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Spring Cleaning: How to Create a More Efficient Business



Everyone wishes that they had more time. It’s one of the few things in life that we can never truly get back; once it's gone, it's gone for good. So how exactly can we maximize our time? Things like evaluating your current work processes, automation and turning to your employees are great ways to maximize productivity within your business.

Analyze Work Processes

The first thing you should consider when looking to maximize productivity is looking inward at what processes are required of you and your employees. Laying out all the steps for each process (sales transactions, content creation) and identifying what is necessary and what steps can be removed or altered can be a great place to start.

Alternatively, you can reevaluate any programs or software required in each step and if there are better options, or if there are ways to boost efficiency within said programs. It’s important to take into consideration training time if you plan on switching software.

If you’re finding that many employees are unable to efficiently balance all of their responsibilities, consider outsourcing some of the less specialized tasks. You can opt for a VA to avoid having to hire a permanent employee. A VA will be able to help you and your business on a contract basis, so if you decide to send your employees for more training, or find that you’ve found a new process that maximizes your efficiency, you aren’t required to fire or issue a severance package to that person.

Analyzing your work processes prior to making any big changes can help you avoid making unnecessary changes within your organization, and also allow you to revisit any processes that are being used within your organization.

Automation

Automation in this case refers to allowing for things such as customer emails and reminders, or follow up phone calls to be automated using a machine. For instance, if you operate a doctor’s office and want to automate your email appointment reminders, you can activate a setting on your telephone system allowing you to send appointment reminder emails in the click of a button– as opposed to individually sending out each email.

The benefit of automation is that it takes over some of the less complicated, yet tedious, tasks using computerized systems. This can allow for your employees (and yourself) to focus more on other tasks requiring a “human touch.”

Referring back to the doctor’s office example– if you're getting complaints from your patients that your receptionist is continually making mistakes or that the line up for the front desk is so long it’s caused them to miss their appointments, you can try using automation to take over some of the traditional receptionist duties. This would allow your front desk staff to better assist your patients, and have more time to focus on duties such as answering phone calls, or maintaining the cleanliness of the office.

Ask For Feedback

Asking for feedback can be daunting to some people. Mainly because most feel as though they are admitting there is something wrong within their business. However, this is certainly not the case, and not what your employees or clients will assume. When you ask employees for their feedback on specific tasks, processes or how they would improve the efficiency of their job or the office in general, it's more likely that the employee will feel valued and respected, rather than question the integrity of the business. Employees want to be a part of the process, and allowing them to voice their opinions and hear their ideas is one way of including them.

Asking a client for feedback is even easier. You can add an option for feedback at the bottom of emails, or in exit communications. Or, you can simply ask a client that has worked with you before, what they valued in your work, and any suggestions they would have for the future. Most clients will provide you with positive testimonials (which can be used for your website or digital marketing) and can offer small suggestions as to business practices, communication or specific areas of improvement– it’s unlikely they’ll tell you straight out that you need to completely revamp your entire company. Worst comes to worst, you won’t get a response or they’ll tell you they can’t think of anything at the moment.

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