Regardless of whether a business is just getting off the ground or they’ve been and up running for quite some time, there are always going to be parts of a business where things could be done in a more efficient manner.
Although not every business is open to change, those who realize it’s one of the keys to staying competitive just need to know where they should focus their attention on becoming more efficient.
If that’s the exact position you’re in, focusing on any or all of the following four areas will help streamline your business and increase the positive results you’re able to generate.
Make the Most of Every Business Relationship
Generating quality leads isn’t easy. That reality is why you don’t want to let opportunities for new customers fall through the cracks.
The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to implement a CRM within your business. Because all of your employees will be able to access it from anywhere, a CRM that’s based in the cloud is the best way to go.
In addition to helping you manage new leads, another advantage of using this type of system is it will make it easier to stay in touch with customers or clients so that you can encourage them to refer new people to your business.
Don’t Let Email Be an Excuse
When used correctly, email can not only reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate, but also ensure that everyone stays on the same page.
Unfortunately, the reality of email is that it ends up overwhelming most people and distracting them from the type of work that they should be focused on.
If you want to gain back control of email within your business, encouraging some best practices is the way to go. From making it clear that email shouldn’t be used as a to-do list to providing training so that employees are able to automatically filter less important emails, helping everyone get their inboxes under control can free up a significant amount of time.
Automate Whenever Possible
Automating common tasks can truly unlock the full potential of your business. One common misconception about automation is that you have to be a technical genius in order to implement these types of changes.
While it definitely helps to have a talented developer on staff, there are plenty of services that can partially or fully automate tasks for you.
One example is using a service like Zapier to tie multiple services you use together. Since Zapier currently supports over 230 different web services, the combination of automating common processes is nearly endless.
Another example is to shift from manual payroll processing to an online payroll system. Taking advantage of this streamlining option can free up you or your staff to focus on other tasks within your business.
Be Willing to Say No
Although this is the hardest step for many businesses, it can also be the most valuable. It’s important to understand that certain demands or requests simply aren’t worth the time they take to create.
For example, if your business sells a software product, you may have a customer who wants a specific feature built. If they’re a significant customer, you may be tempted to invest the time and resources to build it.
But if that feature is really outside the scope of what your product does, it actually doesn’t make sense to build it given that the majority of your customers aren’t going to care about it.
Another example is if you run any type of consulting company, there may come a time when it makes sense to let certain clients go.
Even if they’re paying a significant amount for your services each month, if you audit your company’s time and realize one or two clients are draining more than their fair share of all your resources, letting them loose may be the only way for your business to grow.
Since we just covered a lot of ground, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. While that’s completely normal, keep in mind that you don’t have to change a bunch of things about your business overnight.
Instead, pick which item on our list seems most relevant, and then focus on fully implementing it.
Just as saving loose change can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year, it won’t take very long for small changes within your business to have a noticeable impact.