Time is money. It is an old adage that still holds true today, only today there are some truly wonderful ways to cut down on wasteful processes and improve the time management of everything in your business, from your supply chains all the way to your creative flow. Building the right infrastructure, however, is your biggest barrier.
You need to leverage opportunities within your own business, use the right tools to get the job done, and even work to keep your employees engaged and working hard regardless of whether they are at the office, or at home.
Improving your business’ efficiency must follow a multi-faceted approach. You cannot just invest in better tools without also working out what the best way to approach a task or a project is. To improve your business’ efficiency, and in return save and boost revenue, you and your employees much tackle the challenge head on.
Use a Proofing and Project Management Software
There are many great proofing software solutions out there. They work to keep creative projects on track, by including a variety of stakeholders in the project review and workflow processes. One of the top options available today is ProofHub, but they have recently fallen behind in popularity in favor of Ziflow, a great alternative to ProofHub that allows users to automate proofs for projects created directly in Adobe, Google Docs, Dropbox, and a variety of other content management solutions.
You can sync notifications, markup changes, and use other great collaboration tools that have made it easier than ever to get projects through and approved. Hang ups in client approval can really cause disruptions in any business, but with such a solution you can keep projects on time and improve the review and markup process, which will allow you to serve your clients better and faster.
Be More Targeted With Your Meetings
There is no reason to have a meeting just to be updated on what your employees are doing. Project management software and other digital tools can easily take this off the table from meetings. You also don’t need to hold meetings for the sake of holding them.
Meetings without any clear goal or purpose are time wasters. Worse, they actually work to interrupt a productive workflow, especially if your team is remote. By waiting until you have a full docket of points you need addressed for the meetings you can make meetings more enjoyable and productive.
Do this by creating a cloud document that outlines what you want discussed during the meeting. Send this out to everyone you are inviting to your meeting, so that they can prepare the necessary work to show at the meeting. This way you stay on task, everyone knows its purpose, and you get the most out of your remote teams.
Invest in Automated Solutions
Automation is possible even in small businesses, but you need the right business solutions in place to make them possible. For small businesses, all you need is an integrated, cloud-based solution.
This can be as minimal as having a tool that provides automated confirmation emails after an online sale. Or it can be as comprehensive as inventory software, financial software, and workflow software working together to make sure that products stay on your shelves and new designs get out on time.
What you need to ensure when looking to create automated solutions is that the different tools you use are physically capable of communicating and sharing information with one another. Without this ability you cannot automate tasks.
Sometimes this will require a solution solely through one company, other times you can use a variety of tools that rely on an open-source solution so that they can communicate with other brands for the most value.
In all cases these solutions should be cloud-based, so you can use and benefit from them not just from anywhere, but from any scale. This allows your solutions to scale up as you grow your business.
Improve Employee Productivity
At the end of the day a huge chunk of what makes for an efficient business is how productive its employees are. To improve their productivity, and to keep those levels up you are going to need to do more than just set deadlines, you are going to have to support their health and mental wellbeing.
For remote workers this is less of an issue; you just need to make sure that they are allowed to work flexibly throughout the day (better quality of work, and despite the odd hours it gets done). For employees that need to be in the office, however, you will need a different solution.
In 2020, it isn’t enough to just have snacks and a good break room. You need to keep your employees safe, social, and in good spirits:
- Implement COVID-19 safety measures
- Host social activities that are socially distanced
- Allow for comfort
- Ask for feedback on how to improve your efforts
By bringing their health and wellbeing into the conversation, and using the right tools as previously mentioned, you can keep them engaged and working well, even during 2020 and beyond. In particular, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, as your employees will know best what you can do to improve your working culture and how they can be more productive. This may involve a better solution for their workflow, or it may be the ability to wear more comfortable clothes during work so that they can relax better in your office with everything that is going on.
Inefficient businesses cost money. It takes longer to conduct business, which costs money. They are not encouraging employees to work smarter, rather than harder, and therefore losing money in lost productivity. They are not taking advantage of their supply chains to find and extract value through innovative practices.
Efficiency isn’t just doing a job faster, it’s doing it better and getting even more value out of the end result. With the suggestions in this guide, and by working collaboratively with your employees, you too can create an innovative, efficient business model that benefits you, your employees, and your customers.