Most businesses waste time. Whether it’s pointless internal emails, unnecessary meetings or poor organisation – too many companies lose too much valuable time.
Many of the emails, meetings and organisational issues will stem from poor processes. If you want your business to be a smooth-running well-oiled machine then you need to roll your sleeves up and consider these five factors, which can cut out productivity-sapping wasted time.
Conduct a full review
Don’t even start trying to change anything with your current processes until you’ve conducted a full review of what you currently do. You need to get to the bottom of what works and what doesn’t. If you try to change too much you’ll risk making things even worse than before you started. Do you, for example, pay for software that is always down? This can be very costly and waste an awful lot of time.
Your processes are only ever as good as the people who use them. So speak to your staff to find out their frustrations. This open dialogue should be part of an effective communication structure – an essential feature of any successful business. Workers need to be able to see that their views count and that they can shape the processes you use. Set up a working group and get colleagues to chip in and help to shape the way forward. Ignore them and you could replace one problem with another.
Speaking of people, do you have the right people on the right jobs? Are you clinging on to a responsibility that you no longer have time for? One way to improve your process is to empower the right people within your organisation – getting people to take ownership of the things they are good at. This can ease up bottlenecks within your business – and free up individuals to work more efficiently.
Invest in new software
If you identified software issues during your review then it’s time to fix them. The right program can be a key part of an overhaul of your processes, but having several software programs all running different tasks can also be extremely inefficient. But, there is a way to fix that headache – and that’s simply by looking to enterprise resource planning – a way in which you can tie in your accounting, marketing, and sales efforts together to operate in a much smoother way.
Finally, does everyone know what your process is? Too many businesses fail to pause and think about training their workers. If your team doesn’t really understand what they are being asked to do, then even the best process in the world will fall apart – and certainly won’t result in things being done as quickly as they perhaps should. Make sure all changes to your process are backed up by effective training and that you conduct regular refreshers to ensure everyone is confident in what they are doing.
Train your workers, maintain open dialogue, and delegate tasks to the right people. Back this up with an investment in the right software and a thorough review of your process and you’ll save plenty of time – and money.