Efficiency is the key to success when running a business, and the easiest way to streamline your day-to-day operations is to first identify what needs saving. When you determine where you can make iterations, you can then implement strategies, processes, and tools that help your business run like a well-oiled machine. Being efficient means, you can boost productivity and eliminate time-consuming administrative tasks.
To make improvements, you must first identify inefficient processes in your current business model. Implementing tools and procedures that generate favourable results at a low cost is an effective method for implementing change. Price refers to not only the monetary value but also the time that is being allocated to specific tasks and your teammates' overall happiness.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. - Bill Gates
What is Business Efficiency?
Business efficiency refers to how you're able to get the most out of your resources at the lowest possible cost. If your business is being efficient, it means you're able to produce more and maximize efficiency at a low price.
As a business owner, your employees are your most valuable asset. When you provide your employees with systems that are difficult to use or ask them to work within a broken process, you risk the entire organization becoming unhinged. Improving your efficiency and creating solid strategies will result in a happier and healthier environment for everyone.
Business efficiency requires a certain mindset – one of constant improvement, hunger and the knowledge that there is always more to learn. It’s a personal trait, but it is also one that you can make a part of your company culture. It will encourage risk-taking and innovation in your employees, which are both important in creating efficiency. - Tony Robbins, 10 Tips for Business Efficiency
How Do I Fix a Broken Process?
Identifying inefficient processes within your business is the key to maximizing business efficiency. Determining what's broken can be done in 3 simple steps:
- Pinpoint the Problem: It's essential to first identify what went wrong so you can pinpoint the problem. During this step, you must determine if the entire process has been broken or simply a single step that is causing a conflict.
- Evaluate What Went Wrong: After you've identified the broken pieces of the process, you can then dive into the details and determine what caused the process to fail. Identifying why the operation failed will ensure you don't make the same mistakes in the future.
- Brainstorm and Pivot Accordingly: The third step is to start to pick up the pieces and make changes accordingly. After you've determined the elements of the process have been broken and what went wrong, you can then work on implementing a solution. Finding a solution can be as simple as adding a few tools into your arsenal.
Automation is Key
Automating processes within your business isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. Finding the right tools to automate your business and improve business efficiency can be tricky, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Automating practices within your business is like having an extra employee who takes care of all the intricate tasks that take up your precious time.
Automation tools that improve business efficiency also help free up time for the employees you do have to work on more meaningful tasks that require a human touch.
A great example of automation in practice comes from Zapier’s case study of Vicki Saunders and SheEO, a $1 billion fund for women founders. Vicki shared that they had over 30 software solutions in regular rotation at SheEO and needed an easy way to automate the steps that followed after someone became a member. Using tools like Zapier and thinking through the business operations and outcomes, they could automate many of the required steps, which saved the company time and money.
How Do I Find the Right Tools?
Business automation tools are changing the way businesses worldwide operate, allowing businesses of all kinds to do more with less and leveraging automation tools levels the playing field by making it possible for companies to improve business efficiency and scale like never before.
These tools are usually geared towards medium to large companies, but this list will dive into affordable and practical options for small business owners and startups.
- Slack: Slack is a workplace communication tool that allows teammates to communicate seamlessly. Slack is full of features like integrated file sharing, instant messaging, video and phone calls, and screen sharing. Slack provides teams with a hub that they can leverage to communicate, brainstorm, and share resources. You can even use Slack's automation tool known as “Slackbot '' to remind teammates of daily meetings, prompt updates, or check in with your peers.
- MailChimp: Getting into inboxes can be a daunting task, but what if you could automate it? MailChimp allows you to target your ideal audience with powerful messages that resonate. You can increase sales, onboard new users, and expedite your growth by making regular emails a part of your marketing strategy.
MailChimp allows you to create automated campaigns meaning you only have to do the work once. Less time spent on emails means you can spend more time on what matters.
- Hootsuite: Social media is an essential component for any business with an online presence and maintaining a solid presence is hard work. Luckily, there are tools like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule all of your social media posts ahead of time meaning you can automate this fundamental element of your marketing strategy.
Not having to spend minutes or even hours thinking of what to post and following through every single day means you can use your time and energy for more meaningful tasks.
- Calendly: Calendly is an affordable and effective tool that you can use to automate scheduling meetings. Instead of scheduling a phone call to choose a meeting time, you can use Calendly. Gone are the days of getting caught up in lengthy email chains because it can all be avoided by simply directing all corresponding parties to your Calendly. Interested parties can then promptly choose a date and time that works best for both of you.
With Calendly, it’s as simple as embedding a link in your email signature or social media profiles. The software will take care of the rest.
- Leadformly: Leadformly is a tool that makes it possible for small business owners to streamline their sales process to handle a higher volume of leads, which leads to more sales.
The beauty of Leadformly is that you don’t need to build out an entire sales team to reach your goals. Leadformly allows you to automate parts of your sales process that would otherwise have to be completed by another employee which helps you save time, money, and precious resources.
- ActiveCampaign: Active campaign is a marketing automation tool that combines marketing automation with advanced email marketing features and customer retention management software. Active campaign is a reasonably priced all-in-one marketing automation tool that makes it possible for you to streamline your business processes while improving business efficiency.
- Zapier: Zapier is a simple automation tool that can save time and money while boosting productivity. Zapier makes it possible for you to create automated actions between essential and typical applications. Setting up automation between applications allows you to cut our repetitive tasks to spend your time on more profitable activities.
Make Business Efficiency a Priority Today
Making business efficiency a priority is a quick and easy way to maximize productivity and create a sustainable business. There are ample affordable resources and tools that you can access online to create new processes or improve existing ones.
If the tools that we’ve noted above don’t suffice, reach out to our team and book a meeting with an adviser. We’ll go over your current tech stack and see where we can improve your business’ efficiency.