To increase productivity as a small business, your strategy shouldn't be working harder for longer hours at the cost of your health and leisure time. Success comes with working smarter and taking advantage of tools, resources and adjustment of the day to day running, to achieve a more effective and efficient delivery.
1. Set goals
Having a clear vision and aspirations is vital for your business and workforce alike, ensuring that you're all united on the same path, working towards shared goals. Setting these out eliminates procrastination and boost a sense of being part of the organisation, enhancing inclusiveness, boosting mood and with it raising overall productivity.
As a small business, it's easy to say yes to every piece of work that comes your way. But remember that it's important to know when to say no. Think about if you're stretching yourself beyond your means to the point that existing work might suffer as a result. Getting a bad reputation could be detrimental in the long term as opposed to maintaining high standards.
If you're finding yourself easily distracted and avoiding certain dreaded tasks, then prioritise those and cross-off the tricky jobs first. When you feel as though you're firefighting through an influx of emails or queries to the point you're not getting work done, then set aside time to each to save you being pulled in different directions. Dedicate an hour in the morning and at the end of the day to work through emails and have a specific weekly drop-in session for staff. This will leave you free to block out time to complete those pressing jobs, where you can switch off email and direct messaging notifications to work without distraction.
3. Tools and technology
There are an abundance of innovative gadgets, tech and programmes available these days to make working life easier. Whether it's a content management system for improved organisation, time planners to enable smarter working, or time-saving software and extensions. Introduce automated systems; the elimination of labour-intensive processes will be well worth the investment. Utilise all of these to streamline the way your business runs, being sure to work as smartly as possible.
Take advantage of the evolved technology we have at our disposal - host video calls with colleagues and clients in place of long-distance travel. This has the triple benefit of being economical, environmentally friendly and time-efficient.
If you need specialist knowledge, consider hiring a freelance expert to get the job done. Having a trusted person you can draft in when needs arise can be preferable to hiring a full-time employee who won't be fully utilised.
5. Cost-effective office solutions
When looking to streamline your overheads, then carefully honing your office set up is a good place to start. Serviced offices remove the need for extra expenditure on office upkeep, hefty IT costs and amenities, with all-inclusive infrastructure to uphold a professional workplace. It may be beneficial to switch to a coworking space, or even a virtual office if your workforce is primarily freelance or work remotely. These options allow you to take advantage of an official business address with a dedicated reception to receive post and calls, and with meeting rooms available when you want to bring your workforce team together.
6. Flexible working and employee benefits
Enabling your workforce to work to a schedule that fits with their lifestyle will not just improve morale (which is known to increase productivity). But having a less rigid structure to start and finish times will mean your staff won't need to take extra time off for appointments or school runs, meaning greater overall input from staff and ultimately enhanced output for your business.
In a similar vein, introducing employee benefits to ensure the upkeep of your staff wellbeing. Poor physical and mental health can lead to absenteeism, which has a big impact on overall productivity. Putting in place a healthcare plan can act as a preventative measure, ensuring your employees are supported with access to professional medical practitioners to stay well before an illness becomes deeper-rooted and more problematic.
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