Operating a successful business involves upholding a variety of responsibilities and duties on a daily basis. However, simply staying in business and operating with optimal efficiency are two totally different things. A business that functions efficiently has the best chances of expanding at the most expeditious rate possible. On the other hand, flaws in operational processes and planning can lead to inefficient activity that ultimately reduces your bottom line and adds more stress to the already demanding burden of spearheading a corporate endeavor. With that said, most companies can greatly benefit by incorporating the following five tips and a shared office space into their daily habits and practices:
Once you've handled the core financial facet, it's time to look for any deficiencies or gaps in your current scheduling and time management approach. Separating daily schedules into very specific time-allocated task helps you ensure that even the toughest schedules can be adhered to. Achieving maximum efficiency means getting as much work done in a day as physically possible. However, regularly pushing employees and resources to their absolute limits may not be a very sustainable approach. Thus, it's best to create a schedule that's challenging and full, but still reasonably doable within the course of a day. Once you have the daily schedules mapped out, you can then extrapolate to produce a monthly schedule that is conducive to superior progress.
Although the company as a whole should strive to achieve maximum productivity, overburdening individual employees will result in fatigue, low morale , and poor performance overall. Instead, if more tasks need to be achieved within a tight time frame, it may be a better idea to bring help on-board, rather than expecting the existing employees to bear the brunt of the additional responsibility. If hiring new employees is not an option, then you may have to go back to tip #1 and revise the schedule to be more sustainable or work with clients and providers to allow for more leniency.
Payments connectivity is an often overlooked yet crucial aspect of business efficiency, as it allows your company to send and receive payments to and from all entities and financial institutions within a centralized interface. There are platforms available that can facilitate such transactions. Platforms like AccessPay and ADP facilitate seamless payment processing by connecting various external platforms into a fully compatible solution that's useful for every financial scenario. Adversely, using generic payment processors that aren't specifically designed for corporate use will put you in the barrel with 90% of other businesses that aren't operating at peak efficiency and have yet to implement seamless business payments.
Most business owners, managers, and employees waste a significant amount of time performing tedious digital tasks that could be automated or outsource to virtual assistants. Enlisting help beyond your in-house staff not only provides more efficiency leverage; it can also save you money by letting you delegate simple, yet time-consuming tasks to workers abroad, thereby letting you benefit from exchange rates that often result in lower labor costs. Aside from hiring external help, you could also use software to greatly simplify things like responding to emails (auto responder platforms include Infusionsoft, HubSpot, MailChimp, Constant Contact), distributing content (consider Hootsuite for social media OR Constant Contact & MailChimp for newsletters), updating social media accounts (Hootsuite and similar products), and many other tasks that may be causing your business to lose efficiency and momentum in its daily operations.
Efficiency can also be gained by having more resources at your fingertips. Many shared office space solutions offer administrative support (along with the other normal benefits of complimentary beverages, coworking space, furnished office space, WiFi and a nationwide network of locations). The administrative time could be used for anything from filing invoices, preparing a direct mail campaign, performing basic excel functions and scheduling appointments. Tapping into this resource means you can keep your overhead low (no need for additional employees) while also improving your business.
Finally, if earning more revenue is a top priority – as it should be – then perhaps the most important aspect to focus on is client/customer solicitation. Chances are your company isn't currently utilizing all of the advertising avenues that it could be, and by expanding into new markets you're practically guaranteed to encounter additional opportunities. Start with methods that don't require substantial start-up costs and then move onto paid advertisements like PPC once you've built up an advertising budget via your initial extended marketing effort. There are plenty of options when it comes to business marketing it's just about finding the right one.
In closing, all of the above tips are fundamental principles that every entrepreneur and company manager should understand. By addressing all of these essential areas of operation, a company can ensure that it has the best chances of expanding and increasing profitability in both the long-term and the near future.
Written by: Jeff Hensiek
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.