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Ways to Improve the Output of your Small Business

Small business owners have a limited amount of time each day to take care of business. There are likely an almost infinite number of things you want to achieve. Therefore, you must find ways to maximize the little time you have.

The success and sustainability of your small business depend on continuous improvement. Monitor cash flow consistently, use social media to market your business, and ask for help where necessary, such as in areas where you are weak, to focus on improving areas of your business where you will gain the most.

How to Improve Your Output

1. Do a productivity assessment

Taking some time to evaluate your current situation will help you boost your productivity.

Do you have a productive business at the moment? How are you encouraging productivity? What can you do to increase productivity?

Also, you’ll have to determine how much productivity you are currently achieving. To help companies like yours benchmark and identify if their productivity can be improved, we’ve created a free, intuitive Productivity Calculator. 

2. Stay on top of financials

Most small businesses do not have a clear understanding of the financial trends occurring at their company on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Keep current on cash flow by spending the necessary time.

Hiring an accountant is a good alternative if you are lacking finance skills, but you should remain very involved.

3. Use automation where possible

When you’re used to a manual, time-consuming process, it’s easy to stick with it. It’s understandable.

Nevertheless, exploring software alternatives and embracing technological advances can drastically improve your productivity.

For example, HR software can help you do this. SME CEOs, directors, and HR Managers can gain valuable time back by switching spreadsheets for people-management software; this time can then be spent on other important people-related tasks.

Moreover, the numbers speak for themselves: a study found that most Breathe users can save two to four hours per year with the product. It’s almost an entire working day – up to seven hours a week.

4. Get rid of micromanagement

Micromanagement can significantly impact productivity, employee retention, and the culture of your company. It’s incredibly demoralizing to constantly have someone looking over your shoulder at work, which can cause an employee to dread going to work.

When employees are hiding micromanagement, it can be tough to identify it as a business leader. 

A variety of factors contribute to micromanagement, from not trusting others to do the job as well as themselves to always wanting overall control.

Whatever the reason for the problem, it’s critical to get to the bottom of it and provide solutions and training.

5. Minimize interruptions

Meetings at 9 am, and at 11 am, departmental meetings, lunch at noon – if employees are struggling to complete their tasks efficiently, it may be due to constant interruptions.

Our goal is to schedule multiple meetings in one day as opposed to spreading them out over the week, and we block out time in our calendars for active working,” says Boomerang’s Alexander Moore. Your employees might be able to focus better if you block out time for uninterrupted work.

Not only meetings can be a distraction, but too many email alerts, chat messages, and notifications from your project management software can pose a problem as well.

6. Use effective marketing techniques

Doing ineffective marketing easily leads to wasteful spending. Improve your small business by finding low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies. If you want to add new tactics to your marketing mix, test one or two before adding them. 

Using social media to promote your business is a relatively low-cost and low-risk strategy. You can build your social presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

7. Establish realistic deadlines

It’s important to ensure that your employees don’t receive too much work, but it’s equally important to make sure their deadlines aren’t too loose and that you don’t assign too many people to one task.

There was an observation in the 50s about how work expands in response to available time. It follows then that if you’re given a report to write but are given a slack deadline, the work will extend to fill the time and you won’t be as productive as you would be if you only had a few days. 

Keep deadlines tight but reasonable if you want to boost productivity. The output will increase – and the work culture will become more energized and motivated.

8. Keep an eye on trends

Businesses do not operate in a vacuum. The global economy is continually changing. Keeping up with industry trends and local issues is essential to success. Considering all possibilities is important, even if they don’t seem relevant at first.

9. Maintain a healthy work-life balance

It is difficult to strike a work-life balance (and maintain it). Research shows this is a widespread problem: 55% of employees have worked through their lunch hour in the last month, while a quarter says they have worked outside their normal schedule.

The consequences, however, cannot be ignored: overworking can adversely affect both mental and physical health and eventually lead to burnout.

10. Communicate

Maintaining regular communication among your team is crucial to ensuring projects are completed on time and to driving progress forward.

There are plenty of tools out there to help you achieve this. Take Slack, for example. It has certainly changed things for us at our organization.

Make sure you talk with your team frequently. Establishing weekly 1-2-1s will allow you to get in touch regularly, eliminate any niggling issues, and make sure they’re alright in themselves as well.

Conclusion

To run an efficient business, strive for efficiency, but don’t let that goal overwhelm other goals. 

You will be able to monitor what is working and what isn’t, and improve your business efficiency by making small changes throughout the process. This will enable you to continue growing and strengthening your business.

To keep yourself on track, you might find it helpful to keep a checklist handy so you’ll always remember the basics.