By Bailey McCann, Funding Gates
A new year offers many reasons to get excited about your business once again. The possibility of new clients and customers is one reason to celebrate. The launch of a new line of product or services very well could be what keeps you working late into the evening. So, what’s so different about this year compared to last year? What are you doing to make your business better?
Behind every successful company lies an owner who is willing to evolve. Are you that type of leader? Are you willing to go the extra mile to stay on top of things? How flexible are you? Do you ask the people that work for you for feedback on how to make things better?
Here are five things you can do to make your business operate more smoothly in 2014:
Stop trying to do a million things at once. Although multi-tasking, at times, can be a valuable skill, it also can be very distracting. It can leave many projects incomplete and cause unnecessary stress. Identify your three Most Important Tasks (MITs) for the day and focus on getting them done. If there’s time left over, tackle the other things on your To Do List. Toddledo lets its users organize tasks and collaborate with others in the workplace. Best of all, it’s easy to access from a number of different mobile devices.
Really get to know your clients or customers. Knowing your customers or clients and saying you know your customers or clients are two entirely different things. In order to satisfy their needs, you’ll want to know what motivates and excites them. You can do this by listening to their complaints, addressing their questions through social media and offering them products and services that make their lives easier, healthier and happier. Tailor your responses so that they’re personal and meaningful instead of cold and automated.
Outsource tasks that you can’t do yourself. You cannot be a one man or one woman army and get things done efficiently. Everyone has their limitations and if you’re busy planning, designing, and manufacturing products, you’re not going to have the time to effectively write about and market them. That’s where you need to find some freelancers to help you out. You can hire a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks and a content marketer to help get the word out about your business.
Know and utilize software and apps. Make sure all of your employees are on the same page by adopting software and applications meant for businesses like yours. If you’re still using an old-fashioned way of tracking time, stop. Find time tracking software like Hubstaff and Harvest and start using it right away. It’ll be much easier to determine who is doing what and when.
Make work fun. Find ways to encourage creativity by making the work that’s being done enjoyable. Allow your employees to listen to music while on the clock, host weekly brainstorming meetings and supply lunch on those days, reward exceptional efforts with prizes or extra time off from work. Employee morale can be boosted in a number of different ways. It’s up to you to come up with incentives that motivate your workers so that they will consistently deliver quality work to you each and every day.
It’s all about working smarter, not harder. By streamlining and delegating tasks, keeping a well-organized and stocked office, and utilizing apps, software and services designed to save you time and money, your business will thrive. You’ll free up time to come up with new products to sell, have more time to train and educate employees and stop spending money on things you could very well do yourself.
Bailey McCann is a writer for Funding Gates, the accounts receivable software for small businesses that allows them to track, organize and manage open invoices all with simple clicks. Bailey enjoys writing on business, finance and technology. She regularly covers topics of interest to entrepreneurs, investors and fund managers.