Business effectiveness is a difficult metric to define, let alone track. But it is something that can be keenly felt, whether by managers overseeing a project or by the staff working against institutional inefficiencies.
Data suggests that new businesses are three times less likely to scale well than to stagnate or fail – with inefficiency in growth often a key part of the equation.
In what ways might you streamline your business, with success in mind?
One of the bigger mistakes that new and growing businesses tend to make involves attempting to cover all bases. A relatively small cohort of employees will be covering a range of departments and responsibilities, from payroll and HR to warehouse maintenance and even logistics. Without the capital to invest in employees, this can result in your available workforce being spread too thinly – and can engender inefficiencies.
Rather than overloading your business structure, consider allocating some budget instead to outsourcing. Not only do you lighten the load on your team, enabling more agile response to core needs, but you also avail yourself of the unique abilities third-party businesses can offer.
For example, outsourcing your logistics to a same day delivery courier enables you to offer consumers more customisability. Outsourcing to an HR organisation means worker concerns are met more immediately, and facilitates gainful discussion on better routes to staff structure.
Even with the right third-parties covering crucial elements of your business as you expand, there will still be inefficiencies emerging from basic workflow and task management.
An internal audit of your business processes, whether following a given project from start to finish or interviewing staff about their day-to-day experience, can reveal key bottlenecks and give you an opportunity to alleviate pressure.
Much of this can be done through automation – a corner of tech development that has seen promising gains in recent years, and which could be invaluable to streamlining your business.
Tasking machine-learning algorithms with data entry can reduce instances of errors and free up administrative staff to work on more complex tasks. AI can take charge of logistics and warehouse management, too, eliminating risk from the ordering of parts or sale of goods.
Evaluate Your Supply Chain
Your business’ inefficiencies will not all originate from ‘inside the house’, so to speak. Your business, where digital, e-commerce, engineering or otherwise, will naturally rely on the services of partner businesses, suppliers, manufacturers and other networks. Some of these may even be the outsourcing solutions highlighted above.
Here, we will focus on the supply chain as an example. You may have a longstanding relationship with a material supplier, but this does not negate the material fact that they may be responsible for delays to certain shipments, development processes or orders.
Evaluating their performance might lead you to consider new options from competitors with the right resources to scale with you.