Let’s look at 5 tips that any business owner, large or small, can use to boost productivity.
1. Step-by-step optimisation
Business process optimization is the revision of the sequence of steps in a company to reduce the execution time and costs and implement actions aimed at achieving the business objectives.
For more effective optimisation, the principles below should guide you.
It is very difficult to improve something if it cannot be counted. Therefore you should first try to come up with some measurable criteria. That is, you have to turn the phrase “the warehouse is not operating efficiently” into concrete figures. What indicators are you going to change? For example, it could be the error rate and the number of orders collected per warehouse employee per month.
The first thing to do is to understand what all the processes look like now. Every business process has several elements. Highlight these elements – this will help you understand how to work with them and what you should try to change.
What does it mean “to work”? You need to answer the following questions:
- What does the process look like now?
- Is the process really needed?
- If the process is needed, what should it ideally look like?
- How can we change the process to make it more effective?
It is important to prioritise rather than chase results across the board. A step-by-step process will help you to highlight the really important points:
- Brainstorm. Write out all the ideas that come to mind – even if they seem absurd at first sight.
- Evaluate the list and cross out what seems totally inadequate.
- Categorise the remaining thoughts into categories: cheap and difficult; expensive and difficult; cheap and easy; expensive and easy. It’s handy to draw out a piece of paper into four squares, in each of which you write out the ideas by category.
Now your ideas and plans are ready for implementation.
2. Focus on the actions that staff have to take in the near future
Many managers follow the advice of various business coaches and try to ensure that middle and lower-level staff have a good understanding of the company’s strategy, its highest goals, and its vision for the market. Managers tell employees what exciting career path awaits them, but they rarely tell them how to achieve it.
The reality is that you first have to show the employee how to reach these milestones. If you tell a manager or salesperson that you need to increase sales per day by four dollars, then you need to explain to them exactly what they need to do to achieve this. Therefore, you should be a professional in your business and this will give you the right to demand the same from your employees.
3. Reduce meeting time
Meetings tend to be counterproductive and time-consuming. However, there are times when they are mandatory for your business. At such times, make sure you have a clear agenda to make the most of your time. Organise your ideas and determine how long each item should be discussed. If you can stick to your agenda, it can cut meeting time in half.
4. Multitasking is not a good idea
In 2009, Stanford researchers conducted experiments in which 262 students were asked to complete a series of tasks, with certain groups being constantly “attacked” by outside assignments and information irrelevant to the tasks.
As a result, members of these groups performed very poorly. What’s more, the researchers found that even when a person used to multitasking tries to focus on one thing, the quality of their work is much inferior to that of someone who does not multitask at all.
5. Try new approaches
The world is changing rapidly. New technologies can create new tools, which in turn lead to new approaches in human communication. You can easily see this if you just look at how websites have changed in the last ten years. From long articles describing products, we’ve come up with a short video, simply demonstrating all the complex features in a matter of minutes.
Introducing chatbots is an investment in optimising the cost of customer service. Entrust them with offering products, receiving feedback, accepting payment, and informing clients about the status of their orders.
Implementing the simple principles above will allow you to optimise your business processes faster and more successfully.
Content Writer and Sales Development Representative at Lira eCommerce PPC Management Agency.