3 ways to improve your business productivity
As business owners, we’re always looking for ways to be more efficient. Over the years, in my own business as well as my clients, I’ve seen and tried a variety of ways of cutting costs and boosting productivity.
But what areas should you focus on to gain that winning edge? In my experience, there’s a huge benefit to analysing how you move information around the business. Particularly in small businesses it’s often something that we overlook, thinking there’s other more effective ways of improving what we do. The reality is there are some significant gains you can make from some pretty straightforward changes.
For me, there’s three key areas that will help you boost your productivity.
Think about it: when information comes into the business, like an invoice, regardless of whether its paper based or digital, how do you process it? If you’re like most businesses it’s probably processed manually.
While everyone secretly likes a bit of admin to break up the day the reality is that it’s a massive time waster in your business. You can save a considerable amount of employee time per document if you automate the capture process, scanning and pushing it directly to the key business systems, like your CRM or accounting software.
Storage of documents
On average, employees waste up to 20%, or 1 day a week, searching for documents. Many businesses still store documentation manually, leaving themselves open losing key critical business information. Think about client data for example: How quickly could you pull up information on your interactions with you clients? If you’re still managing everything manually, chances are it’d be pretty haphazard.
There’s a number of ways you can manage information digitally from a business perspective, both in the cloud and on premise. It can make some significant improvements not only to productivity, but also the security of your business information.
Distribution around the business
How annoying is it moving paper around? So many businesses still move information manually; it would drive me crazy! For example, think about sign off documentation. As something passes around the business getting all the required sign offs, what happens if the boss is on the road? How do you get an all-important sign off from someone who isn’t there?
It might sound trivial in the age of the smartphone and tablet PC, but there are still a lot of businesses out there that have not automated basic paper based workflow. There’s some really simple ways you can automate the sharing and distribution of information to improve efficiency.
How do you start?
There’s a really good quote from Microsoft founder Bill Gates that sums it up really well for me: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
The first thing to start is to look at how you’re doing things today. There’s no point automating a poor process or workflow, so make sure you’ve got a handle on where your starting from, and be willing to change the way “you’ve always done things”.
At Inland Digital, we’ve seen many of our clients face these very challenges. I’m always free for chat on how you can kick off your business productivity journey; click here to find out more!