Efficiency is the name of the game when you’re running a business. Cutting costs, improving production methods and employee schedules, as well as streamlining your expenses can all help to save you time, money, and most of all, stress. Efficiency should be every business’s top concern, so we’ve put together this short guide on just how to create a more efficient small business so you can start growing and stop stressing.
1. Use a PEO
What is a PEO? A professional employee organization performs a number of tasks for small and medium-sized businesses, including payroll and benefits management, risk assessment and employee training, as well as tax compliance services.
When you sign on with a PEO, the company becomes a “co-employer”, meaning they will be responsible for your employees as well. The PEO will handle certain aspects of the business, depending on the package you’ve purchased.
Generally, payroll and HR services are the basic services that PEOs cover. A good PEO will help you stay in compliance with payroll regulations, administer payments to employees and keep records (such as pay stubs), and much more. This leaves time for you to tend to your business, instead of constantly stressing about the payroll department.
PEO services have accreditation through the IRS and the ESAC so you can be sure you’re working with a legitimate business. Handing off employee benefits and pay can seem like a risky move, but PEOs can actually help your business grow and reduce employee turnover rates. If you’re in New York, the New York PEO companies in this Careful Cents article can help.
2. Get a New POS System
Believe it or not, one of the most powerful tools a modern small business can acquire is a POS system. Traditional cash registers are the past, and even though many large retailers still utilize them, they can’t provide the number of great benefits that you’ll get from a modern POS system.
Modern POS systems come equipped not only with analytics tools and inventory management tools, but can also act as an effective marketing tool and customer connection. With your POS system, you’ll be able to monitor real-time inventory counts, helping you better manage inventory as well as identify the busiest times of day for your business.
From there, you can staff accordingly, make changes to marketing efforts and decide when to best offer sales and promotions, as well as keep your customers’ favorite items always in stock. With customer profiles, you can learn the behavior and purchasing habits of your patrons; allowing for customized marketing emails and promotions.
Essentially, a POS system is your all-in-one inventory and customer management tool. No longer is a point of sale simple a monetary exchange point. Now, you can access vital information and reach out to your customers on an individual level.
3. Perform an Honest Assessment
One of the most difficult aspects of growth is identifying those weak points. This can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you’re a brand new business. However, it’s crucial to understand the value of an honest assessment when you’re trying to improve your business’s efficiency.
An honest assessment of your business’s finances, practices, and goals will help you identify problem areas. The first step to solving any problem is admitting there is one. This admittance isn’t a reflection of your management skills, but simply a step in creating a more efficient, and therefore more successful business.
Are you losing money? Are your utility bills out of control? Is employee performance down? These are vital questions you’ll want to ask yourself when performing your assessment. It’s a good idea to get other people involved in your assessment, particularly someone with a stake in the business who can be open and honest about what they find.
It can be difficult to grow a business without an honest assessment. Growth requires goals and an effective plan to meet those goals. Without an assessment, you can’t properly identify the factors holding you back from reaching those goals. If you’re not sure where to start, try this assessment template.
4. Try Project Management Software
If you find that your projects are slow, inefficient, and costly, project management software may be able to help. With powerful tools to help manage due dates, team members, and individual tasks, you’ll be able to better manage your projects and improve the overall efficiency of the business itself.
There are dozens of project management software platforms available, many of which are web-based and use cloud storage so there’s no software to download and install. Your team will be able to collaborate on projects anytime, anywhere, making this an especially useful tool for those managing remote teams. Here’s a list of some key players in the industry for 2019.
5. Analyze Employees
As a small business owner, you likely have a closer relationship with your employees than most large corporations do. This can make analyzing their performance (and discussing it with them) all the more difficult. Though it may be a challenge, employees form the backbone of your organization. If they’re not operating efficiently, it can slow the entire business down.
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your expectations are clearly defined. This makes things easier when you’re discussing where an employee is falling short since you’ve already explained (and preferably written and had them sign a certified document) the company’s policies and expectations.
Once your expectations are set, you can monitor employees and analyze their adherence to these policies, as well as their job performance. From there, you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions on your employees and make changes where necessary.
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