5 Tips for Increasing Operational Efficiency

by Garrett Spence
2/14/2017 2:50:07 PM

 

Many businesses focus strictly on revenue with the belief that this will be sufficient to cover their expenses. However, as a business grows, so do its associated costs. Here's how to look at operational efficiency to maximize profits.

In order for startups to get off the ground and become profitable, they need to do more than just focus on income; they need to be smart about running their business in an efficient manner. Ensuring your startup is running at optimal efficiency is vital in today's markets. It's particularly important for small businesses to operate efficiently, as they usually have limited access to resources when compared to their larger peers. Operational efficiency is predicated upon input vs. your output. Input means everything that goes into the production of goods or service. The output is the end product. To improve your operational efficiency, you need reduce the input necessary to gain the best output. This means streamlining your business operations to ensure that they are running at optimal efficiency. These tips will help you do that.

1. Audit your business

From inception, you should frequently audit all your business practices and procedures so as to identify and remove those that are no longer working, or update those that need improvements. Employees can help you with this process by giving you regular feedback on how successful procedures are, and how they might be ameliorated so as to be faster, more efficient or effective.

2. Outsource

Many startups and small businesses attempt to do everything themselves, but this can be counterproductive. Employees can get overloaded. If your staff are called upon to do work which does not fit within their job description or consists of unnecessary, time-consuming tasks this will make them inefficient. Their time is better spent doing the job they were hired for. External staff, such as a virtual assistant, should be hired to make your startup more efficient. You can also outsource IT tasks such as network, security, communication systems or other non-core functions.

3. Automate your business

Technology means that startups and small businesses can automate numerous routine chores. Doing tasks manually, the old-fashioned way is a waste of your employee's time and energy.  You should automate as many tasks you can, so as to streamline office functions thereby improving operational efficiency. This will boost your business output. If you're not sure how to do this, read this article.

4. Reduce travel time

Any time you or your staff spend traveling, especially long distance travel, will reduce operational efficiency. Time on the road or in the air entails time spent unproductively, not to mention additional costs. Teleconferences or videoconferences are an ideal solution to ensure you make and your staff make the most of your time.

5. Enhance your technology

Much as your staff need to be operating at optimum efficiency, so does the software and hardware that your staff relies upon. It is key to avoid software silos. For example, you should ensure that applications from different companies can exchange data seamlessly. If your staff’s operating systems are missing updates or their computers don't have enough hard drive space their applications might run at snail speed. Ensuring that your software and hardware are running properly will mean improved operational efficiency.

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