If you're like many small business owners, you may be inclined to take on too much responsibility and make things more complicated than they should be. As a result, valuable time is wasted and you're less productive. Confident small business people realize the key to being successful is found in using their time wisely. Here are five ways you can streamline business operations in 2018 in order to save serious time, make more money and meet more of your goals.
Take an Inventory
Unfortunately, too many small businesses don't take the time to clearly define or document their work processes. It's essential you make a list of each individual work process, defining its chief purpose, listing the steps, and naming the employees who are engaged in the processes.
Try to be as comprehensive as possible. Write down even the simplest tasks, which may even include ordering sandwiches for a group of workers as even this job still requires effort and time when it's done regularly. Just about any job is considered a process if it's performed on a regular basis. It will be much easier to find ways to streamline your processes when you have them in writing.
Are you still using the old pen and paper method? If so, consider the benefits of going digital. In other words, replace pen and paper with computer programs or software. Besides being environmentally friendly by saving a few trees that would otherwise be cut down, you can also save time. Just think about not having to waste precious time searching for files that can easily become misplaced and disorganized in file cabinets.
Why not invest in an online storage system, like Dropbox, rather than using paper? Keep in mind how digital data stored in a cloud is so much easier to find from multiple devices. Furthermore, it's considerably safer as it can't be physically destroyed from weather events, such as floods or fires.
Reduce Staff Meetings
Cut back on the number of staff meetings you hold. Ask yourself if a staff meeting is really necessary every week when you could easily send updates in emails. Make the meetings you do have really count by reducing the small talk and filler. When you don't have as many staff meetings, you'll have more time to work and focus on revenue growth. What's more, your employees will appreciate the fact they have more time to do their job.
Do Some Outsourcing
You may think it's best to control every operation of your business, but sometimes, it makes more sense to outsource jobs, wherever possible. This means using exceptional and dependable professionals to do anything from basic errands and entering data to monotonous administration jobs.
Hire a PEO
One way to outsource HR (Human Resources) is by using a PEO (Professional Employer Organization). In fact, more and more businesses are discovering the advantages of using a PEO for streamlining their operations. When you hire a PEO to handle HR functions, such as payroll, administering benefits and other jobs, you have more time for your business. Often, business owners devote more than half their time doing the jobs that PEOs can do. In addition to handling payroll and benefits administration, several other valuable services are provided by PEOs .
- Take advantage of social media, especially if your particular business involves engaging potential clients online. Look for affordable tools that can check how clients are reacting and relating to one another, regarding your products or services.
- Breaking down processes into separate steps can also help simplify your business. Consider the beginning, the middle and the desired result or ending of a process.
- Limit the time spent making and returning personal calls. Also, create other boundaries, such as setting a specific time for lunch.
- Do your taxes electronically.
- Create a schedule for your employees by using scheduling software and be sure everyone sticks to their schedules.
- Pay bills now, instead of later. For example, rather than paying a monthly bill, you could save time, besides money in stamps, by paying for six months of service. Another benefit is that you won't have to worry about incurring any late fees.
- Learn when to say "no."
Are you feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to do for your business? If so, contact us for a free consultation and discover how you can invest more hours in your business by partnering with a highly reputable and qualified PEO, such as Harbor America.