Having a business that runs smoothly can reduce a lot of stress in your professional life. When you see businesses that seemingly have everything together and are on a straight -line track to success, it is easy to reflect on your own business and see issues.
When you check with your chamber of commerce, you find a variety of ways you can take control and smooth your business operations. Below are five ways you can start today so you can be successful tomorrow.
1. Automate Everything
Streamline. Simplify. These are the easiest things you can do to make your business run smoothly. Having everything automated means that you do not have to put any work into making something happen, giving you more free time to focus on other areas of your business that need attention.
One of the easiest places to start is with marketing. If your business uses social media, creating posts once a week and scheduling them to go out daily at a certain time elevates the need to create the daily content and be available at a certain time to post. Newsletters and emails are another thing you are able to automate. If you send a weekly newsletter, take a block of time once a month to set up the next few and then schedule them. You can always go in and make edits if something is no longer relevant before it is sent out.
Another way to automate is to outsource. Using a PEO or service to take on some of the workload that you can’t get out from under can greatly help with your time management.
2. Develop Employees
Employees are the bread and butter of your business. Having a well-trained, happy employee can be the difference between taking the next step with your business or staying stagnant trying to figure out what is wrong. An employee that feels valued will go above and beyond in their daily job duties, often pointing out things and creating solutions to problems you haven’t been able to see yet.
What makes a happy employee? Someone who feels valued by their employer. Maybe you can’t offer them a pay raise or additional PTO time, but simple acknowledgements go a long way. Although it might be your business, it functions only because of the team you have built.
Developing your employees is also essential to you being away from the business for any period of time. Although as a business owner you are “on call” 24-7, there are times you will be away on vacation or recovering from surgery. You want to know your business can function well in your absence.
3. Measure Your Success
One easy way to see where you need to focus on your business is by using analytics. You can set the parameter of metrics for however you like but seeing where your bottom line is and where you are with you budget can help you make operational decisions that you could only guess on previously. Days of Sale can track how long consumers spend in the sales cycle before closing the deal. This is essential in forecasting how your business will grow in the next quarter or fiscal year.
Focusing on analytics will also give you insight into where you need to spend your time. If you are noticing you are not reaching the right people, or that sales are down, you can focus your efforts on marketing. If your sales are high but you are not collecting the money, you know you need to focus on accounts receivable.
4. Hold Daily Meeting. Delegate but Follow Up.
It is essential to know what your employees are doing, but being a micromanager is non-productive for you and your employee. No one wants someone looking over their shoulder all day. However, you need to delegate some of the work that needs done and yet ensure it gets completed timely.
Holding a daily meeting keeps everyone accountable. They should be short. Ten to fifteen-minute morning meetings to start the day, discuss anything that is important to the team and delegate anything that needs to be done. This gives employees a chance to meet face-to-face each day and a few minutes to discuss anything pertinent. This also eliminates the need for quick meetings throughout the day, allowing more time for productivity. Some employers also hold a five-minute wrap up meeting at the end of the day to ensure everything got accomplished.
5. Take Time to Reflect
It is so easy to be caught up in everything that needs done through the day that it can be hard to see what is going on right in front of you. Time needs to be built in to relax and to reflect on what is working and what needs changed without interruptions.
Following these tips can help to smooth out your business operations and can give you the clarity and time to grow your business.