No business, big or small, can survive in the long run without being as efficient as it can be. The times when it was a better choice to hire a new employee for any task are gone – the goal now is to do more with less. Less investment, less time, less manpower. Improvement, growth and development can be achieved by making your business more efficient in the long run. In this article I will present some tips that can help you with that.
1. Let your team members multitask
When it comes to small businesses, there are several tasks that can be done by a single person. If your phone rings just a handful of times a day, and you only have to send a couple of emails, faxes or business letters there is no use to hire a secretary. Tasks that take don’t take a lot of time to complete can become the tasks assigned to a single person, and be done by that person in a good and efficient matter.
A company I worked for had an online shop selling merchandise worth about $20,000 each day, with an average order value of $70. The company worked efficiently because it had a great team, with each member multi-tasking: the sales personnel did the customer support and helped with packaging, the accountant was helping with the correspondence and brewed the coffee, and the boys responsible for shipping were also haulers and whatever else occurred. We handled the high volume of orders without ever needing to stay in overtime – and none of us had time (or the desire, for that matter) to play casino games by http://www.platinumplayonlinecasino.com/ during work hours.
2. Introduce new technologies with care
Whenever the solutions provider you work with offers you a new version of its business software, implement the changes with care. New software versions often come with new dependencies, bugs, security issues and other unforeseen problems that are better to be avoided. Make sure you test the software on a standalone computer first, solve all issues it might cause, and wait for fixes and updates concerning the new version to come out before you implement it.
A coworker told me a story about the hasty implementation of a new accounting software at a company. The order came from above that the new version must be installed right away, as it had some reporting features the CFO needed “yesterday”. The IT guys did all that they could to do it right, but an unforeseen bug caused the company to lose all accounting records for the last three months after the upgrade. Lucky they had hard copies of all the transactions…
3. Expand with moderation
Expanding too soon is one of the causes of startups failing in their first year. Some companies don’t wait to reach their break-even point before starting to grow over their limits. No matter how promising your sales are in your original territory, and for your company’s current size, there is no guarantee that your team can handle instantly adding another city, country or continent to the customer list. (I don’t have an anecdote to tell about this, but only studies to back my claim).