Small Business Productivity Improvements: What You Can Change

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Small businesses come in many shapes and forms. Some small businesses are in name only with nearly a hundred employees. But other operations can have only one person running the entire thing. They are the boss and employee at the same time. Whether it is a one-man trucking service or a repair shop based on your skills, it can be difficult to keep up with the demands of work. Here is a simple guide on how you can better cope with the challenge.

Streamline Your Paperwork

One of the first things you can do is streamline your paperwork. There is a lot of wasted time when it comes to handling all the bills and invoices. You need to eliminate that. For example, if you are still physically dropping by the bank to make a deposit, you should stop doing it. Change to automatic payments or doing things online. So instead of wasting time on a trip and waiting in line, you get results fast.

For a more thorough process of streamlining, you might consider using systems like Six Sigma. These systems review your current operations, mapping each step out. They then evaluate each step to see whether they contribute positively to the resolution of a task. The steps that don’t are removed from the current process to save time and effort. The result is that your business processes have focus and more efficient than normal.

Know When to Hire Someone Else

There are times when you or your limited employees are not able to do the necessary work. This might be because you don’t have the skills or the time. Don’t force yourself to do them. This is where hiring someone for short-term work comes in. For example, some services do tax preparation for truckers. This is a great benefit for long-haul truckers who find it better to spend their time on the road instead of in an office. They simply pass on the tax work to a bookkeeping service, and they focus on earning money driving. You can do something similar and not just in accounting.

For example, if your small office needs a software update. You might try to do the job yourself. But it would be better to have an actual professional do it. The cost of hiring an IT guy to do an afternoon’s work can be worth it in the time savings and efficiency.

Create Templates

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Documents, paperwork, and letters are the very foundation of office work. So you will be making a lot of them. The problem is that many people have a hard time making things from scratch. If they have to start a report with a blank field on the screen, they start struggling. This can waste hours.

This is where having a template can be a big help. Many office programs know this, so they come pre-loaded with templates. Whether it is to write an inquiry letter or a profitability report, templates make it simple. They have the skeleton for the document, and you just fill it up. Some even have default greetings and the like. This makes things easier. Presentations will be much easier since you only have to type in the data.

But there will also be documents that are specific to your business. For those, you will need to make templates of your own. Do these for tasks that you will be reliably doing a lot. For example, you might need a template for attendance reporting each month.

Learn Productivity Hacks

You can also make things easier by learning a few productivity hacks. These are systems by which you can have an easier time with your tasks. For example, there is batching. This works by grouping together all similar activities into a block and doing them all. You can do this by grouping together all tasks that require math and doing them all in one go. The idea behind this is that your brain doesn’t have to change gears while working since you will be doing nearly the same thing. This reduces the warm-up time for people to get working. That is just one example. Other productivity methods, like chunking or scaling, are also pretty effective. Figure out what works for you so that you can improve your performance.

Being more productive allows you to squeeze in more work during your prime working hours. This may seem a minor victory, but this can mean that you don’t have to go on overtime regularly. With a better work-life balance, there is less chance of burning out. Start implementing these changes now so that your business can benefit.

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