Are you looking for ways to make your business more efficient?
There’s no shortage of opportunity. The trick is knowing which strategies are likely to pay off for your company, and which are best left to others to pursue. As with so many other things, investing in efficiency is all about ROI: the greater the potential return, the higher the priority.
While every company is different, these six efficient business strategies have proven effective across a broad range of industries and niches. If you’re seeking to streamline and improve your company’s operations, they’re all worth a closer look.
1. Automate High-Volume Functions
You probably have more to do than that of which your staff allows. So why not automate high-volume, repetitive functions? Basic bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, logistics: all these functions can be partly automated under the guidance of capable human supervisors.
2. Leverage a Telephone Answering Service
Efficient businesses need reliable partners capable of handling important tasks at scale. If your company deals with high volumes of inbound calls, full appointment schedules, large-scale events, and other situations that require lots of telephone contact, a telephone answering service should be one such partner. Choose one that can scale with you as you grow, as you don’t want to be forced to switch vendors just as you kick into expansion mode.
3. Trust Cloud Storage, But Verify Too
Cloud storage is an affordable and efficient way to preserve and share company records, projects, and data. For the most part, it’s secure. However, as the occasional high-profile breach shows, it’s not totally error-free. Make sure your cloud storage strategy includes extra layers of protection, such as dedicated backup servers in physically secure locations. And don’t put all your eggs in the cloud basket: maintain complete physical data storage backups in secure, company-controlled areas, and install ironclad processes for updating and handling all this data.
4. Solicit Client Feedback
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Soliciting honest client feedback is an effective way to measure key user experience metrics that you can’t directly observe by other means — and to use those measurements to improve your product and service delivery.
How you solicit client feedback will depend on how and where your company does business. Physical and email-based surveys work well for restaurants and retailers, while follow-up calls and consultations are better for high-touch service providers. If your marketing budget allows, focus groups and longitudinal studies can provide reliable, super-granular insights.
5. Use Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is a great, often overlooked strategy to streamline your outreach and lead-building operations. Rather than consign the vast majority of your marketing emails to the delete bin or pay top dollar for expensive television spots, use a versatile marketing tool that’s proven its mettle decades over. As with automated business functions and telephone answering services, make sure you choose a direct mail partner that can scale as you grow.
6. Have Emergency Plans in Place
One could argue that efficiency is essential at all times. But it’s never more critical than during a crisis, when every minute counts and every wasted action can have real-world consequences. Gather your top decision-makers and game out your business’s threat landscape, identifying the perils most likely to negatively impact its revenues, assets, and its employees’ physical safety. Then, draw up response plans for each eventuality. If you’re not sure where to start, check Ready.gov, a fantastic disaster preparedness resource for individuals and business owners alike.
Now over to you
What are you doing to improve your company’s efficiency?