Practically every business has a few holes to patch up where money leaks out. While no two companies suffer from exactly the same wastes of time and resources, there is a list of usual suspects that can be improved. Here are six tips on saving company time and resources to improve your bottom line.
1. Go paperless at work.
Manual, paper-based systems are inefficient, time-consuming, and difficult to back up in emergencies. Plus, there’s a host of benefits to adopting a paperless system:
- Time saved. Instead of printing documents and filing them (and then searching for them manually at a later date), your retrieval process becomes as simple as a click of a button. Plus, it eliminates wasted man-hours.
- Improved accessibility. When files are digitally stored, your organization instantly becomes more flexible. If your office were paperless, all you'd have to do is log into your cloud account, search for the file you need, and use it as you normally would. The convenience of going paperless can save a lot of trouble with logistics and geography if you have employees in multiple locations.
- Saved space and money. One sheet of paper may not take up a ton of space, but tens of thousands of pages certainly do. Over time, businesses accrue boxes and boxes of files which aren’t cheap and take hours to reorganize. Digital files take no physical space which means you no longer have to waste overhead on physical file storage.
- Stronger security. Many paperless systems are encrypted and protected by numerous layers of security, and access can be restricted to only a few individuals. Furthermore, digital files don't run the risk of getting lost due to theft, fires or floods.
2. Avoid overcommunicating with emails.
Email is super convenient and usually efficient. However, it's overused and can lead to significant miscommunication due to the lack of context lost without tone to help convey your message. The average worker spends hours a day answering emails.
How can you improve your email communications? Get in the habit of thinking about your email’s purpose and recipients in order to save your time and everyone else's. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Is this message is necessary?”
Perhaps the contents of the email is more appropriate to be discussed in person or over the phone. Furthermore, does everyone on the team need to receive and be CC’d in on the email or just the few most relevant coworkers?
3. Streamline office communication systems.
Slack is an integration system for tracking vital information about your employees, their habits, and their productivity. But, it also offers streamlined IM services for your business. This is a great conversational tool that saves time and is convenient. And we can’t forget about Slack’s ease of file sharing. One can obtain info on files uploaded; they can upload new files; and managers can control issues like file sharing, file information and install filters when necessary.
8x8 is a cloud-based system that provides an array of versatile communication services to businesses. This system collects data from your employees through its analytics platform and informs employers about their employees’ projects and performance. 8x8 compiles that data to improve customer interactions and track an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
As your business technology ages, it will be time to incorporate new technologies into your legacy systems—just because you’ve used something in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep using it. Automate some of your ad-hoc processes so computers can do the work and your employees can focus on projects that will help your business grow.
One of the biggest challenges is to incorporate these new technologies. According to Chalmers Brown, the CTO and co-founder of Due, it’s better to install a completely new system rather than wait to decide how to integrate the old with the new. He explains it will be faster, more flexible, and more productive to just start with a new platform.
4. Encourage collaboration between your employees.
It sounds like a fundamental practice within businesses, but collaboration is highly underrated for some. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Without collaboration with their coworkers, employees lose the opportunity to work in a diverse environment that energizes teams, releases creativity and makes working together both productive and joyful.
Simply put, it’s the process of two or more people—or organizations—working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. On many levels, businesses are teams. Collaborate with this team and you’ll seize the day!
5. Outsource some tasks.
Outsource when necessary to save time and money. Depending on the projects being outsourced, you can get parts of your job done at a lower cost and possibly with better quality. Also, your outsourcing partner is responsible for the infrastructure and technology for these projects, which spares your business headaches and money.
You no longer need to invest in recruiting and training because outsourcing is directed skilled resources. This leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency contributing to your company’s bottom line. Then you can focus on core areas, like building your brand and converting ideas into products.
6. Stay organized in face-to-face meetings.
In-person meetings are time-consuming and keep your employees from other projects or sales calls, so have an agenda to keep them structured. Have a specific goal in mind that everyone knows about going into the meeting. Plan your work and work your plan!
Have a written agenda prepared. Create a one-page agenda showing three to five items or questions you'd like to discuss. An agenda sets a natural guideline for the meeting.If you follow these basic principles for face-to-face meetings, your employees will engage with one another directly and develop better ideas.