Enhancing Business ProductivityWaqas Ahmed
January 7, 2009 — 2,234 views
Productivity is an important element in the success of any business. However, it is truly surprising how little emphasis is placed on this very important aspect. Many people consider a focus on productivity to be a task that is undertaken in times of economic downturn. This is an absolutely incorrect assumption as productivity is not a tool to avoid business closure but a tool to boosts profits. If you want to aims at freeing your time for focusing on developing new products/services and devising strategies to beat the competition - all with the same resources at hand - then read on for five handy tips.
Tip #1: Measure your time Remember that you can only improve on what you measure as otherwise you have no way of judging if you are improving or not! If you spend most of your time on a computer then use tools to measure how you spend your time. Find out the applications you use and the sites you visit and then audit the information weekly to judge where you can improve. If you are an outdoor person then use paper timesheets/PDA based software to find out how you are spending your time.
Tip #2: Establish and monitor deadlines Meeting deadlines is crucial to improving the productivity of any business. Missed deadlines mean that projects/tasks start to overlap each other causing confusion and costing you not just money but also reputation. Ensure that all the stakeholders in a task are communicated the deadline well in advance. Send(but not flood) all stakeholders email reminders before a task is due for completion. Also use some sort of project management tools/charts to monitor progress and spot a task that is lagging behind schedule.
Tip#3: Invest in skill development Your competitors can have the same machines, furniture, computers and even similar products. What differentiates you are your skills to do a task better. Invest in developing new skills to undertake new product development or decreasing your costs to do the same task.
Tip#4: Shop for "good fit" products/services Remember that the best task you can do is the one that you are best equipped to do. Where possible upgrade your tools of the trade to help you claim a advantage by boasting of the best tools/services that your business uses. Make sure that your website/brochure clearly boasts your usage of these "premier" services/tools and describe how this improves your product/service.
Tip#5: Plan for business cycles Every business has cycles when there is peak demand for a product/service. That is really the time when you need to arrange for enough stock/service so that inquiring customers are not turned away due to lack of inventory/personnel. Plan for such times well in advance. If you need to hire temporary staff then look for online/offline support assistants to help you out during this time.
About the Author
Waqas Ahmed is the CEO of SpeedItOnline.com, a provider of online support to small businesses around the globe. If you have any questions regarding this article or services offered then please contact SpeedItOnline.