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2 Ways to Improve Efficiency in Your Small Business

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One of the key goals for any small business is to operate at high levels of efficiency. Put simply, enjoying improved efficiency allows your firm to do more in less time, leading to productivity gains and potentially making your company more competitive. An efficient company keeps its direct and indirect costs at minimal levels and can produce goods and services that can be priced more competitively. 

However, in any small business, the routes to improved efficiency may not always be clear and well-understood. Established firms may have accepted ways of undertaking tasks and business activities. Over time, these can create a barrier to innovation and reduce a firm’s competitive edge. In this article, three key ways to improve efficiency will be explored. They are suitable for a wide range of small businesses and incorporate outsourcing and automating business processes, which can lead to efficiency gains in your firm.

2 Ways to Improve Efficiency in Your Small Business

1. Outsource some business functions.

In many small businesses, staffing represents one of the main ongoing costs. It is estimated that the average cost of hiring a new staff member is $4,700, and this is before wages are factored into the ongoing costs. If your small business needs to undertake a range of different activities, it can be profitable to consider outsourcing some of them. This allows your firm to gain access to highly skilled staff and the latest technology without needing to undertake expensive recruitment processes or employ them on-site (where they will add to the indirect costs of running an office or workplace). Outsourcing may be an ideal choice for certain functions, such as business compliance and risk management. 

Specialist companies can provide external staff who can undertake roles relating to nerc compliance and other essential regulatory functions to comply with relevant business legislation. In short, outsourcing specialist functions in your small business can help your firm to become more efficient, use fewer workplace resources, and take advantage of skilled staff with the latest knowledge and expertise in their sector of business operations.

2. Automate where possible

Happy woman, fashion designer and laptop in small business management or logistics at boutique stor

For many industrial and factory-based small businesses, automation has been a key part of their operations for decades. Using a production line mentality, equipment and technology undertake many of the repetitive roles, reducing the need for human staff and improving productivity and output. However, it is worth considering that some other business activities can be automated in corporate settings. For example, chatbots can be used to form a vital part of customer service activities, directing customers to specific information when queries are made and escalating more complex requests to human customer service teams. In addition, in an office-based context, email systems can have various rules applied to incoming and outgoing correspondence, making the process of managing electronic communication more efficient and less time-consuming. 

Even older technologies such as mail merging can be used to simplify the sending of mass paper-based correspondence, saving time and money. Business managers and leaders should regularly assess the various automation options that are available to them. Ideally, consultations with other staff members and stakeholders should take place to ensure that insights that can lead to improvements from automation are not overlooked.

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