Small businesses run differently from big corporations. Big corporations are renowned in the market as well as a large workforce. On the other hand, a small business flourishes through the efforts of a small team with unconventional ideas. The greatest challenge for small businesses is perhaps the utilization of limited resources to maximize productivity and profits. Small businesses have to adopt self-designed strategies and ideas to extract the maximum output out of their team. They also have to focus on business development by socializing with people. Team building and cooperation with an understanding of the common goals will make the execution of those strategies successful.
Here is a list of top 10 tips on how small businesses can increase their productivity for excellent results-:
1. Be flexible to the demands of the market
Small businesses have the advantage of being dynamic and adaptable to the trends and demands of the market. Even if you do not pick a niche from the first day, changing according to market trends will cause little or no consequences. You should cater to multiple needs of your clients in the beginning, learn and eventually develop mastery over a particular area.
2. Work methodically with an online appointment scheduling software
Use free online appointment scheduling software like Picktime, which will help you to schedule appointments with your clients and customers. Your clients will be able to make instant payments through credit cards and payment processors like PayPal, Stripe and Square. Easily generate invoices on services and automatically send a feedback form via email and SMS for your clients and customers. Stay organized by syncing your favourite Google/Outlook/Apple calendar with Picktime to avoid a clash of dates with personal commitments. Keep a tab on your staff in multiple office locations and add their working hours and break hours. You can also generate, download, export and print your business reports from your Picktime dashboard.
3. Delegate tasks according to the expertise of your team
Building a business from scratch requires the cooperation of like-minded people with different sets of abilities. Learn how to assign tasks to your team members according to their area of expertise. Hire people with experience in web designing, content writing, SEO, human resources, client servicing, public relations, and everything your business needs. Observe and understand your team’s strengths and delegate work to the best person who can complete the task quickly and efficiently.
4. Prioritize tasks and set deadlines
Consider the demands of your clients as your most important task to be completed first. Let your team members put in their best efforts to complete a client’s task within the given deadline. Assign separate teams for business development and social media management for the steady growth of your business. You can either specify tasks to your team every day or for a week at once. Set clear goals and deadlines for each task and keep monitoring the progress of the tasks given. Ask your team to notify you about the progress and the issues while managing a task.
5. Have a common line of communication
Communication is the key to success. Therefore, you need to use a common channel for communicating with your team members, clients, suppliers and vendors. Try applications like Skype or Slack to stay in touch with your team. Make your team understand your business goals and how they can individually help you in achieving those. Connect on LinkedIn with new people who can help your business grow.
6. Build a healthy workspace
As a small business owner, you won’t be able to afford magnificent workspaces but you can make minor changes to boost productivity in your office. Raise the temperature of your office air conditioner by a few degrees, ensure that washrooms are cleaned from time to time. You can also send vouchers for lunch to your employees via email. Add in amenities like a water purifier and a restroom to relax during breaks. Decorating the office tables of employees with indoor plants will also help to shun negativity at the workplace.
7. Focus on the design and content of your website
Always maintain transparency and openness with your clients and customers about the products and services you offer. Optimize your website according to the standards set by Google. Create blogs, FAQs and mention detailed information about your products, services, and the vision and mission of your business. Make a responsive website that is easy to view on all devices (mobile/desktop/laptop/tablet).
8. Use cloud-based apps for accessing documents
Businesses around the world have significantly adopted the blended mode of working. While some people commute to the office, others prefer to work from home. In such scenarios, it is always better to put your documents in a cloud-based app like Google Docs, that is accessible, readable, and editable by your colleagues sitting anywhere.
9. Automate tasks to save time
Small businesses have fewer employees. So, automating as many tasks as possible can help you become more productive. Get additional help by outsourcing time-consuming tasks like SEO, content creation and website designing instead of recruiting more employees. Use applications like Hootsuite that allow you to pre-plan and schedule your social media posts and then have them posted for you automatically. You may use a chatbot to answer the queries of customers and leads on your website.
10. Connect and relax with your team
Offer your time adequate time to relax. Organize tours and office parties once in a while and reward the best performers for boosting your employee’s morale. Send gift packs of chocolate or snacks with a greeting card to your team on special occasions to add a personal touch. Learn from your colleagues and offer them help instead of accusing them of not completing a task on time.
You may apply these techniques for increasing productivity and invent newer ways to do the same. Even if one new strategy floats your boat, concentrate on that. Above all, keep your team members happy, appreciate and encourage them to strive for more. The rest will eventually fall into place.