Businesses of different scale and scope can experience similar challenges when it comes to their respective operations. This is especially true for enterprises that are growing or pursuing expansion. System problems, misplaced files, and delayed payments are problems in daily activities that can lead to more serious setbacks. To avoid this, the management can take a more proactive stance by streamlining the business.
Streamlining is basically the process of simplifying your business and the processes involved in it. It begins by reviewing systems and operations, followed by identifying steps that can be simplified, activities that can be retained, and areas where bottlenecks occur. When applicable, certain processes can be re-organized to eliminate errors or complete the task more quickly, whichever result the management aims to achieve on the way to minimizing costs and improving the efficiency of operations.
Here are simple tricks for streamlining your business:
Think before you print
One of the best ways to start streamlining business operations is to reduce paper consumption. An average office worker still uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, equivalent to one sheet every 12 minutes. So, if a company has around 50 employees, you can imagine how much is spent annually on paper alone.
Try to minimize the use of paper to cut your costs. Rather than printing drafts and writing down your comments, you can proofread and revise reports using word-processing software. Review the document for the last time and check for other errors. Lastly, print only the final version.
Having less paper can also help improve the speed of processing requests. Moving documents from one office to another for the approval of the executives is time-consuming. To address this, some companies opt for business solutions—from processing purchase orders to approving leave applications of employees—that allow them to manage everything electronically.
Invest in technology
Using technology to improve daily activities is also practical. Small business VoIP, for example, provides flexibility in handling phone calls and voice mail messages. In addition to this, the cost of VoIP is up to 40% less than that of the conventional telephone system.
You can also make improvements with regards to the software you use. One way you can do this is through adopting an integrated software platform where you can perform several functions, ranging from simple data entry to more complex activities like accounting and inventory management.
Technology can be a bit expensive. To maximize your investment, choose the ones that will significantly help you improve the speed of processing transactions and reduce or even eliminate errors.
Use your time wisely
Among the all resources, time is probably the most difficult to manage. Aside from the fact that it is intangible in nature, it is also something that you can never regain once gone. Hence, it is but logical to complete business activities with the utmost consideration for time. A timetable is designed to have allowances, not for people to slack off on the job until the deadline, but to make sure that the project will be completed on time in case unforeseen events occur.
As for meetings, it is advisable to discuss most matters within an hour. Bring up only the items that are relevant to the meeting’s agenda. Better yet, have fewer staff meetings—sometimes, the answer really lies in less talk and more action.
Less can actually be more. Some entrepreneurs are tempted to be very detailed in every part of the business so processes will be fool-proof. However, there might come a time when this can be counterproductive, because you tend to lose sight of the operations as a whole. Don’t worry, though—you can still streamline your business to improve your efficiency, lower your costs, and achieve your target sales and profitabilty figures.
Edward Morrison is an article writer that talks about business and technology. He contributed different business and technology related articles like gadgets review, latest tech news, small business phone guides and business phone service in different websites. Aside from writing, he also loves to read books, to travel and do skydiving during his free time.
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