As a business owner or entrepreneur, you should always strive to be as efficient as possible. Efficiency is using resources in an ideal way, without any waste, to derive an optimal result. In a business context, efficiency is directly tied to your profit margin. As Square puts it, efficiency is using capital, labor, materials, and services/products better to create more revenues. In this mini-guide, we offer business efficiency best practices small business owners and entrepreneurs should strive to follow to build a better business.
Organize your business
Being organized makes you significantly more efficient. Organizing is all about arranging your people, your work processes, and yourself to achieve your goals using the least amount of time, energy, and money possible. You can organize your business better by making better use of your physical space, digitizing your work processes, using business software for automation, delegating your workload, and revamping work processes.
Communicate consistently with your stakeholders
Keeping your employees, investors, suppliers, and other stakeholders informed is essential to efficiency. They are more likely to get on board with your business goals and be less resistant to change – nobody likes surprises, and everybody wants to be in the loop about what’s happening next. Good communication also boosts morale and camaraderie, which leads to better efficiency.
Engage with your customers on social media
Customers are also key stakeholders. They need to be kept in the loop about new products, services, and developments. The best channel to engage with customers these days, arguably, is social media – most people spend a significant amount of their waking hours there. For added effect, you can share memes. They’re fun, powerful, and make your message stick. If you’re looking for funny, relatable, or thought-provoking memes, you can make them yourself with a meme maker tool. After you choose a template, you can customize it by adding your own background and changing the appearance of the text.
You won’t become efficient by doing the same things the same way – you need to experiment and find better ways of doing things. For instance, business technology changes rapidly, and there are always new solutions to existing problems. You should stay updated on solutions relevant to your niche and utilize the ones that offer a good ROI. Innovation also applies to all your work processes, from product development to customer support.
Use software tools
Technology makes everything faster and saves a significant amount of resources. You can use business software tools and apps to optimize functions like bookkeeping, customer management, project management, timekeeping, and money management. Furthermore, there are specialized solutions that can make your work easier – like BIM software if you’re in the construction business.
Iron out the kinks in your supply chain
A smoothly-functioning supply chain ensures that your product reaches the customer fast, with the least resources used. Working on your supply chain to remove blockages and improve your logistics is essential to organizational efficiency. Partnering up with a supply chain partner helps alleviate inventory and order management issues if you sell products online.
Understand your market and competitors
Market conditions heavily influence your business, as does competitor activity. Keeping tabs on the market allows you to understand customers better and get a grasp on their current pain points. If you understand pain points, you can better align your product or services to serve customers better. Likewise, it’s a good idea to understand what your competitors are doing. You can copy their initiatives, when appropriate, and be more innovative than them.
Create a business structure
By default, small business owners in the US are sole proprietorships. Registering a formal business structure – such as an LLC – can be beneficial. You have more flexibility, less paperwork, and some tax benefits. Furthermore, your personal assets are protected against lawsuits if your business is ever sued. If you’re planning to register the LLC with your state, you can expedite the process through an online service that offers quick formation and professional support. Pathway lending explains business structures in more detail.
Sometimes efficiency is delegating your work so you can focus on the tasks that are most important to your business. Also, it allows you to assign the job to the best person for the job – which leads to better-quality work and, usually, time and money savings. Delegating also allows you to build trust with your team and develop your team’s skills and strengths.
Find an experienced mentor(s) or support group
Arguably, the most efficient way to be a successful entrepreneur is to have a successful entrepreneur teach you. You can learn business best practices from them. They should also be able to help you solve problems and advise you on the best course of action to follow if you’re stuck with something. You should be able to find someone online in a group or by joining the local chamber of commerce (this is good for networking, regardless). If you don’t manage to find someone, you can always hire a professional business coach – it can be a worthwhile investment.
The key to efficiency is constantly looking at new, better ways of doing things. While it’s always good to acknowledge your current accomplishments, don’t rest on your laurels. You can learn from the example of business leaders and follow in their footsteps for the best results.