As a business owner, you’re probably thinking about the big picture most of the time: how to break in, how to grow, how to stay competitive. But running an efficient company isn’t just about the big things. It’s about assembling all the little details into a coherent whole. However grand your plans are, it’s important to zero in on the things you’re missing and make them a priority. Plugging a lot of little leaks can be just as crucial as steering the ship.
Here are a few small ways to make your trip go smoother:
- Make an energy plan
It’s easy to lose track of how much energy you’re using to run your daily operations. Heating and electricity are necessary expenses, after all, and you might just be signing the checks without giving it a second thought. The truth is, though, you can save a fair amount of money by running an energy-efficient office. Take stock of how much electricity you’re using, and investigate ways to reduce your consumption.
- Don’t delay on tech upgrades
As galling as it can be to keep updating your systems, the new versions are there for a reason: they’re more efficient. Even allowing for the cost of retraining, new applications are usually a big improvement on what came before, and in the not-so-long-run they can save you money. Make sure you’re up to date with your software, hardware, and equipment.
- Keep an adequate staff
It can be tempting for small business owners to put off hiring or try to stretch existing resources to the breaking point, but this isn’t a sustainable strategy. If you want to build and grow a business over time, the people working for you are the most crucial element. They’re not just here today: they’re investments you can nurture over time. It’s a mistake to overwork or undervalue them for short-term gains. If you work them too hard and give them too little support, they’ll leave you with a much bigger problem.
- Give your employees incentives to improve efficiency
It’s no easy task to get your employees excited about the business. But they’re the ones who make it work every day, and they’re steeped in the details. If they see ways to improve things, they should be given an opportunity to do so. The best way for you to encourage them to help is to reward them when they do: promise bonuses, advancement, or at least positive recognition if your staff can find ways to improve operations. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from them.