We’ve probably all heard the mantra that time is money, and this is certainly true when you’re paying your employees. That’s why you need to take steps to eliminate time-wasters in your business. The hard part is identifying what you can realistically do. Here are our top time-saving tips for small business.
Standardise your processes
Bureaucracy may be a bad word to many, but having standardise processes is a time saver. When you have a standardise process for every commonly done task in the building, there’s less variation in how it is done. That reduces the risk of mistakes as well as the chance someone is doing it less efficiently than their coworkers.
A side benefit is that you can train new hires much faster because there are how-to documents for everything they may asked to do. Just make sure that you keep the documented processes up to date as your business evolves.
Empower your employees
A good way to improve productivity across the board is to empower your employees. You might allow retail clerks to choose to accept small coupons or issue modest refunds up to a set amount instead of having to call a manager.
You may let people place orders for small purchases of office supplies instead of requiring authorisation. Let managers approve view access to databases without having to go one level higher. Limit approval and authorisation for mission-critical decisions, whether it is buying a new delivery van or outsourcing an entire department.
Use a managed mail service
A service can manage your incoming and outgoing mail. Why is this a time saver? It may eliminate the junk mail that may distract you from the correspondence that matters.
It can reduce the amount of time and money required to ship parcels to customers. You don’t have to have your front desk waste time accepting shipments, either.
5S is the abbreviation for a Japanese system of keeping things clean and organised. This can save everyone time and money in the long-run. For example, keeping work spaces clean and organised reduces the risk they waste time hunting for lost tools or documents.
Giving everyone time to organise and clean industrial spaces reduces the risk of accidents. Putting things back in their place allows you to identify when items went missing, too, reducing the risk of theft by employees.
Give people breaks to wind down
Yes, this is a productivity tip. Give people set breaks for going to the bathroom, drinking coffee and sitting down to socialize with peers over meals. If you fail to do this, they’re more likely to interrupt business operations to take care of their own business.
They may have to leave early to pick up dry cleaning or hit the post office instead of doing it at lunch. They may choose to surf the internet or text on their phone throughout the day because they didn’t have downtime. Let people take days off from work when ill or in need of a vacation. Then respect their privacy. They’ll return more rested and be more productive.