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Ways to make a business more efficient

The search for ways to make a business more efficient has been baffling business owners, panicking employees and helping authors write countless how-to guides, for years. Now, it’s time to clear away all the extraneous fluff (that’s tip number one!) and show you how it’s done.

Firstly, remain focused. This is one of the best ways to make a business more efficient, and might take as simple a form as keeping your workspace tidy. As the saying goes – tidy desk, tidy mind. Don’t let your thoughts be sidetracked by endless piles of papers, books or notes; this will only distract you from what’s important, and impair your productivity.

Some people confuse efficiency with speed, but this is by no means the case. Simply trying to work faster and faster, making decisions more quickly, leads to a “bull in a china shop” approach. You might feel like you’re getting through more work, but the quality of that work is sure to suffer, and you’ll have to spend more time unpicking the mistakes you’ve made.

Instead, take some time to implement robust systems and working practices; the relatively small upfront investment of resources belies the fact that this really is one of the most effective ways to make a business more efficient. If you can automate processes, such as scheduling regular payments through online banking rather than having to traipse to the bank every week, you’ll not only reduce the time you need to spend getting things done, but also reduce the scope for human error.

Clear and productive communication is also a must. This applies for a business of any size. Every team member must feel able to speak up, whether it’s to offer a suggestion or to question the progress of a project. Far better that someone feels safe asking a question without being ridiculed, than that something goes wrong because they didn’t feel comfortable doing so! Developing a culture of open communication is one of the overlooked ways to make a business more efficient, as it means that projects can come to successful fruition without as many setbacks or hiccups along the way.

Of course, improving your financial situation is another of the ways to make a business more efficient. The best way to do this is to regularly look at your outgoings, and see if they can be reduced. Small costs like business magazine subscriptions or posh coffee can soon mount up over the months and years, and removing them can have a huge impact on your bottom line. This, in turn, can put you in a more stable financial position, allowing you the time to look at the bigger picture. It’s always worth shopping around for different suppliers – just because you’ve used the same providers for years, doesn’t mean you’re beholden to them forever, or that you’re getting the best deal!

In my opinion, though, one of the best ways to make a business more efficient is to embrace change. A fear of new ideas, new technologies and new methodologies can cripple even the most successful business. It’s no secret that the most prosperous organisations are those who constantly evolve, who take their products and services in new directions, and who make confident decisions that drive themselves forward. I’m not saying you should be rash or incautious, but if you were to ask me the most important of all the ways to make a business more efficient, I’d say this has to be the one. So if you’d like to make your business work better for you, get in touch to arrange a consultation!

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