If you have a business that is fairly new in the grand scheme of things, you may well be still trying to find your feet and work out ways of doing things in a much more productive and efficient manner. Finding better and more cost-effective ways of doing things is the constant battle that business leaders fight and you will want to make sure you have your eye open continually looking for opportunities to streamline your business as you progress.
While it is advantageous that you seek out new ways of working, this should never be at the expense of the way that you are working currently. Make sure that you are still putting equal amounts of energy into your existing business model while you consider the types of changes you might make.
Creating More Efficient Data Systems
Most businesses use data these days, and it has become a very valuable commodity. The way that you manage the data in your business could end up costing you considerably more than you may imagine.
Everything that you do when it comes to handling, processing, and storing data takes time. When your staff is updating files, and sending them over to each other via email; this is time wasted. There is no benefit to using an internet data system that requires users to own their own pieces of data on their machines.
Use Cloud-based Systems
A much more effective option would be to use a cloud-based system and for this, you may want to look to migrate to azure. Cloud-based data can be easily stored and accessed by anyone who has the right permissions. Every file can be edited in real-time, and changes made on one device will be visible to the same document on another. There is so much time that can be saved using systems such as Azure.
Cloud-based systems offer greater security in terms of storage because nothing is help on your machines. If your hard drives suddenly die, nothing is lost. You’ll be able to pick up exactly where you left on your current project from another terminal without having to worry.
This also means that there is less risk of files becoming corrupted by viruses as they are managed securely by the cloud provider.
A More Efficient Use Of People
A major area of spending for most companies is through the staffing budget. Many companies overestimate their staffing needs early on and end up overstaffed, which will end up hitting your bottom line. Some, on the other hand, fail to invest in people and cannot meet the demands of their own business, and when this happens it can cause the team that you do have to become stressed and work slower.
They will struggle when it comes to keeping up with the ever-increasing workload and over time your team will burn out. You will need to turn away customers, and you may end up disappointing and losing the ones that you do have.
So, getting the balance right is vital. There are several ways that you can do this in any business. One way is to use flexible outsourcing.
There are many parts of your business that are essential to the operational functionality. But that is not the core aspect that actually brings in the revenue. Many of these operations functions can be handled by a third party which will free up your hands for other things.
Outsourcing Your Business Needs
You could look at outsourcing areas such as technical support, secretarial and receptionist duties, human resources and payroll functions, along with warehousing and distribution. All of these aspects of your companies infrastructure will currently take up a lot of costs on your budget.
When you break it down, you will see that you need to have wage costs, equipment for all of the staff to use, recruitment costs in bringing them in and training them all, payroll costs in terms of handling their pay and employee data, as well as the space involved in keeping these team members in house. Your rent could be much lower if you had a smaller team. And if you managed to move your warehousing and logistics, then you could save yourself some of the biggest expenses of the lot.
You Will Have Less Staffing Concerns
One of the best things about outsourcing is that another company will manage all of the staff who are working on your projects. They will be able responsible for training and developing them. If there are disciplinary issues that need to be dealt with, then the external company will handle these matters as it is their employee, and not yours.
Your Business Will Be Run Your Way
You will, of course, be able to set your expectations. If your business needs telephone support, you can dictate the customer service angle that your outsourced team will provide. If there is a product or service-specific information, this will get briefed to the teams who are dealing with your customers.
Save Money On Company Assets
You will get the benefits of the external companies assets. This means that you don’t have to buy new computers continually or update the software on the ones that you have. This will no longer be your concern.
Making Sure Progress Doesn’t Have An Adverse Effect
Many businesses jump to roll out a great new idea that they see will help them save a considerable amount of money. You may have had your best minds on this for some time, and they may be confident that it will pay off, and so are you. If you have not fully scrutinized every aspect of this from every angle possible, there may be problems that could have an adverse effect on your business.
Complete A Thorough SWOT
To ensure your ideas hold weight before you risk your company implementing them, you should first do a full analysis of the idea weighing up the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Do some research and find out if other companies are doing anything similar. There may be academic research into that specific area that you are interested in, and the findings of this may well be of considerable use to you.
Run A Comparative Test
Find a way of running a test on the concept before you roll it out fully. How you will do this will depend on your business model. For example, consider a retailer. If they want to learn about a new concept that will cost a vast amount to implement across the whole estate and could have a reverse effect on sales, they will implement the change in one test store. These changes could be a large range overhaul, a refit, rebranding, or even a shrinking or expanding of the square footage of the unit.
Then, they will pair that store with it’s the nearest performer from elsewhere in the estate. Try and match the demographics of the area, sales density, management history, and overall history so that it is equally matched. Then, over a long enough period monitor the changes. Hopefully, your new idea will pay off, however, if it does not you will only put one store at risk rather than your entire business.
Invest In Customer Services
If your business relies heavily on customers, then you should invest in the service that you are providing for them. With poor customer service being one of the major reasons that customers choose to move to a different company, you cannot afford to leave this area of your business to chance. A badly run customer service department will lead to an inefficient business overall.
Use Automated Services
Your customers want to get in touch with you on their own terms. This may well mean via the messenger section of their favoured social network. Making sure you are readily offering a service that allows them to contact you how they need to is vital. Then, when it comes to actually handling their requests you will need to be able to do this quickly. I
t can be very overwhelming having to deal with an influx of customer messages, however, by using automated chatbots you can cut down on your workload considerably and save yourself a vast amount of staff hours. Using software that utilizes artificial intelligence, your customers can be supplied with a suitable answer to most of their queries. For anything else, it can be passed over to a human team member and the customer will be made aware of the expected response time.
Create Targets And Reward Your Teams
When it comes to managing your customer service team, you need to set targets. The speed at which they handle queries and close cases will be vital for sustaining customer approval, as will the overall satisfaction of your customers. These targets can be used to manage and incentivize your teams in a way that will make for a much happier, more motivated, and effective workforce which in turn will make for greater productivity.