If you’ve been operating your small business for the past few years, but have noticed a huge change in profits, there could be several underlying culprits. While product design, sales and production should all be carefully inspected, you might want to also look at how work flows throughout your office. A lack of sufficient work flow in any area of your business can silently sabotage it. Here are just a few ways that common inefficiencies can harm your small business:
Improve Poor Communication
If you have an administrative assistant that answers phones and greets customers, she serves as the voice of the business. Administrative assistants are hired with a variety of skills to bring to their position and your company. Employers utilizing the DMAIC methodology will know the importance of putting the right person in this role.
Considering administrative assistant is often an entry-level position, why is being picky important when finding the right person for the job? Because excellent communication skills are essential for the success of any business, but especially for staff dealing with clients and customers directly on the front lines. A lack of adequate communication can cost your business financially and personally. Work on improving communication by:
*Set up a verification system with your office team for messages left by clients
*Organize staff text and email alerts
*Have mini-staff meetings everyday
Keeping the lines of communication open with the receptionist and entire staff can make it less likely to miss a new client call.
Hone In On Paperwork Reduction
One cause of wasted time in the workplace is an overflow of paperwork. Too much paperwork and shuffling duplicate records and receipts around can lead to wasted company time. This can be resolved by coming up with a new software program to help organize mail and create an efficient electronic filing system. Data entry is another alternative to paper filing. Information can be entered manually once and then easily retrieved on an as needed basis.
Eliminate Complicated And Unproductive Tasks
Many times there are complicated tasks in the office that lead to unproductivity. Locating suppliers, specific clients or putting together items that are tedious and time consuming are all prime examples of tasks that take time for an employee to complete. This costs your business time and money to have employees do menial tasks that take away from their core position. Examples include:
- Disassembling, repairing and reassembling defective or broken parts
- Sorting and packing small parts and supplies
- Printing off several or letterhead documents and shredding them after meetings
- Folding several inserts and stuffing envelopes for unverified mass mailing addresses
- Dealing with slow computer services or software crashes on a daily basis
- Running out of office supplies such as paper and letterhead on a routine basis.
- Routinely fixing and repairing office equipment including jammed printers
Simplifying office tasks can make your employees less stressed and more able to focus on work that provides a lucrative outcome.
Outsource Clerical Help
Filing, calling potential new clients, and generating reports can be time consuming and cost your company valuable time. Consider outsourcing your some of your clerical and office work with a freelance assistant. Outsourcers are paid by the job, so they will work fast to complete tasks and projects. Find someone with the skill set you desire to get the job done accurately and efficiently. You can also hire in-house clerical staff temporarily—during busy times of the year to help with work overflow.
The main goal of a productive and prosperous business venture means putting in the least amount of time to earn a dollar. Combining this mindset and eliminating extraneous tasks in the workplace can help your business be successful for years to come.