Keeping your business running efficiently is crucial if you hope to be successful in the grand scheme of things. A lack of efficiency directly translates into time wasted for both you and your employees. Wasted time means wasted money when all is said and done.
Because you don’t have the resources of a large company to fall back on when things don’t work out as you intended, it is essential to implement the most efficient processes for your small business as you possibly can from the start.
Here are a few steps to help you along on your road to increased efficiency for your small business.
Identify the Problem Areas
When you are wondering why your business isn’t running efficiently, you need to understand that efficiency is not simply an overarching concept. If there is a waste at your company, then it is happening in specific areas. The first thing that you need to do, then, is identifying where and what those areas are.
For instance, if you know that one area that needs improvement in terms of efficiency is how you fulfill and ship orders, you need to have a more detailed look at the process. How are orders being packaged? What mail carrier are you using? How long does the overall process take on average? When you answer these questions, you might find that you need to entirely rethink your shipping process.
The solution to a problem might be as simple as switching over to a faster mail carrier. You might consider making a change to a dropshipping service that will handle the entire process for you from packaging to shipping. Whatever the solution may be, you can’t figure it out without first identifying exactly what needs to change.
Communication and efficiency almost go hand in hand. When you have a breakdown in your communication processes, then you will see time wasted consistently as your employees attempt to catch up on missed or misunderstood communications. This concept applies to both your internal and external communications.
When you are looking at how communication is conducted within your company, do you see an array of confusing email threads and messages being sent on various platforms? If so, it is time to standardize your communication processes to eliminate the waste that inevitably accompanies such sloppy practices. Invest in internal communication software that has email and messaging capabilities. Keeping your communications in one place makes information easier to find, thus eliminating follow-up emails and messages asking for clarifications or for information to be resent entirely.
How your external communications are conducted is just as important to keep an eye on. How long does it take for a member of your team to respond to an inquiry or complaint from a customer? If it is taking longer than it should, you need to find a way to make that process more efficient too, having FAQs for customers to browse always offers a starting point.