Written by Kara Morgan
As busy entrepreneurs, there is ever increasing demands on our time, both personally and professionally. Even though we have technology and endless tools at our disposal, we usually don’t have the time to investigate them all or learn how to use them.
Having a functional business means keeping specific areas of your processes in check, and adapting as needed whenever your business needs shift. Here are 6 ways to maximize your business functionality anytime of the year, and keep your business in check!
Identify Sources of Waste
Before you can fix any problems, you need to know what the problems are. This means identifying the right problem and not just making assumptions or asking your bestie what they did because they might have different challenges. Instead of possibly misidentifying a problem, thereby putting a band-aid on the issue, you may need to do a thorough analysis of potential trouble areas.
Know your Metrics
To determine your outcomes or goals, you need to know your current situation. You can achieve this by taking account of your current situation or measuring where you are now and comparing it to where you want to be. Do you want to hire more staff, increase your sales, or get more traffic to your website or on social media? Knowing where you’re at will help you know where you want to go.
Optimize your Setup
Having the proper setup or infrastructure is key for any small business or entrepreneur. Your infrastructure is the basis for all your operations and supports all other primary and secondary activities including marketing, sales etc. A weak infrastructure will compromise whatever money or effort you put into your front-end activities.
Focus on Key Operations
Focus on the areas of your operations that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. In other words, focus on big time, money and energy wasters like manual processes, redundant functions, overlap of resources or equipment, inefficient equipment and energy hogs. Use templates when ever possible to avoid re-work.
Set Clear Business Targets
It is much easier to hit targets when the target or goals are clear. Moving targets, unclear objectives and unknown expectations make it difficult to deliver on goals and outcomes, so be as specific as possible when outlining goals and targets.
Increase Proficiency Through Training
It is so much easier and FASTER to get the job done when you know what to do and how to do it. Team members will either come already trained or will need training to do the job well. Either way, making sure they know how to do what’s expected of them will save you time and money.
Show Appreciation to your Supporters
It’s amazing how much output you can get from someone who feels appreciated and valued. Be sure to recognize those that keep your business going whether it be your team, clients, suppliers, partners, advisors, families and even the family dog.
It can be challenging out there for small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially when you’re a solopreneur. We all need a supportive cast of characters around us to keep things going and now is the time to show just how much that support means to you and your business. Try one of these 25 suggestions from HelpScout.net to get you started.
Getting maximum productivity and functionality out of your business becomes a priority when there are so many demands on your time; however, once you identify the main areas and challenges, you’ve solved half your problem. All that’s left is to fix them or at least ease some of the pressure. These steps will not only lower your operating costs, but they will increase value for your clients and customers – a win-win all around!
Kara Morgan is an Efficiency Specialist, Process Architect and Certified Project Manager with over 20 years of experience improving processes, systems and efficiency. She helps business owners build a solid operational foundation, plug operational gaps, and increase capacity so they can double productivity, scale and streamline their day to day activities. Find out more info on Kara and her business at planitoutsourcingsolutions.com
A version of this article was previously published on Plan It! Outsourcing Solutions