11 Jan How to Make Sure Your Business Runs as Smoothly as Possible
Starting a business and successfully running it are two wildly different things. It is fairly easy to jump through some basic hoops and start a business, but it is much harder to keep it running smoothly. The idea of having a business sounds glamorous, but between daily operations, vendor issues, customer complaints, doing payroll and preparing taxes, many people give up within the first 10 years.
You want to run your business in a manner that dictates success, but also be efficient with your own money, time and energy –it takes a lot of time to run a business properly. Luckily, most business operation problems are preventable. To ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently, consider the following helpful tips:
Don’t Offer More Than You Can Deliver
It is tempting to want to offer many different things to your customers, but when you move too far away from your core service or product, your mission gets lost. When customers or clients pay you for something, that’s the thing they want – and they don’t want it half-done, not done right, or not delivered on time. Remember, you run your business to make money, and while it’s trendy to talk about diversification to ensure the money is coming in, if you can’t actually do what you promise, you’ll over-extend yourself.
It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver, in order to complete every job the way client wants it. It is better to schedule for a 24-hour delivery time frame and complete it in 2 hours than it is to promise it in 2 hours and not deliver it for a day or more. There is nothing that annoys a customer more than not having a project completed on time. Once you’ve streamlined your delivery process, then you can start thinking about diversifying and adding more services or products.
Outsource What You Can’t Do
While it is often a mistake to outsource work that isn’t your company’s core specialty, if an outside source can handle some part of your process that saves you time or money, it can free you up to devote your time to other projects and building your core up. Don’t be scared to outsource work if you need the assistance. Crunch the numbers to determine if it’s better to outsource the work or if it would pay off for you to learn the skill and do the work yourself. If you can hire out for less, it makes sense to do so and save your time for more important tasks. For example, while in the long run it might be wise to learn how to handle all of your tax tasks yourself, there’s no shame in outsourcing the chore if it’s something you don’t want to learn, or which isn’t worth your time to learn.
Organisation is key to business success. No matter what type of business you are running, you need to be organised. This can be as simple as using a whiteboard to map out your daily tasks to finding expedient ways to deliver products to your customer. For example, Dropbox or the classic Google Documents platform can help you organise and share your files with clients.
For more intensive organisational business tools, look into specialised software that can eliminate meetings, spreadsheets, phone calls and emails, and improve quality and speed. They’ll help you assign the right person to the right project, increase utilisation, keep everyone up to date, and increase revenue and profits. Organisational resource planner software for project management offers a planning board, charts, reports, an integrated calendar system, mobile app, and even has a time sheets feature to get your employee hours organised.
Use Productivity Apps and Devices
There’s an entire industry that has evolved around productivity. As business owners, we strive to be productive and efficient, and get the job done as quickly as possible, because that means your invoices will be paid on time. The more jobs you can complete quickly, the more solvent your cash flow. One way to become more productive this year is through apps that help you keep track of your receipts and expenses, but having your data in the cloud can help when you’re on the go, as well. If you run your business off your internet connection, easy payment systems such as Paypal, which offer card readers, or specialised point-of-service (POS) devices can make life easier for you and your employees.
By taking control of your workload and outsourcing when necessary, and implementing planning and organisational tools, you’ll significantly be able to streamline your business.