by Megan Totka
The economy has had its share of ups and downs in recent years. In any economic environment, it’s important to streamline your small business to maximize efficiency, bring down overhead costs and stand out from the competition. Learn the minimalist's approach to an efficient and successful small business.
Let your employees work remotely
With fewer people in the office, you can spend fewer dollars on office space and other overhead costs. Plus, employees who work from home tend to be more efficient, have fewer distractions and take fewer breaks.
Review supplier contracts
It’s likely your supplier has either raised its prices or is contemplating it. Compare suppliers, but remember the least expensive option isn’t always the best. Though the prices may be appealing, great service is worth a higher cost.
Hire help you can afford
If a few more full-time employees don’t fit into your budget, hire a part-time person, intern or contractor. This also lets you determine if a person is a good fit for your company.
Analyze the way time is used
Cut your processes down. Eliminate some steps. Online tools can help you monitor your time in the long term so you can save your precious minutes.
Keep your employees happy and informed
Employee happiness has a great effect on productivity and a huge step you can take in the way toward a more efficient business. Make sure you get your employees on the same page.
Stop worrying about who to follow up with
As a small business owner or manager, you have little time to worry about the details, like keeping track of your contacts from different applications, keeping up to date with invoices and quotes, and staying in touch with customers and prospects. Consider introducing an app, like Infusionsoft, so you can spend less time tying up loose ends and spend more time winning and closing deals.
Keep wages about the industry average
Competitive wages are a good way to motivate your employees and generate a more productive workplace. For example, Costco pays a competitive salary to its employees, while Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart pay employees poorly. As a result, Costco sees sales per employee at double what Wal-Mart’s subsidiary Sam’s Club generates. It goes to show that your employees work harder when they feel valued.
While money works well as a motivator, it’s not the best motivator. Think of additional perks for rewarding employees, like a visiting massage therapist or discounted gym memberships. Embrace your creative side and find things that will prove to your employees that they’re appreciated.
During tough economic times, it’s not easy to keep your business running smoothly. Learn to thrive in a struggling economy and know that your business will be that much stronger when the economy has a boost. Be transparent with your employees about the company’s goals and challenges. Lead your team with confidence and a positive attitude, and you’ll breed loyal and efficient employees and a productive business.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.