Tips for a Small Business Owner to Increase Efficiency
An efficient business owner is likely to automatically incorporate an efficiency culture in the team working with him or her. On the other hand, small businesses are often packed with efficiency issues simply because one person is relied on to make the majority of the decisions. To be a successful and efficiently running business it is important to make the most of what you have. Unfortunately, many small business owners under or overestimate their resources.
Small business owners all tend to face the same challenge: getting projects done within budget and on time. A lot of the time small business owners and employees become swamped with many deadlines quickly approaching; instead of creating high-quality work, they are left with only enough time to get the job done.
It is important for small business owners on a monthly or quarterly basis to do the following:
- Define a List of Priorities
- Identify Any Challenges
- Clearly Understand Available Resources and Any Limitations to be Efficient
This should help avoid employees becoming swamped and increase the quality of the work produced.
At the end of the day, it is most important the small business owner be efficient him or herself. Here are 8 efficiency increasing tips for any small business owner:
Find Strengths & Improve Them Further
The Pareto Principle states 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your services/products. Identify what makes up that 20% and work on strengthening them even further.
Focus on the Main Job at Hand
Many new business owners feel the need to grasp on to every single opportunity that comes their way. This often causes them to get off track on projects at hand or waste their time chasing down opportunities leading nowhere. This spreads you too thin and limits your productivity and efficiency; it can sometimes cause serious harm to the business as a whole. Make sure you know your limitations and take up only enough projects to keep your employees and other resources occupied. Deliver these projects to the highest of standards and only then start to move on to other things.
Work as a Team & Keep Everyone in the Loop
Effectively working as a team is key to being efficient. If you and your team lack regular communication then all the processes and strategies were put in place for nothing. Make sure all your employees are well aware of any strategies and processes you are trying to implement & the reason behind them. If clients are involved it is even more important to ensure everyone on your team has the same vision on what needs to be achieved. Implement tools to increase easy communication between everyone.
Know When to Say No
Small business owners are always being pulled in a ton of different directions and getting questions from peers, friends, and even clients wanting to learn from them. Sometimes employees could be getting information from their colleagues, instead of you. Always be sure to consider whether or not what you’re doing is a good use of your time.
If not respectfully decline. Make sure you set some boundaries with employees and clients so everyone will learn when to ask or when to ask someone else/handle it on their own.
Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines
Setting deadlines are so important; set a timeframe for your projects to make sure you are productive and efficient. Emails and phone calls often distract from tasks at hand, make sure the allotted time for projects is done with no distractions.
Most small business owners get an unbearable amount of emails per day, what can help is setting aside a dedicated time each day for checking emails and responding. This will eliminate emails from becoming a distraction and still allow you to respond in a timely manner.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Rank all the tasks you need to do in a day by importance. This way you can prioritize what should be done when you are most productive. If you tend to take an hour or two to get into the groove of things, maybe take the morning to respond to emails, then leave the afternoon to do more important and difficult tasks.
Don’t Forget About Downtime
So many business owners over work themselves, don’t forget to take breaks. Going at the same task for hours and hours is bound to make anyone tired and can lead to making silly mistakes. Take a break, go out for a walk, or grab a coffee; this way you will stay energized and sharp for the entire day.
Keep Your Amazing Team Happy!
A happy team is a motivated one. As their leader it is your responsibility to make sure everyone on your team is happy. Don’t forget to have a smart balance between work and play inside the workplace. Happy employees are much less likely to complain about being poorly managed or overworked. If the workplace environment feels more like a home environment it will work in the businesses favor.