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Five ways to make your small business more productive. There are a number of strategies you can employ to make your small business more productive.
These may sound a little farcical but you’d be surprised how easily distracted we can become by websites, memes, viral videos, content etc. So productivity apps, most of which are free, can help you focus and streamline processes, tick off tasks and assign projects. There are many apps out there that are designed to block yourself from social media and other procrastination sites. Just a few of the ones we’ve spotted include Focus, SelfControl and Strict Workflow. Other apps we’ve come across that can help you organise work for a team or yourself are Basecamp, Asana and Teamwork PM, but there loads out there so have a look around.
It’s the golden rule of business, but don’t ever forget your existing customers on the road to pursuing new business. Poor customer service can have devastating results for your business, customers want to feel wanted. Retention is just as important as acquisition. Loyal customers can be your best source of referral leads and for a lot of companies, repeat business. Particularly for service-based and sole traders, reputation is currency, and devaluing that is a recipe for disaster.
A simple way to improve employee morale and increase productivity is to simply reduce noise. The majority of offices now are open plan, which many employees find distracting and stressful. While collaboration is improved, and costs are reduced, the productivity lost may well cancel out the benefit of open office space. Simple suggestions could be allowing staff who don’t need to answer the phone listen to their own music. For customer-facing staff, quality office headsets can reduce ambient noise which can also help keep them focused, (and professional looking!).
Hiring skilled professionals helps you create a more efficient workplace. For example, an accountant is likely to complete your tax returns more quickly and accurately than you would perhaps yourself. This frees up your time and enables you to focus on core priorities - growing and developing your business.
This is a contentious issue for a lot of employers as not employees are suited to this type of working. However, for those who do, it can be an ideal way to reduce your costs and dramatically improve productivity. Employers who offer flexible working have reported higher engagement, output and loyalty from their staff. An RSA/Vodafone study found that it could contribute £8.1bn to the UK economy each year.
Given the nature of your business, not all of these ideas may work for you, but it may spark some interest or topics for discussion that could make practises more productive for everyone. Tell us what you do that makes you and your business more productive @kinexuk