As a company grows and develops, it’s not uncommon for its previous working practices to become unfit for purpose or for points of inefficiency to creep in that cause bottlenecks or drain efficiency.
Most firms change massively over their lifecycle, for example, through taking on new staff or expanding into new markets. However, as a company develops, so its structure and operational practices need to mature and develop to adequately keep pace with changing market conditions.
The ‘head in the sand’ policy simply doesn’t work
Take a look at today’s most successful firms and you’ll find most have one thing in common – they’ve been successful at adapting to both internal and external changes to take full advantage of opportunities. Indeed, those firms that fail to adapt mostly fall by the wayside – particularly in today’s fast-moving, increasingly digital business world.
Ideas to shake up your firm and improve efficiency
These days, companies need to be more proactive than ever to keep pace with rivals and take advantage of emerging new technologies that can drive increased efficiency. If you’re looking for ways to improve your productivity (while also reducing your workload and increasing profitability) below are some simple steps you could take today.
Automate everything you possibly can: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a very long way in recent years and today’s automated software could drastically reduce your workload (and that of your employees). AI is now commonplace across a huge range of sectors taking care of tasks that were previously performed by employees, for example, accounts and payroll, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), social media marketing, and more. Better yet, in most cases AI performs the tasks more successfully than humans – plus comes in at a fraction of the cost. If you want to streamline your business, start with automation. You’ll be surprised just how much time, money and resources could be freed up.
Outsource, outsource, outsource: Take an overhead view of any company and you’ll likely see there are some core departments and services that are almost always in demand, while other sectors are less frequently busy. By isolating those parts of your firm that, while important, aren’t integral to what you do, you’ll be able to identify areas where you could easily outsource. For example, if you have a dedicated marketing department, you might be able to make savings by just having a single manager that liaises with a professional marketing firm instead of holding onto a full team. Taking a cold, hard look at how your firm works and where its money goes is a sure-fire way to increase your productivity while also reducing costs. Also, as freelancers are only paid for the work they do, they tend to work quicker and more accurately (freelancers know they’re only as good as their last job). Outsourcing services could save your company a fortune on everything from 24 7 live answering services for fielding phone calls to hiring expert services as and when you need them.
Migrate your firm’s digital services to the cloud: Not so long ago, if a company wanted to have any level of IT integration they had to set up and run costly internal networking equipment – plus hire dedicated staff to maintain it. Cloud service provision has completely transformed this model, putting the best, fastest and most cutting-edge IT equipment in the hands of all companies. Cloud computing has democratized computer services, leveling the playing field between those firms with the deepest pockets and the more common Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The benefits of cloud computing are too many and varied to adequately list here but check online for a firm that meets your specifications and take the plunge. Most analysts suggest cloud computing is the next big frontier for both personal and business IT services so get on board now.
Audit your website: Or, better yet, hire the services of a professional web development company to audit it for you. It’s estimated around 70% of all consumer journeys these days start with a search (both business-2-business (B2B) and business-2-consumer (B2C)) so having a slick, easy-to-use website is essential if you’re to attract new customers and hold onto existing ones. It’s worth remembering, your website will likely be the first point of contact clients have with your company so you should take time to ensure you project the right image and convey your message and company values as best as possible. A professional development firm will be able to advise you on everything from design to usability issues and even problems with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).