Having a successful, efficient business isn’t all about being extremely productive. In many ways, it’s about limiting waste. Only when opportunities are not lost will hard work start to pay off completely. I’ve made a list of 3 areas that the average business loses time and money, without even realizing it. In most cases, it would be enough to simply give more attention and time to what counts. I’ll be more specific in the list below.
1) Get the Most out of Your Present Customers. It’s an old cliche that it’s way easier to keep a current customer than to earn a new one. But just because you’ve heard it before doesn’t mean it isn’t true – or that most businesses act like it is true. In reality, many businesses blow out their sales budgets even as current customers are feeling ignored or mistreated. When a longtime client cuts the cord, this can be devastating for businesses of all kinds. It is much better to maximize your relationship with your current customers before you start investing comparable resources in seeking out new ones.
2) Invest is Money Management Software and/or Personnel. The books is where a lot of businesses lose money – literally. Payments go overdue, expenditures are poorly tracked, taxes are recorded poorly, payroll is mistaken. For small businesses, “The books” after often kept track of mentally, or recorded intermittently in a spreadsheet. It’s time to get serious about your bookkeeping, whether you do it on your own or not. If you do it yourself, the best thing to do is to invest in a modern POS system and/or accounting software. Modern applications like these can do so much more than you are probably thinking. There are lots of ways to automate payments, tax information, payroll, and everything else you move money around to do. If you haven’t the time, it may be time to outsource your bookkeeping to an individual or agency. The benefit of doing it yourself is that you always know exactly what is going on. The advantage of hiring someone else is that they are responsible if anything goes wrong – especially with taxes.
3) Eliminate Equipment and Inventory That’s Just Sitting Around. This is another rarely followed efficiency rule. If you’ve got a bunch of inventory taking up space on your shelves, get rid of it, even if you don’t make as much as you’d like to on it. The same goes for old or obsolete pieces of equipment. A better technique is to never let these get truly old, reselling them while they still have enough value to make up a big part of the next piece of equipment you buy to replace them.
There are plenty of other ways you can increase efficiency without having to work a whole lot harder. Get in the right mindset, and you’ll see that your company is working much better than before, before you know it.