Running a business entails taking care of numerous factors, from your company’s finances to managing a staff of employees. Each of these factors has an important role to play, and any one of them can sink a small business if you don’t play your cards right.
By KEVIN DEVOTO
These tips can help you optimize your business in order to maximize profit and minimize risk.
The Right Tools for the Job
Every business depends on a staff of employees, but workers are only as good as their equipment. Failing to give your employees the tools they need for their work will invariably result in worse results and a less productive workflow. This is all the more important as technology becomes an increasingly important part of modern businesses. As the need for more advanced technology becomes a priority, keeping that tech up to date becomes just as essential. Likewise, the latest business software, such as Sales Cloud, are crucial for allowing your sales team to stay organized and, more importantly, efficient. It’s also important to make sure that your equipment is kept up and running. Technology old and new has a habit of presenting unexpected problems, so you’ll need to make sure your IT department is keeping things running smoothly by repairing damage where it occurs and preventing it when possible. Major repairs are costly and time consuming, and that can not only cost you a ton of money, but can also inhibit your company during the interim, so anticipating structural weaknesses is essential for preventing major losses to time and money.
Another crucial aspect that can impact the productivity of your team is employee morale. The status quo for management has long been a tough love approach that has now been shown to be alienating to workers, and that alienation negatively impacts performance. The alternative, employee morale, seeks to do the opposite. By making your staff feel good about their work and their place in the company, you will help to improve their performance. While this isn’t a foolproof strategy, and some workers may not improve under better conditions, the overwhelming consensus is that morale and productivity are directly related. Improving morale in your place of business can take many forms, some simpler than others. For example, offering employees paid leave can improve their mood by giving them the peace of mind that comes with the financial freedom to simply take a vacation. On the other hand, you can also offer prizes or financial incentives to your top works during a given month. By celebrating your staff, you can boost their morale and productivity with minimal cost to you.
Because all businesses are necessarily cooperative ventures, good communication is a must for maintaining productivity. What does good communication mean? Primarily, you and your managers need to be on the same page at all times, if possible, and your managers need to be on the same page as your lower-ranking staff. Whether it’s accomplished by memos, meetings, or casual chats, everyone needs to be working toward the same goal with the same set of information, more or less. While the grunts don’t need to sweat the big picture stuff, they do need to know the proper procedures for their tasks, and what those tasks are. This is especially important in a more dynamic workplace, but it remains crucial throughout all of the commerce for everyone to know their roles. It’s also important that communication in the workplace is a two-way street. You need to delegate responsibilities down the ladder, but it also helps your employees to be able to come to you with concerns and questions and, more importantly, for them to know that they can. The tough-love relationship between worker and employer in years prior puts you behind the eight ball in terms of making yourself available to your staff, so setting the right tone and making good first impressions is essential.