Efficiency is crucial to small business success.
However, small businesses typically don’t have the tools, resources and economies of scale that bigger businesses have to make this possible.
But this doesn’t mean you should abandon the aim of efficiency. Instead you simply need to work a bit more creatively to create an efficient environment for your employees and incorporate it in everything you do.
To help you figure out how to become efficient on a budget, here are our top tips.
Make systems work for you
With some thought and knowledge it is possible to identify the bottlenecks in your business and work to make them more efficient.
The ideal place to start is to look at your frequent and regular tasks. Then look at what systems and technology are available to make them considerably more efficient.
For example, cloud accounting such as Pandle will be considerably more efficient than a spreadsheet based system of accounts, as it is simple and easy to use – meaning you won’t waste time trying to figure out how to use it.
Watch the clock
One thing you tend not to do as a small business owner or manager is watch the clock – other than to despair that there aren’t enough minutes in an hour, let alone a day.
However, there’s real sense in watching the clock for a few days and writing down where you actually spend your time. The purpose of doing this is that you’ll soon identify the tasks (and interactions) which are a drain on your efficiency.
You’ll cultivate a clear picture of where the distractions are coming from, meaning you can then you can work out what to do about them.
For example, are you distracted responding to social media posts? If so, switch off notifications and set aside defined periods of the day which are solely for that task alone.
Shut down the noise and stop multi-tasking
This brings us on to the next point.
You need to become a discriminate listener to the demands on your time. There are actually very few true emergencies that demand your undivided attention – everything else can wait its turn. There’s no need to turn your immediate attention to any issue that pops up, as this only makes your day become a juggling act of tasks.
The reality is that multi-tasking rarely saves time. In fact, multi-tasking can cause everything to be done more laboriously, with more room for error. Worryingly, multi-tasking can cost you as much as 40% of your productivity.
So, leave your phone on your desk or in your pocket with the notifications switched off. Be clear and structured on which task gets your attention when. This way you can stay focused and be more productive.
Model what you’re doing and spread the word
If you’re the business’s leader then you should model exactly what you want those working for you to emulate. Therefore, if you know and understand that productivity is boosted through the efficiency methods above, communicate that to those who work with you.
By all working as part of the same efficient system using the same approaches, your business will become more efficient overall. What’s more, you’ll have a culture of efficiency rather than one where everyone seems busy yet not that much actually gets done.
By communicating the above approach, everyone should also stop being a distraction to others, which also serves as a hindrance to efficiency.
Be efficient, not just busy. Make every minute of your time count towards the success of your business.