One way to increase the efficiency of your business is to maintain a healthy balance between “your work” and “your life” in its operation. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. In many instances, you have to sacrifice one or the other to achieve this ideal balance. If work is reduced, your income-generating activities may be adversely affected. On the other hand, if you opt to cut back on your personal life, you may end up too exhausted and lose your stamina and drive to focus on your tasks.
You might think making your business more efficient is a NO-NO situation but do not lose heart. Here are some guidelines you can adopt to make your work more efficient without cutting your earning capability and still keep an ideal work/life balance in your business:
- Study your operational processes. Define which tasks are vital and very sensitive that require your personal supervision. For manual processes that you regularly engage in and are routine and/or repetitive such as clerical tasks, data entry, attending to calls, emails, and other communications, hiring virtual assistants is the wiser option. Outsourcing these tasks can be done faster, more efficiently, and at lesser cost than doing the jobs yourself or getting regular employees. There are many reliable online outsourcing companies you can contact like Mr. Outsource who can offer their services to meet your requirements for efficient and effective manpower.
- Take advantage of technology. There are online technology tools that will help you work more efficiently and at affordable costs (some are even free of charge). Use a simple auto-responder like Constant Contac or Aweber to automatically send emails to all of your customers. These tools can save you time and effort by eliminating the task of having to type every address each time you send. You can store documents using a service like Dropbox. This way, you can share folders by making people access the information they need themselves. Use Google Calendar or visit Doodle.com and sync the calendars on your phone and computer so appointment information is always available to you every time and anywhere you are. If you are not familiar with technology tools to use for your business, ask friends or colleagues who are comfortable with technology for their recommendations for the best technology to use for your business. Money spent on these tools is well-worth the benefits and convenience they give you at the end. Also, you can save time by learning keyboard shortcuts. You can save an average of 8 days per year simply by using keyboard shortcuts instead of mouse clicks. Visit this link for basic PC computer shortcuts: (http://www.computerhope.com/shortcut.htm).
- Organize your workplace. You and your staff may be using too much time and effort just to navigate around your office. Maybe you have to walk halfway across the building just to print something or to reach your files. A survey conducted found that 76 hours per worker per year are spent looking for things Try to rearrange your space to make the most-used items more convenient. Do things gradually. Instead of a general overhaul, you can start small. Set up a filing cabinet and start by clearing your desk of the papers and clutters. Train yourself to put things where they belong, rather than leaving them out.
- Plan ahead. Going around in circles without a definite plan is a big time-waster. Do not start the day without a plan. If you are holding a meeting, or working on a promotional plan, make sure you have a clear agenda before the actual events. Learn to delegate tasks to people most competent to do them to minimize mistakes and waste time just correcting them later.
Balance is definitely important, but you need not sacrifice income to achieve it. Instead, look for ways that you can improve your operational efficiency and the above tips will help your business will be much efficient in the long run!