There’s a lot to think about when running a business. Many business owners can make things harder for themselves by offering too many products, using too many suppliers or using too many programs. Making efforts to streamline your business could make it easier to run. Below are just some of the ways to create a more streamlined business.
Avoid offering too many products/services
Offering a vast range of products and services can be a selling point for some businesses. However, developing the expertise to offer all of these products and services could be causing you to spread your talents thin. The extra resources required could also be costing you extra money and taking up extra space (for instance, offering a large menu in a restaurant could mean stocking lots of different ingredients).
When you have a smaller range of products and services, you’re able to focus more on each one so that you can perfect them. You don’t have to offer employees as much training and you don’t have to spend as much money on resources.
Which products/services should you focus on? Try to focus on your most popular and your most unique ones. The popular ones are the things that people need and will keep returning for. The unique products and services meanwhile will help you to stand out from the crowd. Anything that doesn’t sell well or make you stand out should be discontinued.
Having to juggle paper documentation and digital documentation can be a real headache for many businesses. A lot of companies are going paperless for this reason. This helps you to keep everything in one place. Digital documentation also has many benefits of paper documentation: it’s less costly, it doesn’t take up any space, it’s environmentally-friendly and you can instantly share it with people via email or the cloud (paper documentation has to be printed and posted, which takes up extra time and money).
Start making digital copies of any physical-only documents you may have. Try to discontinue physical newsletters in exchange for email mailing lists and share information with employees via email or WhatsApp instead of using paper timetables and work plans.
Embrace the cloud
While digital documentation can be easier to organize than paper documentation, it can still get messy if you’re storing different files on different devices. Try to get into the habit of storing everything on the cloud in one server. Cloud files have the advantage that they can be accessed from any device in any location. This means that you don’t have to be in your office on a certain computer to access your files. On top of this, cloud storage is also incredibly secure.
There are lots of different cloud server plans out there. Shop around to find the best plan for you.
Automate repetitive tasks
You may be able to streamline your list of daily duties by automating certain tasks. Automation involves using software or machines to automatically carry out tasks. This can be ideal for mundane repetitive tasks like calculating taxes or sending out reminder emails.
Think about repetitive tasks that take up a lot of your time and whether you can automate them with software. When it comes to digital admin tasks, there are programs out there that can do practically everything from building employee rotas to creating forms.
Consider all-in-one software
Are you using too many different programs? Having to switch between multiple software applications could get annoying. A lot of companies get around this by switching all-in-one software.
There are now programs that allow you to handle everything from accounting to marketing all in one place. You can even hire a software developer to build your own custom software if you want to combine features of certain niche programs. Building custom software can be expensive but could work out cheaper and more efficient in the long run as you’re not having to pay for multiple subscription plans.
Tighten up your supply chain
It’s also possible to outsource too many different suppliers. This can result in having to keep track of lots of different companies and expenses. Consider whether you may be able to get rid of some of these suppliers or combine them.
For example, some digital marketing agencies are able to handle all aspects of marketing from social media to SEO. This could work out easier that hiring separate companies for different marketing tasks. You may similarly be able to find IT companies that can handle everything from web development to network management.
Target specific marketing channels
This one is slightly controversial – some people would argue that successful marketing requires trying as many marketing channels as possible in order to gain as much exposure as possible. However, having to maintain multiple marketing channels can be a difficult juggling act. By focusing on specific marketing channels, some businesses may be able to find more success.
For instance, when it comes to social media, consider whether promoting your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn is worth your while. While it’s good to have company pages on each platform, you could get more results by focusing solely on one social media site.
Consolidate your debts
Struggling to keep up with all your different debts? This could be another area where streamlining is beneficial.
If you’ve got arrears, multiple loans to pay off and multiple credit card debts, consider taking out a business debt consolidation loan. This involves borrowing money to pay off all of your debts so that you only have one loan to worry about. This could mean only one debt payment each month instead of five or six.
Organize payments to go out on the same day
If you have payments going out on different days throughout the month, consider whether you may be able to organize these payments to all go out on the same day. This could be easier to keep track of, making it easier to budget for each expense.
Restructure your team of staff
Finally, you should consider your team of staff. Ideally, you should have specific staff dedicated to specific roles. If roles aren’t clear within your team, consider whether it’s time to restructure your team.
Restructuring your team could be challenging – it could mean having to dismiss certain employees if you can’t find a role suited to them. However, it could result in a more organized and productive company.