I have recognized similar areas within businesses, regardless of size or industry, which is preventing them from evolving. Take a look at the top 8 key culprits preventing your business from being more efficient.
“Managed change creates growth” is true with any aspect of our lives in which we wish to improve on. Our health, our relationship, and our business all require a foundational structure needed in order to obtain the desired results, but what are the areas which we should be looking at? For health we look to fitness coaches to guide us, for relationships we look to a Therapist or self help books for clarity, but who helps us identify the weak spots within our businesses? The answer is an Efficiency Expert.
As an Efficiency Expert, I am able to quickly and easily identify the weak spots within your business and provide the changes needed to be made in order to help your business evolve. I have noticed that regardless of the size of your business, or which industry your business represents, most all small-medium sized businesses suffer from the same trouble areas and inconsistencies. I have a made a list of the top 8 areas which you should be actively managing to identify if your business is operating at its maximum efficiency.
Without a solid means of communication, the end goal can be misconstrued, leading to incorrect task completion. I often see that due to inefficient communication, business owners find themselves settling with the results in an effort to keep the business moving forward. Clear communication can be established through maintaining respect for everyone involved, allowing the freedom to seek clarity in times of ambiguity, and utilizing resources such as task tracking platforms or internal platforms like Office 365 Teams to avoid all communication bogging down your company emails. Determine which communication channels are most appropriate for which types of communication and ensure your entire organization is informed and held accountable for following these protocols.
How was your staff trained for their positions? More often then not I will notice the lack a physical Policy & Procedure manual they can refer to or the non-existence of a manager that is always readily available to go to, ensuring consistency. Most of the time this information is in one key personnels head and they are required to act as the central hub for the business. If they have other tasks and projects they are responsible for, this can become annoying and their peers will pick up on their frustrations, leading to the high likelihood of them not wanting to ask questions moving forward and resulting in incomplete and inefficient task completion. Make sure you have a systematic training program in place and it is planned for on your staffs schedule to ensure the appropriate time and TLC is dedicated to building a strong rock-star team supporting your business.
3.) Office & Individual Organization
Have you ever been in someone’s office and thought to yourself, how in the world can you ever find anything? Papers piled up all over their desk, sticky notes everywhere, clutter in their drawers and most likely lots of icons all over their desktop. What about the same mess in the office admin area? Where do you keep your office supplies? Marketing Material? Contracts or any physical documents required to be on site? I call these Business Hoarders. Do NOT underestimate the value of having a clean desk to work on, a clean and organized computer, clean and organized business documents available on a shared network. The amount of time it takes to find something can not only double the amount of time spent on a particular task but can also increase frustration prior to even starting on the task. Having a clear and organized mind when starting on a new task increases the ability to think clearly and complete the task more efficiently and quickly allowing your staff to move on to the next task confidently and quickly.
4.) Clearly Defined Roles
Another common mistake businesses make as they grow is not taking a step back to understand the true flow of how each staff members role affects the overall goal of the business. Most of the time, staff gets added as a need becomes evident or the new tasks are added on to your most competent employees, bogging them down and taking away from their existing responsibilities. Without a clearly define role, your staff tends to skate through the day, reacting to new fires as they come about, and become reactive instead proactive and a contributor to your businesses growth. Clearly defined roles can help to empower your staff with recognizing necessary changes and opportunities within their role in the company. Be sure to take time to reassess your organizational flow chart and ensure it is clearly communicated to your whole organization.
5.) Incomplete Projects
Do you notice a lot of your goals and projects for the company begin but more often then not, don’t actually get completed? This is often due to the wrong staff handling or managing the project. Do you have unrealistic expectations for your staff or of the project at hand? You need to be sure you’re not immediately coming to the conclusion that your staff isn’t just “not working hard enough” and you should have a clear understanding of what they are expected to handle on a daily/weekly basis and if they can really handle taking on your project requirements. Or perhaps you have delegated someone to complete the project who doest have the appropriate experience or resources, isn’t as committed to the company as you thought, or doesn’t have an organized strategy to complete the project and becomes easily distracted, causing delays.
Are you getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the same mistakes happening over and over again? Well, what are you doing to correct these mistakes? Most of the time this is a result of weak or non-existent processes for holding your staff accountable. Is the immediate result to get yelled at? I am pretty sure you don’t want to yell at your staff but with you acting as the main central hub in your business as is, you’re most likely feeling like this is the only way you can get the results you expect. Wrong! There are easy and systematic ways to hold your staff accountable and the most direct way is to ensure you are utilizing your software platforms (CRM, Marketing, Project Management, etc) correctly. Most platforms are customizable and will produce real time reporting so you can pull the information you need at any moment to be able to stay ahead of holding your staff accountable.
Do not undervalue the importance of having a good relationship with your IT support. It’s true, you never really know how good you got it until its gone and the same is most evident with IT. When our email isn’t working or our computers run slow, we notice immediately and expect an immediate corrective action. Or even on a much larger scale with having someone you like and trust to steer your business in the right direction as you continue to grow. This relationship will save you and your staff tremendous time, money, and peace of mind to know there is someone that has your back with the little things and the big things. Don’t assume you know what’s best for your business regarding technology. The IT world is constantly evolving and there are amazing ways to always be available to your customers, improve communications with your staff in the office, in the field, or wherever they are located, and improve the overall performance of your staff who will recognize where the support of them completing their daily tasks fall on the importance scale within your company.
8. Meeting Efficiency
There is nothing more annoying to sit in a meeting and wonder “why am I here?”. All meetings within your business should be pre-planned with a set agenda and end goal. There should be a time restriction which is respected by everyone attending. Absolute focus of everyone while in the meeting is imperative to maintain respect. Avoid responding to emails, messages, and phone calls by either leaving your devices out of the meeting room, putting your notifications on silence while the meeting is being conducted, or if you are expecting something pressing, make sure this is communicated in the beginning so mutual respect is maintained. Begin practicing good organization to clearly identify the agenda and outcome for the meeting.
If you are a business owner looking to grow your business, feel free to contact me with any questions!
Tiffany has been successfully helping businesses grow since the early age of 16 years old. She quickly discovered her ability to identify inefficiencies and improve operations in an effort to decrease stress and improve the overall quality of work life, which she noticed was lacking in her first place of employment. She went on to start her own in-house ballroom dance business which she ran for 5 years.
After graduating from GMU with a bachelor’s in business management, she accepted a position at a construction company acting as the Director of Operations to which she re-engineered the entire foundation, increasing the company’s annual net revenue from 4 to 12.5 million dollars.
Tiffany owns Evolving Enterprises with her husband, Rick Carroll, and their mission is to raise awareness and educate business owners on how to establish a strong foundation in their businesses, and the importance behind it, using Evolving Enterprises proven Foundation Building method.
Connect with me on Linkedin
Let me know what you think of this article in the comments below!