Operational efficiency is the single most important factor that helps businesses to remain competitive and leads them straight to success. Here are 10 smart ways to improve your business operations right now.
1. Communicate with customers
Satisfied customers is something you should always work towards. You can improve customer communications by linking your IP communications system to a CRM solution – when a customer calls you, your employee will have their full profile delivered right onto their screen. Before the second ring, your customer service specialist will be able to access information that will make the exchange smoother.
2. Outsource your IT
Take some time once in a while to assess your management of IT – you’ll discover that your employees lose lots of time on activities that can be easily outsourced. Service providers have all the expertise to manage your IT in an efficient way so you won’t need to spend resources on developing a similar expertise inside your business.
3. Revisit your business plan
It’s a great idea to periodically review your business plan – that’s how you’ll see it take shape from what at the beginning was just a vague idea. It’s important that you follow your plan – it’s there for a reason. Of course, some factors have probably changed, but the gist of it remains the same. Revisit your business plan and, taking into account current economic climate, asses the direction taken by your company. There’s always time to change the course.
4. Motivate your employees
Value your employees – good ones are really hard to find. Employees are the core of your business operations so make sure that they’re engaged and feel that they play an important role in the success of your business. Maintain a good relationship with them and you’ll enjoy a higher retention rate and less resources spent on recruiting and training newbies.
5. Identify your weak spots
Have a look at all aspects of your business operation and identify areas that should be improved. This is the single most effective technique for weeding out practices and strategies that take lots of time and bring relatively little result.
6. Cut your costs
Funding secured from investors doesn’t allow you to stop looking for new ways to reduce your costs. Details like making double-sided paper copies matter a lot. Ordering supplies in bulk, you’ll effectively reduce wasted resources in making and delivering your product. An improved bottom line and an increased competitive advantage are definitely worth the trouble.
7. Deal with unproductive travel time
If your employees often travel – especially by planes – you can count all this time as lost and impossible to recover. Implement a communications solution to provide a rich-media conferencing to reduce the required travel. Investing in it will save you lots of money on lost time and transport fees in the future.
8. Go mobile
Making your employees go mobile, you’ll boost their productivity during moments when they cannot easily access company network. You can create virtual private networks or pervasive wireless networks to help employees stay connected while moving around a given space.
9. Start your day energetically
Initiate your day with a thoughtful reflection on the preceding day and analyze what could have been done better. List your ideas and strategies for energizing your business. Focus on innovation and adoption of new paradigms – that’s what keeps a business profitable and competitive. Take it all in stride and lead your team to success.
10. Foster collaboration
Collaboration between employees, suppliers and customers should be your top priority. Make sure that all parties have relevant tools and know clearly which of them to use in specific contexts.
Following these 10 key tips, you’ll be on your way to enhancing your business operations, keeping your employees satisfied and boosting the general productivity of your team – all of which will build your competitive advantage.