With the digital revolution in full flow and economic growth looking more promising than it has for some time, opportunities are increasing for entrepreneurs and small businesses to flourish.
But businesses can’t afford to put goof up repeatedly in the early stages if they hope to establish themselves in their industry. Building an efficient business with low costs and high profit margins is the key to success at any stage of business development; but it is even more important during the start-up phase.
Below we take a look at some key areas to concentrate on if you are looking to build an efficient business that can grow.
Creating an efficient workplace
Connectivity and access to information are key to modern workplaces. Ensuring that employees can get in touch with one another as well as customers from anywhere in the world is vital to the efficient management of resources. Companies of all sizes are turning to cloud computing networks that allow employees to access information from all corners of the globe.
Local hosting is outdated and can create problems that prevent crucial tasks from being finished at vital times. There are services like Hiscox’s Professional Indemnity Insurance designed to help businesses look at any holes in their connectivity that could have a negative effect on their business.
For any company, it is essential that information is hosted reliably as well. It is also important for businesses to make use of systems that allow a range of options for upgrades and improvements from the beginning.
Flexibility is key and choosing a credible server is crucial. Large companies tend to dedicate between two and four per cent of their ICT (information and communications technology) budgets to planning for recovery from crucial disasters, such as server failure and the downtime of websites*, and small companies should look to take similar precautions.
As companies grow, existing resources can become stretched very quickly. So when it comes to server space it is important to plan ahead for when business is booming and having data at your fingertips becomes even more crucial. Businesses should look to the future and make their decisions based on projections and the likely pace of expansion.
Selection of Staff
If businesses can keep staff turnover to a minimum they tend to see benefits in a number of key areas. Selection of good staff is fundamental to the early success of any company. As in many aspects of life, a business is little more than the sum of its parts. Building a team of competent individuals who mesh well as a team is vital to the growth of any business. It is far more cost-effective for a business to invest in a thorough recruitment process, rather than to face the difficulties of replacing staff continually at a later date.
On top of this, managers should be sure to consider the motives and overall sincerity of prospective hires interest in working within the industry and their plans for the future. Ensuring that employees share their principles and goals can be the key to establishing lengthy and mutually beneficial working relationships.
Ensuring a balanced team
A strong balance between innovation and adapting to new ways of working, combined with experience, is the key to building a successful team. Howard Catton from the Royal College of Nursing stresses this point, speaking in reference to the effects of cuts to the NHS:
“….having the right staff mix is essential . . . If too many middle or senior grades disappear, the numbers may be OK but the skill mix is diluted.”**
Even in big institutions it is important to have a mixture of talent. For a start-up operation where many employees may be new and inexperienced, ensuring that there are also experienced individuals with a grasp of how your business and your industry works is essential for success.
There is no quick “one size fits all” way to make your business more efficient. Following common sense steps such as reviewing your overhead, as well as looking at operational procedures will help make your business more efficient. But one of the best ways to find out where you can make necessary changes is by listening.
Listen to your staff and gauge their feedback on what aspects of the job they find difficult or unnecessarily time consuming. Additionally, listen to your clients and customers; they may tell you something that you haven’t thought of before!