Is your business running efficiently? Running a business certainly isn’t easy and at times the list of things to do and the lack of time to do them can be overwhelming. In this article we have suggested four steps you can take to begin running your business more efficiently, and smarter not harder.
Develop or review your business plan
A business plan is a comprehensive road map for your business. It outlines the fundamental elements of your business, why your business exists and how your business is going to achieve its goals. Implementing and following an effective business plan gives you the ability to set realistic expectations and allows you to enact change when necessary. The quicker you can react to changes within your industry, the more profitable and sustainable you will be.
As the old saying goes, “failing to plan, is planning to fail” and this is most applicable when it comes to your business.
Having a business plan in place will then allow you to begin arranging resources around prioritising and planning projects and tasks according to the objectives you have set out in your plan. It will also keep you on track and focused in delivering a project. We provide clients with assistence in developing and implementing their business plans as part of our Business Advisory Services.
Planning & Prioritising tasks
With a business plan in place, planning your day, week, month and year will go a long way to helping you focus on achieving the objectives set out within the plan. Simple things like daily ‘To Do’ lists, diarising tasks, managing your calendar or implementing workflow software will allow you to plan for tomorrow, today. Documenting what needs to be done will also help to clear your mind, allowing you to focus energy on the big picture and what you want to achieve as the owner of the business.
Prioritising tasks is vital. To ensure what needs to be done gets done, you need to prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency. Scheduling time to complete priority tasks when you are most productive will increase your efficiency and help to deliver a high-quality result. Without setting your priorities, you may be completing tasks which have little or no impact on the development of your business causing undue stress or lack of achievement.
Delegating & Time Management
Delegating tasks to others can be difficult. We all have a certain way we do things because we know it is done right. However, lack of delegation is detrimental, sometimes fatal. You can only do so much and as outlined above, what you prioritise must come first. Other tasks may not be as important; however, they still need to be completed. Delegating responsibility to others allows these tasks to be completed in a timely manner resulting in a more efficient operation.
Additionally, delegation is one important and effective way of building trust, and trust builds culture. Without trust morale will drop, turnover will increase and your business will end up stuck in a hiring cycle that never moves forwards on key objectives.
Consider an outsourcing strategy
Running a business requires oversight of different areas of operation and a wide range of tasks from the macro (e.g. securing customer contracts or financing growth) to the micro (e.g. paying the office electricity bill). Undertaking all operational tasks in-house will often come at the expense of growth, so business owners should always be asking – what is my core business? Once you know this, follow on questions you can ask are:
- What is the best use of my time?
- What tasks can I reassign so my team can focus on delivering quality outputs?
Outsourcing will generally provide a number of benefits to allow you to achieve growth in your business. These benefits include:
- Access to skilled expertise
- Increased in-house efficiency
- Disperse risk from inside your business to an external source
- Reduced cost and quicker turnaround of task completion
Implementing the above steps can be difficult and time consuming, so it’s no surprise many business owners require assistance, especially in the area of business planning. Our Business Advisory Services includes a free Online Risk Survey designed to kickstart your business planning process, and meet your future growth objectives. To take the survey click here, or if you’d like to know more, please visit contact us