Productive businesses grow, produce profits, and run efficiently. Of course, you want your business to be as productive as possible. You need to draw in more customers, speed up workflows, and eliminate wasted resources.
As a business owner, it’s your job to increase productivity. There are things you can do to pull in the productivity slack. Here are five ways to increase productivity at your small business.
1. Stay Organized
How organized is your business?
Here’s a quick test. Look at your desk. How many papers are lying on your desk? Open your desk drawer or open a filing cabinet. What does it look like in there? On your computer, go to where you store most of your electronic files. How easy is it to find items?
Disorganization can cause you to lose time. You’ll waste time searching for items or recreating them if they are lost. Important information might not get passed among employees. Tasks might not be completed on time because workers don’t know where necessary tools are.
You need to organize every part of your business. This includes your desk, filing cabinets, computer files, inventory, accounting and payroll document, and tax records. Even though you know where something is today, will you know where it is tomorrow, next month, at the end of the year?
2. Delegate Tasks
Sometimes you have more work than you can possibly do. Or, an employee might be behind or have more work than usual. Ask your employees to help lighten the load. Delegate tasks to workers who have less work.
Tasks will get done faster when you delegate them. But, communication is key. If you want employees to do delegated tasks properly, you must clearly explain the tasks and what needs to be done.
Also, explain why you are giving the extra tasks to employees. Tell them how their work is important to meet a specific business goal. Explaining why they are doing the extra tasks might prevent disgruntled employees.
Be strategic when delegating tasks. Consider each employee’s skills and abilities when handing out work. You probably don’t want to hand your accounting books to a sales representative. However, you might give an employee a task to help them develop their skills.
3. Use Technology
Technology can make many business tasks faster, easier, and more efficient.
You can automate tasks with technology. You can have processes running in the background while you do other work. For example, you can automate email marketing, bill payments, computer backups, and social media posts.
Technology can help you reduce errors. For example, you might use payroll software to accurately calculate employee wages and employment taxes, which reduces the chances of calculation errors.
Technology can also make recordkeeping and taxes easier. Accounting software can make sure all your business finances are in order. You can use a specific technology to record business deductions. For example, you can use mileage tracking software to record the miles you can deduct from your taxes. By letting software record information for you, you have less to organize, and you make your business more productive when tax time comes.
4. Create Goals
Setting goals can make your business more productive. Goals give you and employees something to work toward. When you have goals, you can list out productive steps to stay on track and meet the goals.
You should regularly set business goals. When you complete goals, set new ones. And, adjust goals as your business evolves. Having up-to-date goals will ensure your business has high levels of productivity.
Your goals should be practical, measurable, and time-bound. For example, you might say you want to increase revenue by 10% during the fourth quarter. Or, you might say you want your employees to reach out to 30 potential clients this week.
There are benefits to having a business plan when goal setting. You should have created a business plan when you started your business, but it’s always good to update it. Your business plan should include details on company goals, marketing plans, products and services, financial projections, and other information about your business’s future path.
5. Set deadlines
Your business must complete tasks on time to keep customers happy and to meet legal requirements. Deadlines are important to productivity because they let people know when they need to do things. A lack of deadlines can cause disorganization and tardiness.
Deadlines are motivators. They can motivate you and your workers to complete tasks on time. And, workers might even work faster, finishing the tasks before the deadline. Even if there isn’t a real deadline for a task, you can create an arbitrary deadline.
Deadlines give workers a way to prioritize tasks. A list of deadlines tells them which tasks need to be finished first. They can weigh the deadlines with the complexity of each task to determine what to work on.
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- 5 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Small Business - April 24, 2018
MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.