on paper. Unless it’s an absolute must, have your employees stop using the copier and printer. Instead, make use of online technologies that allow you to store and track your data from absolutely anywhere. You’ll save time, space, and money.
- Outsource What You Can: There was a time that outsourcing various company tasks was a concern. Now, for many small businesses, it’s a way of life until you can create dedicated roles in-house for these tasks. In some situations, it’s going to be absolutely key. You can outsource your digital marketing strategy, your HR needs, your accounting, even your logistics. You’re going to realize real cost savings when you outsource, but more than that, you’re going to be able to focus on your business’s core mission and goals without sacrificing service and quality.
- Systems & Automation: If your business has many people doing the same repetitive time-consuming tasks, it can decrease efficiency. There are lots of business processes that are absolutely necessary to your company, but that can also be automated to free up a bit of time and effort. For example, think about the onboarding process. Every time you make a new hire, you probably go through the same process. There’s paperwork to complete, training milestones to hit in the first few weeks, IT onboarding to taking care of, and other tasks. All of that could be completely automated, though. The moment they sign their contract, a welcome e-mail could go out that triggers your IT department to set up the new user account. That email could also guide them to the workflow software that has an integrated roadmap with the various tasks they must complete within the first two weeks to finish the onboarding process. Onboarding, though, is far from the only process that could be automated. Instead, you could also automate things like invoice processing, purchasing requests, or even account reconciliation. Automation allows machines to take over the things that are necessary, but still dragging your business down, and that could save lots of time so you (and your team) can focus on your company.
- Continually Address Technology Needs: To increase efficiency all businesses- small or large- should continually integrate new technology into the workplace. To achieve this, you must dedicate a yearly budget to technology needs (Yes, even small businesses need to do this). Things are changing fast. Twenty years ago, no one could predict we’d all be carrying small supercomputers in our pockets and purses, yet here we are. There are so many things you can do with the latest technology, and you should address that routinely. Whether it means moving to video conferencing to save travel time, adopting project management software, or upgrading proprietary software to better meet the needs of your business and your clients, invest in the technology. Replace your outdated hardware on a regular basis, and train your employees regularly with regard to new systems. Streamlining services means integrating the right technology at the right time to make it happen.
- Stop Lost Time: Wasted time really adds up, but it doesn’t have to. Instead, consider streamlining your business with automated time tracking so you know how you can optimize everyone’s time. Perhaps the sales proposal process is a real issue for your sales team. With automated time tracking, you’ll quickly be able to take a closer look at that inefficiency and optimize it so your team can move forward faster. What’s more, though, is that if you bill by the hour, you can download complete, exact reports for clients so you’re offering them accurate, transparent information, and they know exactly what was done with regard to their account.
Streamlining your business isn’t a one-and-done proposition. Instead, you’ll need to continually audit to keep an eye on any possible problems that are coming to the surface as well as any changes you’ve made to ensure they’re a worthwhile addition to your company.
If you’re looking for a fast way to streamline your business and create a strategic, actionable plan for financial growth tailored to meet the needs of your company, contact AMB Performance Group today.