Spring is time to simplify and streamline
Continuing our mini-series on business renewal, let’s now think about getting leaner!
Spring is the perfect season to take a step back and get excited about your business again. It’s a great time to evaluate how far you have come and where you want to go, as well as looking at the opportunities to reinvigorate or improve your business. Every opportunity for change is an opportunity for growth.
Having said that, one of the biggest mistakes small business owners can make is change for the sake of change, particularly if change is based on bad data/information, or done for the wrong reasons. Of course not all change is bad, but if your current business operations are working, then only make changes (if any) that enhance this success then leave them alone. If not, efficiencies can be made in a variety of areas throughout your business, but given the intricacies of running a business, you may not know where to start.
Here are five things to think about to help you streamline and simplify. Remember to evaluate the effect that each of these will have on the bottom line and also how they will impact your customers, suppliers and your employees.
- Passion injection - revisit what it was that inspired you to set up your business and take a moment to sense-check your values and mission. Are you staying true to them and are you on the right track? If not, then re-evaluate how you got off track and what measures you need to track to bring your business back in line. This could be a simple matter of changing what software you use to run your accounts, for example, to free up more time to spend on the business.
- Get lean and mean - take the time to go through your business with a fine toothcomb and eliminate what you don’t need. This will differ for each business but you might want to consider how you can scale things back and support profit margins. Or perhaps think about whether you have the right team on board and what needs to be done to ensure you are getting the most out of them?
- Make the most of digital technology - to remain competitive; businesses must boost operational efficiency wherever possible. It's particularly important for small businesses to operate efficiently, because they often have limited resources. This is where IT comes into its own – but have you got it working for you? Think about where you can become more efficient and potentially how you could be using cloud-based services that make state-of-the-art technology available to businesses of all sizes. Think about whether your hardware is up to scratch, and if you are making the most of the equipment you already have? Are you using modern platforms such as cloud computing to make the most of your working day?
- Think before you buy - every business is different and shouldn’t rely on run of the mill software to get the job done. Make sure you aren’t wasting time and money on software that isn’t delivering what you need. This is particularly true of non-specific accounting products that won’t be tailored to your needs or the requirements of your business.
- A new look for spring - is your branding still relevant to your business and is your website doing your business justice? Do you need to simplify your communications? Don’t be afraid to review these things and consider investing in a new image. Re-launching your updated brand to your audience shows that you are agile, strong and staying current.
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