Running any business requires hard work, it can be difficult to manage, especially if it has undergone a rapid growth phase. You can begin to feel that you are merely treading water rather than progressing and growing your business as you would like. Here are some ideas on how you can streamline your business:
Technology and software review
You should review the technology and software that your business uses. The technological world that we live in is fast-paced and innovation led. Time-consuming tasks, such as billing and debt recovery, that need to be carried out on a regular basis can be automated, even if they currently use multiple systems to perform them. Direct debits or payment reminder emails can be automated to save you time and money.
The technology that your business uses can seriously impact the ability of your employees to carry out their role. Replacing outdated or ineffective hardware can increase productivity, but you should also address the software that is used too. For example, updating to the latest PCB design software solution helps to streamline circuit board design workflow and removes the need for different tools. Your software choice should create an intuitive experience for your employees, and not hamper their efficiency.
Other software that can help you to streamline your business include:
• Online scheduling
• Time tracking software
• Expenses tracking software
• Video conferencing software
Bottlenecks occur when something that blocks the flow of work. Businesses evolve, and what may have been an adequate process or procedure previously, may not have withstood the test of time.
Typically, bottlenecks occur when there is a lack of access to key resources: materials, data, equipment or software deficiencies or a lack of training of employees. The problem is, how do you identify where the bottlenecks are?
Your employees are best placed to tell you how their roles could be improved. It could be as simple as moving the printer nearer the administrator so that they don’t have to keep getting up from their desk to collect documents, or the solution could be more complex, changing suppliers or introducing a training schedule for staff.
It can feel counterintuitive to spend money on outsourcing tasks to external companies when you have some capacity to complete them in-house; however, there are many benefits that outsourcing can provide your business.
• Deadline driven to meet your needs
• Professionals who specialise in the process or service will complete the task quickly and to a guaranteed high standard
• Costs are controlled
• Gives you access to skills and facilities that you may not have
• You can concentrate on the core activities of your business
Streamlining the processes and procedures of your organisation is necessary, especially in a small business as you don’t have the same resources available to you as the larger organisations. To remain competitive, you need to seek out ways to improve productivity and efficiency, which means that you can boost the profits that your business makes and provide a quality service for your clients.