TIPS FOR BUSINESS EFFICIENCY
Even for successful businesses, in the back of your mind, you’re always thinking of ways to improve your business.
How can you gain more clients? Has your productivity dropped off? How can you improve customer relations? Are you in-line with your financial projections? Where can you improve your procedures?
No matter what problems there are, it’s important to remember that no business is perfect, there will always be issues that arise for one reason or another. It’s part and parcel of being a business owner. But it’s how you deal with them that counts and there are methods you can use to assist with any potential problems.
1. Improve Communication: It’s the old cliché, communication is key when dealing with staff, or clients and lack of it can cause you to lose current and potential clients. People want to know they’re important to you after all their business is valuable to you. Would you hire someone who didn’t care about communicating with you? Would you put your full effort in if your boss didn’t care?
Some things you can do to improve communication include:
• Encourage your employees to talk to you face-to-face rather than on messenger or email. While these can work for quick questions during the day, it doesn’t give value to the relationship you build with them. Employees, like anyone else, want to feel valued and appreciated. After all, they’re the face of your business. A happy employee will readily promote your business to clients if they feel valued and part of your business family. A weekly face-to-face meeting to recap their week and see how they are going is also a valuable experience for you to keep on top of what is happening in your team. Even if it is over a beer on a Friday afternoon, make it fun and relatable.
• Meeting with clients is something we all need to do from time to time but with both busy schedules, sometimes it can be difficult. If you find you don’t have time in your day, consider a video call. This will cut out unnecessary travel time and give you both the opportunity to discuss what is required face-to-face without it cutting into your other commitments. Of course, this can’t be done with all meetings, but small changes for the ones you can do this with will create more time for you.
2. Review Employee Productivity:
By evaluating the productivity of your workforce, you will gain a greater insight into what potential changes may be required to improve efficiency levels. This could be approached at your weekly face-to-face meetings with staff.
When completing evaluations, it’s important to let your employees discuss their views on how they think things could be improved. They’re often the ones completing the work and facing the issues so they can provide valuable insights. Maybe even a team discussion once a month to share any issues that came up and discuss how to improve or alleviate these issues altogether.
3. Gain feedback from clients: Receiving comments from customers is an excellent way to receive honest feedback about your business, your staff and the work being provided. It provides valuable insights on where your business can be improved and what your customers really think.
A great way to do this is to encourage customers to provide feedback through your website. A link could be added to your invoices, so it is easily accessible.
If you receive comments with low customer satisfaction, use this to find a better way to improve your business.
4. Outsource Tasks: Outsourcing tasks can be really beneficial to your business. For example, instead of spending your nights going through emails, doing up monthly reports, following up on late invoices, creating quote schedules for your employees or anything else that is bogging you down on a daily basis, outsource the work to a professional. Someone who has experience working with small businesses understands your tradie employees and has customer service skills.
After all, don’t you want your business to be running at its premium level?