At this time in history, more than ever before, small to medium sized businesses need to become more innovative and more efficient in how they do business. Competing with larger and better funded companies is a challenging but rewarding endeavor for those who know how to run an efficient business and have a can-do attitude. Listed below are five ways that most businesses can become more efficient.
Provide and require the use of live chat
There are very few positions within companies that don’t require periodic if not continuous communications with fellow employees throughout the work day. It just isn’t realistic to personally walk down the hall and meet with someone whenever a question needs to be asked or a message needs to be conveyed. Email has logistically solved a big part of this problem, but frankly, even email is not always the most efficient method of communication.
Many employees don’t continuously monitor their email for incoming emails and for this reason; a person can spend a lot of time waiting for the response needed. When people do continually monitor their emails it makes them less productive and they are often lured into reading non-business related emails. The answer to this email dilemma is live chat.
Live chat is an incredibly efficient method of communication because it does not require employees to waste time by continually monitoring email. They can go about their business without the distractions that email provides and yet when someone has an urgent need to communicate, presto, they mystically appear on the screen. Messages done through instant chat are typically quick and to the point. For this reason, companies can greatly increase the efficiency of their employees by investing in live chat software or providing some other method of instant chat and requiring their employees to use it as the primary method of communication when practical.
Reduce the number of meetings
There are times when meetings are absolutely necessary. When those situations occur, managers should put some serious thought into how the meeting can be effective, short and to the point. The other 90% of the meetings are probably not really all that necessary. Try cutting the number of internal meetings you have by 50% and see what a difference it makes.
Most of the time, the critical information that is disseminated in a meeting actually only takes a few minutes and can easily be provided in company memos or by email. The majority of the time spent in meetings is really unproductive and in some instances, counterproductive. This applies to your clients too.
Enhance employee collaboration
Collaboration is a term that is being buzzed a lot on the internet and for good reason. The creativity and efficiency of employees is greatly enhanced when a company provides methods of intercompany collaboration and encourages the use of it. Collaboration helps employees to get help from peers in solving problems that otherwise would take significantly longer to resolve.
Without effective and frequent collaboration among employees, good ideas usually die and opportunities are lost. When companies do not encourage and facilitate in the cross pollination of ideas between employees, valuable workers often feel isolated and become frustrated by operational inefficiencies within the company. When this happens they often become less productive or become disheartened and depart for better jobs. Web-based videoconferencing is a great way to have short but effective collaboration sessions without requiring people to physically congregate at a central location and deplete a large portion of their work day.
Reduce unproductive travel time
All too often, the time spent on the road traveling is time lost. A networked or online solution offering video calls and Web conferencing can greatly help reduce the time and expense of traveling to offsite meetings and training sessions. Whenever possible reduce unproductive road trips by employees. When travel is necessary, provide the technology that enables them to still participate in instant chat and video conference meetings while on the road to keep their level of productivity at the highest possible level.
Providing easy quick access to information
Delivering quick access to information so employees can make timely and solid business decisions is a challenge nearly all small and medium sized businesses face. Networks that are really slow, frequently down, and unsecured don’t enable employees to move quickly, which results in lost opportunities, revenues and efficiency. Evaluate how efficient your networks are that make possible the flow of information for your company.
Make the necessary upgrades and enhancements to move information along at realistic speed. Don’t allow outdated technology and tools to slow you down. Each of these five areas provides opportunities for increasing the efficiency of your company.