Most small businesses don’t have a lot of manpower, which is why it’s so important to make good use of your time and resources. Even while working with budget constraints you can still implement numerous strategies that will boost your productivity.
Make Sure Information is Readily Available
It’s important that your employees have access to the information they need to effectively and efficiently do their work. This eliminates time and frustration spent on searching, accessing, and tracking down things. Nitro Blogs says to do this you should:
- Use cloud-based apps (e.g. DropBox, Google Drive) to make sure documents and information are always accessible
- Have a knowledge base all employees can access
- Streamline processes
- Have a place that’s easy-to-navigate where historical business information is stored
- Have communication channels (e.g. chat) available for employees to quickly share information
Make Good use of Online Tools
Many affordable (or free) online tools have been specifically designed to help small businesses be more efficient. These will help you with what should be your end goal anyway. Nevertheless, you’ll want to make sure you do some research so you choose the right tools (ones that integrate well with what you’re currently using) prior to implementing them in your business. Doing so ensures that your employees can easily maneuver between the tools without being disrupted.
You should also prioritize what you spend your money on. Focus on what will truly benefit your business. For instance, if your business relies heavily on computers and you need to increase productivity, a tool like Allo (Google’s mobile instant messaging app) may be beneficial.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure it makes a positive difference to your business.
Make Wise use of Meeting Time
Don’t let your business fall into the pattern of calling a meeting for everything. Doing so wastes precious time as research shows it’ll require a “typical” person 25 minutes to return to their original task after being interrupted by a meeting.
When you host a meeting that’s truly necessary, make it productive by:
- Limiting the meeting to 30 minutes
- Don’t bring phones or laptops into a meeting unless they’re needed for accomplishing a specific task
- End the meeting with action items so everyone knows what their next step is
Delegation is often challenging for small business owners. Nevertheless, it’s important that you don’t tackle more than you can handle. Instead, delegate so you enhance your productivity and have more time to focus on bigger things while your employees remain engaged and involved.
To start delegating make a short list of your top priorities and projects that require your attention. You can then delegate anything that isn’t on this list to employees. While this seems scary in the beginning, once you’ve established this culture of trust everyone feels more motivated and your leadership doesn’t burn out.
Make Sure Your Employees are Happy
Evidence shows that happy employees are productive employees. This is great news because it usually doesn’t cost anything to keep your employees satisfied. You can do this by:
- Creating work-life balance by making sure the work environment is healthy and flexible and
- Encouraging your employees to use their vacation time
- Being transparent by making sure your employees feel included and invested
- Openly communicating what’s going on inside of the business (e.g. company goals, department goals, sales number, growth strategies)
- Recognizing hard work and individual achievement – Rewards can come in the form of simple acknowledgment during team meetings, which go a long way in helping your employees feel like you truly value and appreciate their hard work and the effort they exert
Make Sure Everyone’s Goals Align with the Company’s Goals
Some employees don’t realize how their daily work is connected to your business’ overall growth strategy. However, when you make this clear their motivation and productivity will increase, which is why it’s so important to help them develop this understanding.
Do Away with Workplace Distractions
Spark reminds us that even our hard-working employees are susceptible to distractions. This is why you want to make sure there isn’t too much noise or employees playing on their phones a lot. Modifying the environment to help maintain focus on productivity is important.
Let Employees Have “Free Technology Time”
Employees will spend some time checking their personal email and social media throughout the day. If you block this, you’ll only drive them underground where they’ll break firewalls, use their smartphones, and utilize sneaky ways of accessing the internet. Instead of having this happen, provide your employees with “free technology times” throughout the day lets you manage the time and yet accommodate your employees somewhat.
Create an Environment That’s Conducive to Feedback
Providing meaningful feedback shows you’re committed to helping your employees do their jobs better. Listening to their feedback helps increase productivity. When feedback becomes a “two-way street” everyone feels more connected.
Interact with Your Employees
Befriending low-performing employees isn’t helpful but getting to know them somewhat better is. This is why you should occasionally inquire about their lives away from work. Doing so encourages hard work and commitment.
Training and Motivating Your Employees
Even when you have a tight budget, Staples recommends engaging in employee training. This should be important to your business because motivational speakers can improve your bottom line by making your employees more productive. When possible, keep training internal by using experts to train subordinates and cross-training employees to create an agile workforce that can quickly and smoothly embrace new responsibilities.
Although it may seem like there are a lot of things you need to do to be productive if you have a tight budget, once you start implementing these things, you’ll notice that they really do flow smoothly together. Start small and slowly increase the number of things you’re doing until you’ve accomplished everything on this list. By doing so you will notice a remarkable difference in the way your company runs. It will eventually be such a big difference that you won’t be operating with such a tight budget any longer.