Business

Solving The Efficiency Equation: How Your Business Could Achieve More For Less

Every business owner should strive to oversee an efficient operation. Efficiency is all about achieving your potential, making the most of your time and resources and saving money without compromising the quality of the product or service you sell. If your company could do better in the efficiency stakes, it’s time to up your game. Here are some effective ways you could achieve more for less.

Identifying stumbling blocks

Before you try and think about new ways to improve your business, it’s worth looking at stumbling blocks that could be holding you back. Have a look at the books, sales reports and projected figures, use analytics to learn more about your marketing campaign and analyze feedback from customers and employees. By doing this, you can pinpoint areas for improvement and start working on addressing obstacles and shortfalls. If you’ve got recurring issues, and you can’t seem to find a way out, it’s wise to consider seeking expert help. If you’ve spent a lot of time and money revamping a marketing campaign, for example, but it’s still not attracting attention, getting a marketing agency on board may be beneficial. You may be increasing costs in the short-term by doing this, but the long-term gains should be worth your while.  

Controlling your finances

Running a business efficiently means keeping a close eye on your finances. There’s no point in driving sales and bringing in a host of new customers if you’re bleeding profits at the same time. Whether you’re a brand new business or you’ve been established for years, it’s essential to maintain control of your finances. This doesn’t just mean recording every payment you receive and making sure you pay bills. It also means using your money wisely. Carrying out audits once or twice a year can help you identify areas where you could reduce spending, and seeking expert advice could help you save money on tax. If you’re doing a tax return for your business, for example, and you don’t fully understand the expenses you can claim, you may end up paying more tax than you should. Experts like those from Brown Smith Wallace LLP can offer advice or even complete your return for you to ensure that you’re as tax-efficient as possible. If you don’t have an accounts team and you’re not confident when it comes to balance sheets, consider outsourcing this area of the business. It’s really important to have a firm grip on the books and to make sure you know exactly where your money is going. If you’re wasting money or you’re not working in the most efficient or cost-effective way, this is going to affect your profits.

Reducing expenses

They say that time is money in business, and if you can increase efficiency, you’ll save both time and money. One way of boosting your balance is driving sales, but there’s very little point in doing this if your expenses and running costs are sky high. Take a good look at the books and see where your money is going every month. What are the most significant expenses? Once you’ve got the figures in front of you, you should be able to start planning a strategy to cut back and make savings without compromising the quality of the service you offer to your customers. Consider the day to day running of the business and how you could bring your outgoings down. Are you paying out for your employees to travel when meetings could be held over the phone or via video link? Are you using systems that are unnecessarily complex? Are you employing people on permanent contracts for short-term projects? Are you wasting money on technology that is out of date? Are you paying over the odds for premises in a prime location for a business that doesn’t need to be based at an exclusive address? Could you save money by being more energy-efficient? The key to successfully solving the efficiency equation lies in asking these questions and then finding an answer. Once you can see where your business is leaking funds, you can act to tighten up the system. If you’ve got employees in a meeting room participating in a video conference, for example, this will save you a huge amount of money, as well as the time it takes to travel to different cities, states or countries.

Boosting your team’s performance

The vast majority of successful business moguls make it to the top surrounded by teams of people. It’s very hard to run a company single-handedly. If you have grand plans for your business, there’s every chance that you’ve got people working for you. Whether your team consists of 20 or 2,000 people, you need every person on board to maximize your chances of success. If you’ve got a group that gives their all every single day, this will make a huge difference. Motivation is key, so make an effort to create a positive environment, encourage and support your employees and ensure that everyone is aware of the objectives and goals you have in mind. If you can get every person pulling in the same direction, your company will operate much more efficiently, and your employees will enjoy their day at work much more. Talk to your workforce, organize regular meetings and do everything in your power to provide the tools needed to do the job. Invest in your staff by encouraging training and development, and create an environment in which people feel comfortable and confident.

Going mobile

Today, the world of business is very different to how it was in decades gone by. Take a look around a cafe when you grab a coffee or cast your eyes on the crowd of people waiting to get on a plane or a train, and you’ll notice that the majority of those around you are using a phone, a tablet or a laptop. Some may be checking in with friends online or catching up on the news, but many will be working on the go. If your business hasn’t gone mobile yet, now is the time to embrace the future and get connected. Going mobile gives your workforce greater flexibility, it enables you to conduct business wherever you are at any time of the day, and it extends your reach in terms of connecting with clients and attracting new customers. A mobile app, for example, is likely to appeal to clients you may not have dealt with before because you weren’t using marketing techniques that matched the market. If you’ve been using flyers or adverts, creating an app and optimizing a mobile-friendly website will bring you into contact with a different section of the market. An app is a visual marketing ploy, but it also simplifies the process of closing a deal or taking an order.  

Investing in technology

Investing in technology is one of the best ways to improve efficiency at the same time as decreasing running costs in the long-term. The initial outlay may scare you, but weigh up the long-term costs and gains. If you can buy machinery that will save you thousands of dollars every year, it’s likely that your investment will pay for itself long before you plan to replace or upgrade the equipment. Do your sums, and choose technology that will simplify the processes you undertake and reduce costs, as well as saving you time.

Focusing on the most important cogs

Managing a business is a balancing act. There are many different aspects to consider, but some are more important than others. If you’re struggling to keep on top of everything, it’s wise to focus your attention on the most important cogs in the machine. Concentrate on perfecting the processes that are vital to the day to day running of the company. Once you’ve got the inner workings moving smoothly, you can worry about the jobs that are left over. Outsourcing is an effective means of managing tasks that aren’t integral to the success of the business, for example, cleaning and maintenance in an office block. You want your office to be spick and span for visiting clients, but you may not want to employ janitors or ask your employees to undertake cleaning roles. If this is the case, finding an agency that will fit in with your needs is a good idea. You’ll only pay for the services you receive, your team can focus on their jobs, you won’t be adding to the payroll, and your office will look the part.

Every business owner wants to make as much profit as possible while overseeing an operation that is famed for quality, reliability and performance. Success is not easy to come by in the business arena, but if you can find ways to cut costs, save time and provide a service that meets your client’s needs consistently, you’ll stand a good chance of reaping the rewards. Assess the way you work, identify potential issues and solutions, and look for ways you can save time, effort and money. Hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction.

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elliott

elliott

Ive been blogging now for 5 years on various sites for the love of knowledge share. I decided to start my own blog a few years back to share everything from tech to business news. Follow me on twitter for more.