5 Ways to Maximize Your Resources and Improve Business Efficiency
There’s no shortage of business advice online, but searching for tips on how to improve productivity as a small business owner could leave you overwhelmed. Since business efficiency is less about what you do and more about how you do it, consider the following ways that can help you maximize your resources and execute business functions more efficiently.
- Use Free Resources
There are valuable free resources for business that you can turn to when you need it. National organizations such as the Small Business Administration and SCORE provide free advice and resources that can help you with your business. Your local offices can offer guidance on start-up issues, tax concerns, and in some cases even legal matters. They can also put you in touch with counselors that have years of business and entrepreneurial experience.
- Invest in Quality Branding
Having a consistent and cohesive brand message can be invaluable in presenting a clear message to your customers, vendors, key stakeholders, and the public. It’s important that all aspects of your branding – from your company logo to your website layout and product offerings – are consistent with the message you want to send to your target audiences.
Branding is also important if you have an online as well as brick-and-mortar presence. Even if you don't plan to conduct business online, your customers will likely still search for you there. Verify that your online presence is updated with accurate information on business review pages like Yelp or Manta. Consider creating a free profile on Google My Business to ensure that you are branding yourself professionally online.
- Think from Your Customers’ Perspectives
New business owners may make the mistake of basing decisions based on their own personal preferences instead of thinking from the customer’s perspective. For instance, there might be details about your business that may seem obvious to you, and therefore unnecessary to mention on sales and marketing materials. But from a potential customer’s point of view, this could be valuable information when deciding to do business with you. It’s important to make considerations from the perspective of your target audiences; ask for outside opinions if necessary to avoid making choices based solely on a personal bias.
- Develop a Mentorship Network
Many business owners seek mentors before, during, and even after the life of their business. Developing a mentorship network in your business can be an important step to improve business efficiency as well. Mentorship programs can help your employees gain skills needed to overcome obstacles, cultivate creative ideas for the company, and develop relationships with valuable business partners. Surround yourself with a network of other business owners who can serve as a valuable soundboard when facing difficult situations.
- Outsource Key Business Tasks
You may wear many hats as a business owner – from designer to payroll administrator. Consider outsourcing complex business tasks that are integral to running a business. Payroll processing, for example, can take up hours of valuable time each week when handled internally, and payroll mistakes can cost your business hundreds or even thousands of dollars. By delegating these tasks to experts, you can focus your time on managing more strategic aspects of your business, and mitigate the chance of costly payroll errors.