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How to Improve Your Business Efficiency

You came here wanting to know why your business is not as efficient as you’d like to be and how to improve efficiency in business.

It’s quite understandable why anyone would worry about business efficiency. The longer you remain inefficient, the more you lose. Businesses need to ensure everyone works at their optimum level and no amount of money or time is wasted.

Most businesses don’t realize the need to change things until quarterly or yearly audits. If you are struggling to make your business more efficient then you have landed on the right page.

Below are some tips on how to improve efficiency in business.

#1 Give the Right Job to the Right Person

There are two things to take care of – hiring the right people and ensuring they do the right job. This, however, is easier said than done. It all boils down to productivity, which is a major concern for people these days.

Employee productivity has been falling and nobody knows the reason. Since most businesses involve teams and groups, it is the duty of the HR manager or the supervisor to ensure there are like minded people in every team as team conflict can impact efficiency.

About 81 percent of employees work in teams but less than 50 percent are happy with the experience due to differences in working style. Training sessions and internships can help prepare people to work in teams.

You can also improve the hiring process by using a hiring agency as they are more experienced in the job. It can take around 90 days to fill a position. The longer a position remains empty, the more losses it causes to a business.

The key lies in preparing employees to take over. This can be done by providing on-job training, encouraging continued education, and providing employees a chance to prove their mettle and grow.

Companies that offer such perks are better at retaining employees and hence are more efficient.

#2 Automate Whenever You Can

The importance of automation cannot be overestimated. Look at any industry, you will see automation and its perks in every corner.

While marketing automation is among the most popular fields, you will see automation in other fields as well including manufacturing.

Automation, if done right, can boost sales productivity by up to 14.5 percent and reduce marketing overheads by around 12.2 percent.

It helps in a lot of ways. Around 40 percent of productivity is lost to task-switching and multitasking and task-switching. Automation helps streamline data, optimize time by increasing centralizing work, and improve visibility.

Automation can help improve several other departments including communication and collaboration. About 97 percent of workers believe that poor team alignment impacts business efficiency and project outcome.

Another department that should be automated is sales where automation can help save time, improve the ROI, and win more clients. It can even be good for customer support.

We know that customers do not want to wait to get connected to an agent. They also want their problems to get solved quickly. A chatbot can be of great help in this situation. Moreover, CRMs can help agents find data and save time.

Reports suggest that professionals spend around 4 hours per day manually looking for files. CRMs and other such tools can make things easier while also boosting business efficiency.

Another automation that is super easy to implement is invoice automation. By using an invoice maker such as Billdu, you can set up automatic invoice creation. In Billdu, these are called recurring invoices. You can create a new recurring invoice that will be created and sent out to your customers every week, month or year. This way, you will never forget to send an invoice again. In Billdu, you can also track expenses, create estimates, delivery notes and much more.

Try our free estimate generator, invoice generator, credit note maker or delivery note creator now to see how they work. And yes, there you can also automate expense creation. With recurring expenses, you can easily automate tracking of periodical expenses such as phone or internet bills. Signing up for Billdu and setting these simple rules will boost your business efficiency in no time.

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#3 Get Rid of Distractions and Interruptions

Let’s revisit some productivity stats as the two are interconnected. According to reports, the average employee is productive for less than 3 hours per day. This happens due to a variety of reasons including distractions.

Reports suggest that employees get interrupted around 7 times, resulting in a wastage of 35 minutes in total with each interruption lasting about 5 minutes. If this is shocking, you will be surprised to know that on average, there is an interruption at the workplace every 8 minutes, which causes the overall productivity or efficiency to suffer.

This can cause each employee to lose around 4 hours of working time per day. You must take steps to reduce this by identifying and reducing distractions.

Interruptions can be of many times including personal. Employees might be interrupted due to their thoughts; however, the most common culprit is a mobile phone that keeps people occupied both mentally and physically.

If you want to know how to improve efficiency in business then you must know how to stop distractions.

#4 Improve Communication

Communication is key, yet 80 percent of employees in the US feel stressed or anxious due to a lack of good company communication.

If you wish to know how to increase your business efficiency then you must be able to differentiate between different methods of communication, identify the best communication tool, and work on both internal and external communication.

Tools like Slack and Trello can be helpful in keeping people on the same page. For communication with customers, you must come up with plans and train your customer service department.

If you offer phone, email, or ticket support then your team must be experienced to handle requests including grievances. In addition to this, marketing communication should be paid attention to as well.

Email is one of the most commonly used communication tools for this purpose. Consider automating this process to increase efficiency. Those who get in touch with you can get an automated response, which may help solve some of the problems and allow your workers to concentrate on other tasks.

The benefits of automation are obvious but it can often be hard to implement. People are not always excited about using new technology and some are against the use of automation tools.

You will have to tell them the importance of automation and how it benefits them to ensure there are no issues.

Improve business efficiency through communication

#5 Reduce Meetings and Go Online When You Can

There are two rules to follow:

  1. Reduce the number of meetings
  2. Make sure your meetings go well

As highlighted in this Harvard Business Review article, meetings can lead to business inefficiency. The average meeting lasts between 31 to 60 minutes. This is a lot of time considering we only spend around 7 hours working on an average day.

Back in the day, companies used to hold meetings to discuss everything. It was the norm to call people from every department to be a part of meetings but things are changing now.

Physical meetings are not necessary and decisions can be taken by going online thanks to tools like Zoom and Skype. This saves time because you do not have to prepare the meeting room and wait for everyone to arrive. However, in cases where physical meetings are important, make sure to take care of these points to ensure your business and meeting remain efficient:

  • Make sure to schedule at the right time so you do not have to reschedule. You can use different tools to ensure everyone’s available.
  • Have a clear goal or agenda and ensure it is clearly communicated to everyone involved.
  • A lack of accountability is another reason for meetings to be inefficient. Make sure to communicate with everyone after the meeting to ensure they understood things well.
  • Having too many people or not having everyone needed can cause meetings to fail.
  • Meetings that go too long end up being less productive and inefficient. It is best to divide a meeting into segments and ensure it runs according to the plan.

Holding meetings in an efficient manner can be tricky but once you follow these rules, you will find it easier to manage them.

#6 Establish and Follow Processes 

Businesses need to have clearly defined processes to ensure there are no delays and everything can be done in an efficient manner. A great way to make things easy is to create a manual and distribute it to all the concerned parties.

Training sessions can also be of help. It is common for some big and small companies to hold seminars to explain processes and train individuals before they get on the job so that they’re able to follow the guidelines and ensure work is completed in an efficient and timely manner.

In addition to this, one should also care about clarity in terms of responsibilities and roles. Duties must be assigned clearly and there should be no question about who’s supposed to do what.

An easy way to do this is to assign supervisors or managers to teams or floors. Make it their duty to ensure all procedures are followed. A major reason why businesses get inefficient is that decisions take too long to come.

There’s a hierarchy that one has to follow, which only slows the process down. By giving power in the hands of employees, you will be able to make things right. But, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

You cannot let employees decide everything or you cannot let the wrong person make an important decision. This has to be done with a lot of care so that your business continues to run well without any issues.

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#7 Outsource When You Can

Outsourcing is now more popular than ever. About 300,000 jobs in the country are outsourced annually and most are performed in countries with cheaper labor. In fact, about 70 percent of businesses choose to outsource due to cost advantages; however, it isn’t the only benefit.

While it is more common among large businesses, small companies are now also outsourcing. The IT department is one of the most commonly outsourced departments; however, there are several other options including marketing and HRM.

Consider outsourcing departments that are too difficult to manage. But, make sure to choose a company that is reliable as working with an unreliable or unprofessional outsourcing firm will only lead to more difficulties.

#8 Reduce Red Tape As Much as You Can

While red tape is a problem commonly associated with government organizations, many public companies also suffer from this problem. It is surprisingly common for organizations to introduce complex processes or a large number of forms for simple tasks that can be completed in a few minutes.

To make your business efficient, get rid of excessive paperwork and make things quick. This will not only improve your internal working but also leave a positive impact on your clients since most buyers do not like to wait for things. They will happily move to another provider if it means better service.

Technology has made things easier. You can use mobile apps or online tools to get more done in less time. Applications or forms, for example, can be filled, submitted, and verified online. This helps save time and other resources.

Many big and small companies even have mobile apps that can be used by both internal members and consumers to make processes more efficient. While it’s usually a big investment, it can help improve business efficiency.

#9 Give Breaks to Your Employees

Your business is only as efficient as your employees are. According to the web, most employees are overworked and unhappy, hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that efficiency rates are constantly decreasing.

Science has proven that taking breaks is healthy not only for humans but for machines as well. Taking a break for a few seconds to stretch, move around, and relax your eyes can rejuvenate both your brain and body.

Most people take smoking, lunch, and loo breaks. You should allow your employees to take a stroll but ensure that they complete all their work on time and these breaks do not impact work in a negative manner.

Employees shouldn’t go to each other to chatter as that may cause disturbance to others.

#10 Get an Invoicing Tool

A great way to increase efficiency is to get an invoicing software. Almost all kinds of businesses issue invoices and most now use computers to generate them; however, tools like Excel may not be the best option as they’re not only complicated to use but they also lack specific features.

Invoicing can be a lengthy process as it involves adding names, prices, calculating taxes, taking care of discounts, etc. Manually doing all this work can take a lot of time. Plus, there’s always a risk of mistakes.

By using an invoicing tool like Billdu, you can automate the process and take the burden off you. Billdu can import data, help you work offline, calculate amounts for you, and even send reminders to ensure you get paid on time and your cash flow does not suffer.

How to Improve Efficiency in Business

We hope these tips on how to improve efficiency in business will help you achieve your desired result. Remember that there’s a time lag and you may have to wait a while for results to show.

Do not give up and continue to follow these business efficiency tips so that you can make your company more efficient.

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