Is your business needlessly wasteful? Are you tracking your employees’ and business expenditures? Are you paying for things that you really don’t need? Are you burning too much time on mundane tasks that are costing you a lot in time and money? Businesses can be wasteful even without realizing it but there are small measures that could streamline your operations and help you save on time, money while boosting your business productivity. Here is a checklist on how you can run a lean operation that is efficient and profitable.
Outsourcing to the right person gives your business a huge leverage, especially if you are running a lean operation where your staff is already overstretched and overworked. If there are certain business functions that you will not require on a full-time basis, then you can outsource these to streamline your business operations. For example, business functions such as digital marketing, accounting and IT maintenance can easily be outsourced to give you a complete peace of mind.
Integrate your business software
If you are running a fast growing business, you will always have to do with a complex application ecosystem as you continuously incorporate new software tools to help with your business automation. Most companies will begin by installing accounting software such as MYOB Essentials, QuickBooks, Sage One or Reckon One among others.
As the company grows and as the need to acquire more customers rises, the company will need to implement customer support tool, customer relationship management application, an inventory management tool as well as an order management and order fulfillment tool.
Perhaps, to boost sales, the company may also have to implement ecommerce solutions, billing solutions and financial consolidation solutions among others. As businesses grow, they evolve their own systems over time which can result in a very haphazard business software architecture. A tangled web of software systems may be a hindrance to flexibility, productivity and the growth of the business.
For the most efficient operations, a business must always strive at realizing software integration for better process efficiency. Software integration prevents duplication of roles and adds a great deal of efficiency to the business processes. Any measure that boosts your business efficiency is always a worthwhile one.
Review your suppliers
To eliminate unnecessary waste in your procurement, strive to work with the most competitive suppliers. If you are sourcing for products, get multiple quotes from suppliers annually and ask your suppliers to match or best the most competitive quotes. To maintain a competitive edge, it is prudent that you consistently manage the outsourced relationship with your suppliers so as to get the most value out of the relationship.
Evaluate your business processes
Regularly take stock of your business processes and look for opportunities for optimization. Some processes could be streamlined through automation so as to free your staff from the mundane and boost the business productivity.
Cutting down on employee time
Is it possible to make some cuts in your employee’s work week? Doing so may not only be beneficial to your employees but it will also help you in significantly cutting down on your operational costs, lowering the wage bill for the whole business and lowering the cost of utilities and other office expenses that you incur on a day to day basis. We are also at a point in time when many employees are looking for greater work-life balance so cuts in working hours may not be a bad idea after all. However, it shouldn’t be arbitrary. The cuts should be made after an evaluation and determination of your optimal staffing needs.
Change your hiring practices
Experience is a huge plus for any business but it also costs money. If you can do with relatively inexperienced employees, then start hiring more recent graduates or relatively inexperienced employees whom you can pay an entry-level salary and amass significant savings. Hiring relatively fresh professionals also helps you tap into the latest skills and technologies as well as the youthful vigor of employees that are eager to prove themselves in the workplace.
Embrace the cloud
At the peak of the IT revolution, businesses would purchase all the hardware and hire the technical staff that would manage the underlying technology powering the business processes. This, of course, came at a significant cost and cut deeply into the business margins. With the growth of cloud computing, this is no longer necessary. Instead of purchasing the rig or hardware, businesses can simply use the cloud-based systems that not only save money but are also more convenient. Implementing cloud computing can also allow you to hire lower skilled technical staff and save money on the wage bill.
Review all the business expenses
This is generally one of the most overlooked business practices. It is prudent to periodically review your business expenses and see where you can make some cuts. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper and let them spot the areas where they can make some cuts and save you money. Even if you are making some small cuts here and there, they will over time add up to some really significant savings. Anything that isn’t contributing to your ROI should be stripped to a bare minimum.