More often than not, startups run on a very tight budget, which makes inefficiency a luxury that they cannot afford. Alas, inefficiency in just about any industry is an everyday reality, costing startups and long-running businesses alike.
Still, a startup needs to battle inefficiency to work. To succeed in business, a startup must try its best to get everything running as smoothly as it can make it in the quickest possible time. Here are some tips for doing just that.
Make modern technology work for you.
Modern technology is ever-evolving, and your startup could use an innovation or two right when they are introduced. Think of chatbots, and find out how they got from a favorite target of online trolls to a very effective means of improving customer service without having to hire a lot of people. Try to read about up and coming technologies, and see which ones have the potential to help improve the efficiency of your startup.
Don’t make modern technology work to your disadvantage.
Communicating through chat and email is efficient, but sometimes, all that electronic back and forth tend to become less efficient than actually talking face-to-face.
More often than not, solving a problem can become faster if done by the people involved face-to-face. The same goes if there’s a question that needs to be answered or if something needs to be clarified. Instead of taking 20 or so minutes just to exchange messages in a thread, five minutes ought to do it if you’re all in the same room or floor. Startups must encourage their employees to communicate face-to-face for optimum efficiency.
Cut back on frequent but unnecessary meetings.
There’s that one meme that touts meetings as a practical alternative to work, and a lot of people agree with it. While there is nothing wrong with meetings, especially if they’re the short, quick types mentioned in the previous item, ones that go on too frequently and too long don’t do much for individuals and teams.
Meetings are important, but for a startup, being more selective with the meetings that it sets and the team members it asks to attend them make a lot more sense than scheduling them frequently and inviting people who aren’t directly engaged with the topic or issue being discussed.
Automate where possible.
Instead of making employees spend a lot of their time doing monotonous tasks like sending out meeting reminders or reports, startups should automate whatever tasks they can so people can make better use of their time and being more productive doing something else.
While it’s true that implementing automated processes involves a certain amount of expense at the beginning, what with the purchase of technology that will help in that regard, it will still end up cheaper in the long run, especially when business efficiency has improved.
Fix what needs fixing.
The moment your startup starts operating, you will learn over time what works and what doesn’t. Once you identify what needs fixing, work on it immediately, whether it’s a problem with your sales funnel or something as seemingly trivial as the way your employees use the fridge in the pantry. You are a startup, and you cannot really afford inefficiencies—even the little ones—that can eventually cost you your capital.
Most of us pride ourselves in being multitaskers, but is the ability to perform multiple tasks at the same time a sign of efficiency and productivity? Not necessarily.
When you multitask, you tend to leave certain projects hanging even when they’re close to completion since you will still need to shift your attention to the other tasks at hand. That means you could be working and spending a lot of time on 15 or so projects, but your output still ends up close to nothing.
Instead of having people slave away on so many different projects but not finishing anything, how about giving single-tasking—concentrating on just one task until it’s done—a try? With their more intense focus on the task, your workers should be able to get something out into the world, and proceed to do and eventually complete another one, and so on.
Make sure all workspaces are clear.
This may sound incredibly basic, but running a business in a more efficient manner often starts with a neat workspace. Many people happily subscribe to the idea that a messy workspace could be a sign of genius, but a tidy workspace means there are little to no items to distract you, and you can focus more easily on any task at hand. Always encourage—even compel, if need be—your employees to keep their workspaces uncluttered for better efficiency.
A startup often arises out of a good idea, but it will need more than that to run well. Do what you can to continually improve the efficiency of your startup, and you just might make it as an entrepreneur.
Meet The Author: Casey Belle
Casey is the Content Marketing Specialist for Techaerus, a company that focuses on teaching and implementing proper use of software/hardware within companies and organizations. When not working, she makes use of her time doing yoga and completing her travel bucket list.