3 Tips to Increase Your Company’s Operational Efficiency

how to increase operational efficiency in your business

Every entrepreneur should strive to make their company more efficient by reducing or eliminating wasteful actions that can erode profits.  Here are three strategies that can help increase your company’s operational efficiency:

  1. Perform an Efficiency Audit

Before you can decide what you’ll need to change, you will need to complete an Efficiency Audit of how your company operates. Go through every procedure and system and analyze them. Are there any procedures or systems that aren’t effective anymore? How can you further improve the ones that are currently working?

You can also send out questionnaires to customers and employees to get their input on possible inefficiencies in the business. Later, you can review their feedback and discover additional issues that you may not have been aware of before.

For example, if you scour the company’s social media accounts and emails and notice that there is an uptick in customers complaining about long shipping times, there may be an issue with your courier or inventory management system.

  1. Document Every Procedure and System

After you’ve assessed the company’s operations and decided how you’d like to improve them, you should document everything. Closely track every task associated with the business and write it down. Clearly describe what each task entails and include pictures or diagrams whenever necessary. We suggest you keep the information organized on several documents uploaded to a cloud-based document system or another centralized platform.

It will be much harder for you to scale your business or be able to quickly onboard new hires if you don’t document your company’s procedures and systems. Your employees will also be able to do their job much quicker and more efficiently when the procedures are explained in detail.

  1. Create Workflows

Finally, we recommend that your company implement workflows to increase your company’s operational efficiency. The best way to incorporate workflows is with a software solution since manually writing down the workflows on paper can increase your chances of human errors and other mistakes. An automated workflow will help you and your employees make faster decisions faster, remove potential bottlenecks, and complete higher quality work.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.

Looking For Great Talent? Improve Your Employee Compensation Strategy

employee compensation strategy Portal CFO photo

As a small business owner, it’s important that you understand the role of talent retention for your growth goals. An unpredictable or changing workforce can make it difficult to adequately plan and implement any kind of business growth, especially when you end up spending a lot of time training new talent. Want to attract great talent? Then take a look at your employee compensation strategy. Here are a few ideas to help you adjust your employee compensation strategy in a way that will help you retain your staff.

Encourage A Company-Wide Work-Life Balance

It’s a common struggle these days to try to fit family care and work demands into the same schedule. As a result, many incoming applicants are going to be looking for options in their compensation package that allows them to work flexible hours, work from home, or otherwise meet family demands as well as those of their job.

When you offer these things as a default part of your employee compensation strategy, you’ll be more likely to recruit and retain the talent that you want. When candidates don’t feel as though they have to negotiate their needs, they feel more valued. This can be a deciding factor for would-be employees as they weigh job offers from multiple companies or decide if they are going to stay in their current role.

Reinforce The Value Of Continued Education

Offering continued education options, especially those that are company-paid, is a great way to invest in your workforce. Continued education helps your employees to refine their skills and grow in their careers.

When you pay for this type of offering, you’re encouraging loyalty in your company, because your employees will feel as though you appreciate them enough to help them grow. Your company will benefit as well because you will be keeping your staff at the top of the newest trends in the business. You can leverage those new skills to help your business grow successfully.

The best way to do this without breaking your company’s operating budget is to work with a local educational facility to negotiate a corporate contract. Sometimes, those contracts come with discounted tuition rates in exchange for the commitment to use them for all of your staff’s needs.

Motivate Staff With Performance-Driven Compensation

Building a workforce that’s dedicated and motivated often means offering staff an incentive for top-tier performance. Create a bonus structure that will reward success and goal achievement. These types of bonus structures help employees to know exactly what is expected of them and what they will receive if they meet these goals.

You can pair the bonus structure with routine performance appraisals. During those meetings, set the goals for each employee so that they fully understand the targets they are working for. The more you can encourage your staff, and the clearer their targets are, the more successful your business is likely to be.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

How To Handle Conflict In The Workplace

how to handle conflict in the workplace

Conflict is unavoidable whenever there is a group of people working together. Miscommunication, unmet or unclear expectations, poor attitudes, and stress are common reasons issues arise. Expecting it and knowing what to do beforehand can mean a quick resolution and therefore happier, more effective employees. Instead of allowing a situation to fester, handle conflict in the workplace head-on with these tips in mind.

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace:

1.  Don’t Make Assumptions

Never make assumptions or act without hearing both sides of the story. Whether dealing with employees in an argument or facing an employee not meeting standards, having a conversation with those involved will give greater understanding to the real issue at hand.

2.  Clarify, Clarify, Clarify

Conflict in the workplace often starts because of miscommunication and misunderstanding.  Employees may need clarification on expected duties. A busy environment often means rushed explanations and employees taking on tasks that might not regularly be their responsibility.

3.  Patience

A lack of emotional control only exemplifies the issue. Screaming, belittling, jumping to conclusions, and misplaced anger cause bitterness and does not solve the original problem. Situations can quickly escalate leading to a poor outcome. Instead, build employee trust and respect by patiently working through it.

4.  Be Firm

While patience is key to finding a resolution, being passive is not. Allowing problems to continue without taking proper action fuels a poor work environment and everyone, including the business, suffers. A leader needs to make tough decisions that will not always please everyone, especially when it comes to handling behavior that repeatedly is in breach of company policy.

5.  Check the Attitude

Facing any situation with a pleasant attitude will encourage those around you. Keeping a positive mindset boosts the morale of the group and creates a calm atmosphere.  Customers can sense tension and see through fake smiles, making them feel uneasy.

 6.  Positive Reinforcement

High standards require diligence and thoroughness. Strive for perfection, teach nothing less, but avoid criticism when possible. Correction is received more willingly when delivered in a positive way. Focus on what has been done correctly as an example for others to follow.

Being present and mindful of what is taking place daily can help eliminate ongoing issues. Implementing a strategy for conflict control is never pleasant, but it is necessary and a sign of good management.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more interesting topics on successfully managing the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Analysis: Finding What Drives Your Business

Portal CFO what drives business growth

Measuring and managing your cash flow is an important piece of your business analysis. Both struggling businesses and those experiencing explosive growth can feel overwhelmed while trying to balance essential and extraneous costs. Before you attempt to analyze your income and expenses, you must understand what drives the bulk of your business.

Do your profits rely mainly on customer service, production speed, product quality, dependable delivery, or some other impetus? What factors fuel your profits?

Any expenses beyond manufacturing, operating, and administrative costs should bolster the thing that drives your business. The best way to grow and manage your business is to focus your profits where they will make the biggest impact. With your focus determined, the next step in effectively analyzing and managing your cash flow is to establish benchmarks to measure your success.

Determine what those benchmarks are by comparing your firm with firms of similar size and objectives and answering a series of questions:

  • How do you measure up to these firms?
  • Are they doing anything you want to emulate?
  • What makes them effective? Will it work for you?
  • Do you see areas where you can improve?
  • How efficient is your operation by comparison? Compare production technique, quality control, stock management, customer care, advertising, social media presence, website design, etc.
  • Are you superior in all these areas, or do you need to try something new here and there?
  • Do you need to reallocate your resources?
  • What’s important to your customers?
  • Can you improve your customers’ experience?
  • Do you cater to your target audience? Can you expand your audience?
  • Are you doing all you can to communicate your message to the right people?
  • Do you have a marketable brand?
  • Do you carry your branding throughout your communication efforts? Everything from signage to answering machine messages and Facebook pages should support who and what you are and what you have to offer.
  • Are you getting repeat business? If not, you need to figure out why and correct it.
  • What do your customers complain about most often and what can you do to reduce complaints?

Establishing benchmarks and setting goals that will improve your profits lays the groundwork for wise decisions regarding where your resources should be spent, but to really know what’s working and what’s not you need to know your profit margins.

Your gross profit (what’s left after the cost of goods and services sold), tells you how efficient your production processes are. Once you subtract your fixed costs such as utilities, rent and administrative expenses (including your salary), what you have left are your discretionary resources. Your advertising and digital costs, as well as aesthetic improvements to your establishment, will come out of these resources.  If you know what drives your business and what benchmarks you need to reach to keep you on track to achieve your goals, you’ll know exactly how to spend these discretionary dollars.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.