Running a business can take over your life if you let it. There is always more to do, always improvements to make, and growth to be earned. The following will explore a few tips companies can employ to help simplify what they’ve already got going on. You can use the extra time and money you gain to further expand your business or to take a much-needed break with your friends and family.
Seek Out Software
One of the great tragedies of modern-day business is how many spectacular tools there are available to help make entrepreneurs’ lives easier and how few people know about them. Whether you’re trying to better manage earnings or keep everything tidy and together for tax season, there is almost certainly a piece of software that can make your life easier. Take the time to read reviews from other business owners online or speak to businesses in your area that aren’t competitors (i.e. you serve people in different ways) for suggestions. You might have been doing something by hand for months or even years when you didn’t have to. Remember back in grade school when they didn’t let you use a calculator to solve math problems? You might be doing something the much more difficult way without even realizing it.
In tandem with turning to software, choosing digital options when those are available and minimizing the paper your work requires can make life so much simpler. Not only will you have less paper waste to deal with and less paper you need to store on site freeing up storage space and leaving the office feeling less cluttered, but you’ll also be simplifying multiple processes at once. If people can simply email each other a document or sign on to the company cloud storage and access whatever they need to do their work with a password. To make this even more enticing, most customers now prefer paperless interactions, opting to get bills and other documents sent to them digitally. As a bonus, you’ll be reducing your impact on the planet, and some customers and clients are known for shopping around until they find the most eco-friendly option available.
Ask Your Employees
Quite often, people get used to the way that things are, even if at first they found an approach or process to be needlessly complicated. Speak to your trusted employees about what could make their lives easier and what could free up more of their time in the workplace so they could get more done. You might be surprised to discover how many people have small, easy tweaks to suggest. Sometimes something as simple as having a door stopper available for when someone is unloading the latest delivery or moving where the tape is stored can make a big difference in someone’s day. Maybe some things could be cleaned up or moved around to be more conducive to the work people need the space for. You won’t know until you ask.
Apply The Pareto Principle
Every business and every person should learn about the Pareto principle. Nothing is better at eliminating pointless tasks than this quick perspective flip. The principle works as follows: typically, 80% of your rewards come from 20% of your effort, meaning 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Likewise, 80% of your problems come from 20% of your customers, and 80% of your in-house issues come from 20% of your staff.
Once you start looking for what elements of your work produce the most favorable results and which parts cause the most headaches, you’ll quickly realize there are a few losses you can cut. That one contract that is always absurdly specific with 8000 rewrites and alterations suggested isn’t often the one that’s making you the most money. Maybe it’s in your business’s best interest to not re-up that contract when it’s done and use that massive amount of time to work on other projects or seek out new clients. Figure out what produces the most reward for your effort and your employees’ effort and seek out more projects, clients, or contracts like that one.
The above tips should set you up for optimizing some of your daily business tasks and get you thinking efficiently about any changes that need to be made. It’s a great idea to revisit some of these approaches every few months or so to see if there are more inefficiencies that can be eliminated so you and your staff can have an easier workday with far fewer headaches.