Brian Setencich on How Small Businesses Can Streamline Operations
Streamlining business operations is an important way for new businesses to get ahead. Ensuring that there are no duplicated or unnecessary tasks can save money and time. This will make an investment in a new business go farther. Brian Setencich, the General Manager of First Service Residential in San Francisco, shares his expertise with Blogtrepreneur readers.
Any time you can reduce the amount of paperwork in an office, you will increase efficiency. Start your new business as a paperless office, and you will never have the piles of paper forms that dog established businesses. Keep all of your documents in an online retrieval system rather than wasting time and space on filing cabinets that no one will look in.
Be Cautious with Expenses
Whenever you are setting up a new business, take a hard look at all of your expenses, major and minor, and decide which ones are truly important. You may not want to pay for company cell phones, for example, or high-grade office space if you will rarely see clients in person.
Don’t Duplicate Jobs
Even if you are hiring friends and family for your new business, make sure you are not duplicating responsibilities. If one person has a responsibility to handle the books, don’t make someone else in charge of expense reports. As your business grows, you may have the opportunity to hire more staff, but in the beginning, you should be very conservative about your hiring decisions.
Automate or Outsource Repetitive Tasks
As much as possible, automate the tasks that take a lot of time and don’t add significantly to the day-to-day operations of your business. If you need to do a mailing, you may want to outsource this to your local print shop instead of dedicating employee time to this repetitive task. This will help you preserve your employee’s time to work on tasks that are directly related to the business itself.
Stay in Close Touch with Your Employees
When you are starting a new business, you may be overwhelmed to the point where communication with your staff breaks down. The best way to handle this problem is by installing video chat and text chat software like Slack. This will enable all of your employees to talk in a common space while they may be working at remote sites.
Be sure that you keep in touch with your employees so that they can tell you about any problems, bottlenecks, or difficulties that are occurring in your new business. At an early stage, it’s much easier to make changes, compared to a few years down the road where behaviors and processes are entrenched. Above all else work to build and enhance workplace “chemistry.” A happy, fulfilled staff leads to success and the journey for everyone will be more enjoyable.
Instead of dealing with tiresome paper time cards, use a system like Harvest to automate the process. This will enable you to check time cards much more quickly and easily and enable your employees to file the time cards when they are off-site.
Your streamlined operation will compare favorably to your competitors. You will be able to pass along cost savings to your customers, and you will be able to handle business in a more efficient manner. Your reputation will be enhanced, and you will be better able to attract new business.
When you streamline the operations of your new business, you will set yourself up for years of prosperity to come. Eliminate paper trails and tiresome filing. Making sure that tasks are not duplicated keeps your employees working efficiently. Be careful with your money and do not make any wasteful purchases. Be sure to keep in touch with your employees daily and keep your time cards under control.
Set Your New Business Apart
Brian Setencich offers these tips to help your new business stay streamlined. Keeping your new venture agile and ready to cope with change is a crucial skill for any business owner. Streamlining your operations leaves your company ready to cope with any future challenges and to beat the competition.