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7 Practical Management Tips for Small Companies

 

Flashy, forward-thinking management strategies are usually seen as the domain of large enterprises. Companies like Facebook and Google, for example, are well-known for their innovative approaches to organizing and incentivizing their workforces.

But small businesses, which are linchpins of most economies across the globe, can also benefit from these kinds of ideas. In fact, SMBs are often inefficient. Most can save hours of employee time every week, along with hundreds if not thousands of dollars of wasted resources, by making a handful of small improvements.

In this post, we’re going to outline seven practical ways you can boost efficiency, employee productivity, and overall profits.

 

1. Streamline Your Operations with a Business Management App

If you only follow one suggestion in this post, make it this: streamline your operations with a business management app. Inexpensive, subscription-based software allows managers and business owners to streamline a wide range of tasks, including invoice management, meeting scheduling, payments, customer service, marketing, and more.

They provide you and your team with an easy-to-use focal point to take care of day-to-day responsibilities. What’s more, business management apps tend to have multiple customer-facing features, such as portals where clients can log into member areas to book appointments and submit help tickets.

Enabling clients to complete simple jobs like booking and rescheduling will often save hours of employee time every week.

 

2.  Automate Time-Consuming Daily Tasks

Many small business owners and managers feel intimidated by the prospect of automation. They assume that building an integrated tech stack that can handle routine tasks without any human input requires specialist knowledge.

In the vast majority of cases, however, this simply isn’t true. A variety of tools allow users with limited technical expertise to create automated processes for everything from scheduling meetings to running marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, it’s possible to sync different apps with easy-to-use tools to ensure the automated flow of information between different platforms, such as from a payments app to an accounting solution or a digital customer address book to an analytics platform.

 

3. Gather Employee and Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is like gold dust to small businesses. The only way to know if your existing customer flows are working effectively is by gathering information from the individuals using them. You can then use this data to make improvements going forward.

Include qualitative feedback mechanisms in the customer-facing parts of your business. Ask customers directly how they feel about features through forms and questionnaires built into the customer journey.

Equally, you should ask employees for suggestions about how to improve internal company processes. Your team members, who are working on the front line, can pinpoint major areas of inefficiency and provide valuable insights about how to streamline workflows.

 

4. Create “Standard Operating Procedures”

Standard operating procedures are written step-by-step outlines of how to perform particular tasks. Standardizing processes across your company will ensure that you maintain quality and limit the possibility of mistakes, irrespective of the level of experience of your employees.

Standard operating procedures should be compiled in a single document (preferably online) that all members of your team can access and reference easily. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant a task may be. Including specific instructions will ensure that you can guarantee consistent, high-quality outcomes.

It’s also a good idea to review your standard operating procedures regularly, tweaking and improving them based on staff feedback.

 

5. Don’t Sideline Your Mailing List and Social Media Channels

As a small business, it’s essential to maintain communication channels with your customers. Many companies fail to prioritize mailing lists and social media accounts. But this is a big mistake, and not just from a marketing perspective.

The ability to contact customers quickly has an array of benefits from a management perspective. When you make changes to business processes, whether you alter your opening hours or implement a new booking system, it’s imperative to let customers know.

Ensuring that the majority of your existing clients are notified quickly will limit the number of problems and misunderstandings further down the line.

 

6.  Invest in Employee Training

Small business owners often encourage new employees to “learn on the job” rather than offer structured, in-depth training. This usually results in a higher number of mistakes, slow task completion, and lost time as colleagues offer help.

Resources spent training new members of your team are never wasted. Ensuring that they know how to complete tasks effectively maximises productivity from day one.

This strategy also applies to ongoing training, which has a myriad of benefits. Regular staff training days, for example, give you an opportunity to  pinpoint any problematic parts of your company processes and implement new insights gleaned from customer and employee feedback.

 

7. Invest in a Document Management App

Most small businesses deal with dozens of documents every day, such as contracts, invoices, proposals, receipts, and more. If you’re still relying on paper documents or email attachments, then you’re unnecessarily wasting both time and money.

Contract management apps, which are inexpensive and easy to use, allow small businesses to streamline an array of document-related tasks, including creation, collaboration, editing, and tracking. Adding electronic signature fields and embedded payment buttons to contracts and proposals also often results in higher recipient approval rates.

Finally, contract management apps have a host of automation features like automated reminders for unresponsive clients, document templates, and auto-population of client details.

 

Conclusion

Running a small business is difficult. It shouldn’t be made even harder with inefficient, resource-sapping processes. By making a handful of minor adjustments - investing in an integrated tech stack, gathering feedback, and running employee training programs - you can realize benefits across your whole company.

Spend a little time experimenting with the suggestions outlined in this post. Once you start to see positive results, you’ll only wish you’d done it sooner.

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