Small business advice: 5 super easy ways to maximize business productivity
Time is money, and time flies when you’re a small business owner. This is why your company’s level of productivity can make or break your business. A study conducted by Microsoft showed that on average, workers we’re only productive for a total of 3 days out 5 – that’s only 60% of the time! These aren’t bad employees necessarily; many small businesses get caught up in the same inefficiencies that prevent their workers from maxing their productivity. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you can easily avoid some of the most common efficiency pitfalls by implementing our short list of fool-proof productivity tips for business owners.
It’s time to stop wasting time and energy making some of the common small business mistakes. The following 5 tips are some small changes that you can implement immediately and painlessly, that will drastically improve business productivity.
#1: Consolidate lighter errands and tasks
First off, trust us when we say that multitasking is not your friend. Consolidate similar projects and tasks together on a specific day or time, so you can get through them in the most efficient way possible. For example, instead of checking your email throughout the day - dragging you away from whatever task you’re currently working on and breaking your workflow – use your morning to answer emails, and then once more again at specific time in the afternoon. Consolidating tasks in this way helps to minimize distractions allowing you to actually finish something in a timely fashion. You’ll get a lot more done this way, and faster.
#2: Keep your list of priorities lean
Being a busy business owner, it may sometimes seem like your to-do list is never-ending, which can be a bit discouraging, not to mention distracting as you attempt to multi-task your way through it. There simply is no such thing as a short list of priorities but you can help keep your team focused and on task if you prioritize your priorities. Look at that long list of to-dos and whittle it down to 2-3 priorities that you will tackle first before moving on to others. Not only is this more efficient, it will keep moral high because projects will get completed faster due to the increased focus allocated to them. That endless list won’t seem so endless after all!
#3: Make health a priority
You are the driving force behind your business, don’t invest in it at the expense of your own health and wellbeing. Nothing kills productivity more than not feeling mentally and physically 100%.
The same goes for your employees, you should encourage your team to maintain good health habits as well. You’re not doing yourself any favors by pushing yourself to the brink of burnout because your business’ performance will suffer in the long term, outweighing any short term gains in productivity. Illness and burnout are the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace and they can be a real bottom line killer. Lead by example and make your health a priority.
#4: Empower your team
Empowering your team can take many forms. One mistake many owners make is when they micromanage their employees, not letting them perform the job they were hired to do.. You’re busy, and you will end up being the bottleneck slowing everyone else down if you can’t learn to delegate properly. Moreover, give your employees access to the information they need to work efficiently. If they have to hunt around for these details, it will waste valuable time and energy.
Make sure the following information is readily available to your team:
- Scheduling – your employees need to know when they’re working and where. They need information about time off and who’s on vacation when in order to function as a cohesive and productive team.
- Customer support – for customer facing employees, they need ready access to your customer support knowledge base and resources in order to serve clients without being subject to frustrating delays.
- Customer history – having access to a customer’s history of transactions, support tickets, and communications allows your employees to build on another member’s work instead of having to cluelessly start from scratch, and avoids unnecessarily irritating your customers.
- Projects – do your employees have access to group project details, timelines, and goals or are they working in silos? Make project details readily available so team members clearly understand the big picture, their roles in the project, and the end result they’re all working towards.
#5: Nix the multitasking
Don’t multitask You may not be as good at it as you think you are. It may seem like you’re getting more done but in reality, you’re not. A study at the University of London showed that subjects who multitasked while performing cognitive tasks experienced a significant drop in IQ. It creates a vicious cycle that makes us feel like we’re achieving much, when in reality we’re not really accomplishing much beyond sending an email or replying to a text. By focusing on one task at time you will encourage better brain habits and actually drastically improve business productivity. The biggest factor in the explosion of multitasking? Our email inboxes and the proliferation of smartphones!
These productivity tips above don’t really cost anything, making them easy to implement right away. However, another tried and true way to boost productivity is to keep employee morale high. Whether it’s through fun outings like a monthly dinner, team building excursions, or keeping a selection healthy snacks in the office, investing in the moral of your employees can pay off in spades. After all, happy employees are productive employees. A merchant cash advance or small business loan can help you invest in programs to help keep your team smiling.
Contact Evolocity today to find a flexible financing solution tailored to your small business's unique needs.