7 Pointers for building solid Small Business operations
Setting up and running a small business, no matter how small, is tricky business. To gain and maintain that competitive edge, having a solid foundation and a smooth operational system in place is essential.
Not only this, business owners must also look to continuously boost efficiency across the organisation to stay ahead of the competition. There are numerous aspects that should be monitored on a regular basis, below are few of tips to ensure operational efficiency.
1. Keep things transparent
Being a small business, keeping things transparent and provide all employee access to information readily and easily is not a challenge. Most businesses make the mistake of ensuring information sharing only within departments, but for a business to have as smooth operations as possible, information accessibility should be made easy between all department. This will allow everyone to be on the same page and react quickly to any circumstance.
2. Get the right people
When you have seats to be filled, something you might fall into the trap of rushing to hire people. While at that point you might feel like your business is going to fall apart if you don't find someone to take on the role asap, you might suffer more in the long run hiring the wrong person in a rush. Minimising employee turnover should be something you aim for from day one, as high turnover will be remarkably costly for your business and will surely slow down its progress in more than one way. Selecting the right person with the right attitude and personality for the each role will be crucial to making sure that all of your employees are happy with what they do.
3. Document control
Although this does not seem like the most fun filled task out there, it certainly is one of the most crucial. Having instant access to the newest versions of your company documents - whether it’s the branding guideline, contracts or client briefs - can have an enormous impact on how smoothly your operations run. Ensuring that all of these documents are revised on a regular basis is also important to keep your business organised. This should be made a habit in all department, alongside consistent formatting and layout. When things are clear and concise, it leaves little room for misunderstanding and miscommunication - which can be huge time wasters for any organisation.
4. Get feedback from the team
Let's face it; it will take any business a considerable amount of struggle to get their ducks in a row and have solid business processes. However, as the business grows, you might not always be able to keep an eye closely on operations. Getting feedback from you team will help you stay updated on the current status, on what’s working, what is not working, and what should be changed. This does not mean that you should limit yourself to getting feedback only from the top levels, rather include everyone, which is not so hard to implement for small business.
5. Have a clear process
Process is at the core of every business. Every employee needs to be aware how business should be carried out, when a task needs to be completed and how. Funnels need to be in place to ensure consistent quality output. This does not mean you have to create complicated plans with numerous steps in it, rather develop simple ones, including only essential steps to ensure quality output. Having complex plans will only confuse your employee and discourage them from sticking to it. This will also make training new employee easier and create overall efficiency.
6. Use technology
Technology is your friend, if not your best friend. The notion that all work must be completed being physically at the office is a thing of the past. Allow your employee access to needed information at all times to increase productivity on the go. Virtual private networks enable employees to connect securely and remotely connect employees to the company network.
This will be a win-win situation as it will allow your staff to have better work-life balance while maintaining (if not increasing) productivity and delivery quality.
7. Don’t ignore data
Data driven decisions are a lifesaver for any business. There are many internal and external stakeholders which will impact your operations, not only that; there are numerous outside factors that you have no control over whatsoever. Considering all of these, you need to keep an objective view when it comes to your business operations, and what could be handier to do this than data? Data should be at the core of strategic decision making, as it can aid you to answer fundamental questions by giving you accurate, valuable insights.
Created: July 28th, 2016