Just because your business isn’t running as efficiently as it could doesn’t mean that you can’t tweak your procedures to turn it into a well-oiled machine. By paying close attention to where you’re wasting time and money, small changes can make a bigger difference than you ever imagined. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Records Results for Analysis
Before you make the first change, it’s important to keep a good record of the results of your current process. Without this, you’ll have no clear idea if your changes were effective. Once you identify a process that’s taking too long, make one or two changes and measure again. This practice will let you know if you’re tackling the right problems and if your changes actually worked. Once you get the hang of it, you can proceed at a faster rate.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Some people think that everything will work out if they just work harder. This sounds like common sense, but it rarely works out. Instead, find a smarter way to do things. Here’s a secret: technology can be your best friend. Little things like signing documents electronically and using an online fax service instead of printing, signing and faxing can save a tremendous amount of time.
Using a smartphone or other mobile device is another great idea. This lets you stay in touch while you’re in the field and removes the office ball-and-chain from your leg. By allowing you to take full advantage of travel time and other previously wasted opportunities, you can get a lot more done in the same amount of time.
Lunch Breaks Aren’t Taboo
Sometimes, it’s more important to know when to stop than to just work harder. By taking a break or actually going out to lunch, you give your brain a chance to recharge. It’s amazing how this habit can take a previously insurmountable task and transform it into a 10-minute no-brainer. Taking breaks during work is extremely good for your health and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Think about it like this: you only have so many hours that you can work before you start to shut down or burn out. A little off time only makes you more productive in the long run. If nothing else, take a five-minute walk and start again.
Break the Routine
People waste precious minutes everyday by waiting for the same routine things to happen. Although it doesn’t feel like much, minutes can add up to hours over the course of a day. Instead of waiting for your computer to boot up or that large document to print, do something productive with your time. Just five minutes is enough to wipe a small task or two off your to-do list.
It’s the perfect time to call an important customer, schedule that appointment or simply clean the clutter off your desk. If you’re really caught up and have absolutely nothing that has to be done, take a short walk.
Small changes can add up to large improvements when it comes to an efficient business. What will you change first?