The New Year is the perfect time for organisations to reassess their operations, and to implement new and more efficient processes.
If done correctly, this will lead to better productivity and greater profits, as well as more satisfied customers and better employee morale.
Of course, improving business efficiency is not ‘rocket science’.
With this in mind, here are seven ‘killer’ tips to help keep your business ahead of the pack:
1. Streamline processes and improve workflow
By standardising and streamlining all business processes, the organisation not only becomes more efficient, but also more cost-effective. Indeed, implementing standardised processes that are constantly improved over time is a proven way to improve efficiency and prevent half-finished tasks. Of course, there are a host of modern workflow software solutions specifically designed to help streamline business processes. Sometimes referred to as workflow or BPM (Business Process Management) software, they vary in terms of features and capabilities. Most, however, are designed to make it easier to centrally collect data, automate steps in a business workflow, and generate better visibility with graphs, charts and reports.
2. Use contract management software
For most businesses, finding new clients and servicing existing ones is the basis of their income revenue stream. Using advanced business techniques such as contract management software is an excellent way to streamline this process, and make it more efficient. Not only does this software use less ‘man-hours’, but it also increases your chance of landing new clients, as you use more professional looking contracts based on tried and proven templates.
3. Optimise productivity with a business plan
Once you have established a strong client base, the next step is to create a long-term business plan that optimises productivity across the board and sets out some clear, step-by-step objectives. Any great business plan should also include a strategic and aggressive marketing plan. This typically would include ways to achieve marketing objectives, such as: how to introduce new products, implement a content marketing strategy, or enhance product delivery.
4. Focus on employee training and skills
For optimum efficiency, employees need regular job training – and not just new employees. Indeed, without updates on crucial parts of their job description, as well as ongoing staff development, employees can easily fall behind: costing the company money and reducing productivity. Also, when staff feel they are appreciated and valued, they perform better. Professional training and development is a great way to improve employee motivation and productivity, as well as increasing job satisfaction and reducing staff turnover.
5. Give and receive feedback
A business is only as good as its staff and their interaction. Therefore, open and honest communicationat work is crucial for healthy relationships and a healthy organisation. Although a company can survive without open communication – there are very few organisations that can thrive without it. Thus, giving and receiving feedback is essential to both improve output, and increase business efficiency.
6. Watch the workload
Simplifying and streamlining your employees’ workload is key to their productivity and morale. Of course, a ‘burnt-out’ and exhausted employee who is overloaded with work will not be nearly as productive as one with a manageable workload. Pushing your employees to the limit can only work for so long. Thus, employers should always aim for a sustainable output, rather than constantly pressuring their employees to produce more.
7. Prepare for adjustments
It is of course, essential to constantly review and monitor each new or updated business process as it is rolled out. Also, because the new procedures may take time to implement, it is important to be patient. There may even be some initial staff resistance, but this is perfectly normal. The same goes for business plans, which should be updated and adjusted regularly.