Small businesses are often challenged by the dual issues of cost effectiveness and efficiency.
On the one hand, it’s important to keep budgets in check. Many businesses – particularly small organisations – need to watch every penny and operate under very strict guidelines when it comes to spending money.
But at the same time, there are some very worthwhile investments that can help you operate a more cost-effective business overall by making processes and procedures more accomplished. Read on for some smart improvements that can improve efficiency – and your bottom line.
A time-sensitive business environment
Making processes more efficient can speed up everyone’s workday and improve productivity.
The best place to start is to observe and identify where time is being lost or managed poorly – this can help you come up with creative solutions to combat these problems.
If your workplace environment involves frequent collaboration on documents, for example, it might make sense to invest in a cloud computing solution so that everyone can access and make changes to documents from one central place.
You can encourage employees to communicate more effectively by creating online forums to help them troubleshoot common problems or work together on projects. Instant messaging and a company intranet can also be effective ways of communicating and sharing important information.
Cutting down on travel time
Time spent travelling can be expensive in the long-term. If your employees frequently need to travel for meetings, conference calls can be an effective solution that is well worth considering.
Buzz Conferencing can help you evaluate which options might work best with your organisation. There’s a conference call solution for businesses of all sizes, including options for both national and international audio conferencing.
This streamlined way of communicating can help your employees and your clients maximise their time – and can even allow them to work from remote or out-of-office locations.
Encouraging flexible working practices
Travelling to and from meetings isn’t the only way in which time and productivity can be lost – some employers have found that their staff are far more productive and efficient when they are able to work flexibly.
This could mean working to staggered start and end times, or it could even mean permitting your employees to work offsite at home or another location.
Flexible working not only encourages a stronger work-life balance – and therefore happier employees – but can also help you cut down on specific and tangible business costs, including the size of your office, the equipment you provide for in-house staff and even expenses like utilities.
Don’t stop innovating
It can be very tempting to create specific processes and policies for your workplace and then leave them – but small, growing businesses may find that small and constant improvements can help them continue to work at maximum efficiency.
It might be a good idea to create a way for employees to share ideas about what is and isn’t working when it comes to efficiency in the workplace – from suggestion boxes to discussion boards, promoting this kind of collaboration can help you make further improvements.
Encouraging everyone to work together on solutions to common problems and pitfalls can also foster a greater sense of teamwork, as they give everyone a shared goal.