In order for your small business to run like a well-oiled machine, efficiency is a key component.
When you have an efficient company, things just seem to naturally fall into place.
On the flip side, an inefficient company can be full of landmines, explosives that can end up putting you out of business over time.
So, does your small business pass the efficiency test?
See Where You Can Close the Gaps
If your small business is essentially leaking oil to put it kindly, there are means whereby you can improve your revenue cycle.
- Monetary review – First and foremost, look to see where you may be (in reality are) wasting money. In many cases, inefficiency is where the problem rests, so do your best to change that. For example, a physician’s office can cut down (or eliminate entirely) on the long and extensive paper trail. By going to a more modern electronic means of doing business, money can be saved over time, while frustration for both doctors and patients can greatly be reduced.
- Employee production – Look to see if you are getting the most out of your employees (if you’re not a one-person show). For those small business owners with workers, make sure they are doing all that is asked of them, not leaving others to have to pick up the slack. If you’re feeling as though you don’t get a full day’s work out of them, sit down and discuss the concerns. In some cases, it can be a rather easy fix. Other cases, however, may mean moving on from one or more employees and replacing them. One item to keep in mind, hiring and training new employees does cost you money, so don’t make it a regular habit to be replacing people all the time. Bringing on new employees because your company is growing is much different than having to hire over and over again because of workplace inefficiency;
- Your advertising and marketing dollars – Are you getting your money’s worth when it comes to your advertising and marketing needs? As a small business owner, you likely have less financial means to be able to spend like you’d probably want to on proper advertising and marketing. As a result, you have to make sure you get as much as possible out of each and every campaign you put forth. If you are a small real estate company doing marketing campaigns on homes for sale, use as many outlets as possible to spread the word. This includes local newspapers and magazines, radio and TV, the Internet, and more. The key is to maximize the advertising and marketing opportunities at minimum dollars;
- Social media never hurts – One of the great vehicles with which to get maximum exposure at literally no cost (at least initially) is social media. In using social media, you literally do not spend anything other than time and effort to start. Yes, you may decide to invest in a social media consultant or even a company to focus 100 percent on your social efforts (this will cost you funds), but many businesses do the social networking tasks in-house. In doing so, they can save time and have more of a handle on what is and is not being shared with others. To get the maximum impact out of social media, use it regularly, not when you feel like getting around to it. In order for social media to work its magic, it needs to be used consistently, giving your business more of a chance to build up regular followers, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
You’ve obviously put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into starting your small business, so failure should never be an option.
Keep a positive mindset moving forward, even when times get tough.
Remember, many small businesses do not make it out of the first few years, but that does not have to be the case for your situation.
If your small business can pass the efficiency test, the sky can be the limit for you and your customers.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.