Whether you’ve just started a new business or you’re looking for new areas to improve, there are several ways you can boost your productivity. For anyone who runs a small business, it might feel like the to-do list is never ending. Procrastination can also get the better of you, and it can be challenging to prioritize when every task seems essential. In order to improve operations, you need to find new strategies to be more efficient and streamline everyday processes. It’s essential to motivate your employees as well. Here are fifteen ways to increase your business productivity.
Learn to prioritize
Firstly, you need to learn how to prioritize. You need to give yourself a realistic timeframe for each task and put them in order of urgency. Important tasks are the ones that need to be completed by the end of the day, for example. You could break down your tasks into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. You’ll also need to plan for setbacks and be flexible if you need to change your priorities or drop something. These are just a few ways you can get better at prioritizing.
Track time to projects and tasks
Another way to stick to a realistic timeframe is by using the best timesheet software. This will help you to track time to tasks and projects and account for each member of your team. You can then review the timesheets and find areas for improvement for each employee. You will be able to see if the times you’re setting for certain tasks are realistic or not, and take feedback from your employees about this.
Use a virtual assistant
For small businesses, there are several benefits of a virtual assistant. These are self-employed remote assistants with specific skill sets. They can work for a number of employers at a time, but you’ll save money but not having to hire a full-time in-house assistant. You’ll also save time on training as virtual assistants are already experienced. You’ll also have access to a wider talent pool, and be able to choose one with specified knowledge of your sector.
Get technology working for you
In order to increase your business productivity, you need to invest in the latest technology. Update all your software and share everything on the cloud. This will allow you and your team to work remotely but still boost collaboration. Consider buying software designed for your specific industry which will take care of a lot of daily tasks for you. More advanced technology also makes a better impression on your clients.
In this day and age, you need to automate your business if you want to boost your productivity. There are several tasks and services you can automate. Relating to customer service, you could set up an automated chat bot on your website to answer basic FAQs. This will give your customer support team the time to deal with more complex or unusual queries. Customers actually like automated systems online because they can access the information they need without wasting time on hold on the phone.
Outsourcing is also a great time saver. There are certain services small businesses should outsource, but this depends on the type of business you run. You can outsource plenty of general services such as HR, accounting, marketing, and IT, which will allow you to save money by paying per project. You’ll also have access to experts with better resources that will be able to get the job done much quicker.
There are many proven benefits of daily stand-ups. Get your team together at the beginning of every day, even if this involves video conferencing and touch base. Ensure every employee knows which are their urgent tasks that need to get completed that day and get feedback on how their previous day went. This way you can keep everybody up to date and make sure you’re on the same page.
Invest in the right tools
Anyone looking to start a business needs to invest in the right tools to be their most productive. This could be technology or equipment, but it’s worth ensuring you have everything you need from the start. Update your hardware and software and do you research to find the best tools for the type of business you run. There are also a number of useful productivity tools you can try. These include cloud-based project management apps and other organizational tools.
Calculate your taxes
It’s advisable to calculate your taxes ahead of time so you can budget for them. If you’re selling products, you can also try using percent calculators to check sales tax and VAT. This will help you prepare in advance. If you’re running your own business you need to be proactive about your budget and spending. This way you can plan for any setbacks and changes and this won’t have to cause any downtime. You can keep your business up and running more efficiently.
A clear line of communication
It’s important for all businesses to have a clear line of communication. Your employees need to know who to get in touch with and how if they have any issues of questions. Quality communication is essential in order to improve productivity. You need to facilitate this by establishing a clear line of communication. Set up meetings and conference software so that all employees have access. You should also check in with them regularly and hold frequent feedback sessions to ensure everything is going according to schedule.
Determine your most profitable niche
As a small business, you’ll have the advantage of being a bit more flexible with this. You don’t need to settle on a specific niche when you first start. You can test out different niches and to see which one is more deserving of your time. This way you won’t end up losing time trying to reach out to time wasters or less profitable niches. Here are a few tricks and tips on how to find a profitable niche.
Network with other businesses
If you make the effort to network with other businesses, you’ll have access to more resources, and this will help you complete certain more difficult tasks more quickly. The trick is to ask businesses how you can help them before asking them to help you. This way you’ll develop trust and you can rely on these businesses to help you grow yours. Networking with other businesses is also important for when you scale your business and start to make a name for yourself in the field.
Complete a non-urgent task daily
If you’re having difficulty prioritizing, you could try using the urgent important matrix. This enables you to categorize tasks into not urgent but important, important and urgent, not urgent and not important, and urgent but not important. As well as completing the urgent and important tasks, you should also try to tick one non-urgent off the list. This way you’ll keep on top of your to-do list and you won’t have a backlog of non-urgent jobs to do. You’ll then be able to be more flexible and productive with the spare time you do have.
Set a time of day for emails
Believe it or not, there is apparently a best time of day to send emails. The way to determine this is by analyzing the lifestyle and routine of the person you’re emailing. There are also ways you can spend less time on your emails. Over-checking your emails can waste a lot of time. You also need to set realistic expectations about the response time, whether this for clients or employees. Emails need to be prioritized into urgent and non-urgent categories as well. It’s also not particularly useful to organize these into different folders as they might end up getting lost or forgotten about. Find the best time of day for you to get back to your non-urgent correspondence and prioritize the more important emails.
A change of scenery
There’s a theory that switching up your workplace can make you more productive. Often your workspace is plagued with distractions and it can be difficult to get things done. If you have the option you should offer your employees a variety of spaces to work in so that they can choose the most comfortable environment for them. It’s essential to focus on your employees’ needs as this will make them more motivated, and in turn more productive.
Increasing your productivity will lead to higher profits for your business as you’ll be able to provide more goods and services to your clients. Customer service also generally improves with productivity and your clients will feel the benefits as well. Anything you can do more efficiently will also give you the edge over your competitors. Your employees will also benefit. With a more efficiently run business, you will be able to boost employee morale and engagement. There are many benefits to increasing your productivity that aren’t only about profits. Your team will be more committed and in control of their work.