5 Innovative Ways to Run Your Small Business More Efficiently

Author: 
 Updated: 
August 28, 2020
 / 4 minutes

Small businesses are at the heart of the U.S. economy; accounting for 99.9% of it, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Their research also shows that 78.6% of small businesses close after one year.

How can you make sure you become a success story, and not a statistic? Consider incorporating these five tips to run your small business more efficiently.

#1: Automate Processes and Workflows

As you scale your small business, it makes less sense to ask your staff members to repeat the same tasks over and over again.

Save time and money by automating some of your most common time-sucking actions. Some examples include:

  • Automating email responses to customers
  • Capturing leads with a freebie (like a PDF)
  • Sending appointment reminders
  • Automating event registration
  • Handling job applications
  • Pre-scheduling social media marketing

#2: Track Productivity

You’ve heard it many times: time is money.

If you’re not quite sure what your team spends the most time on, or how long routine tasks take, you could be losing a lot of money to these blind spots.

Keep your vision clear with a time-tracking tool like:

  • Harvest
  • Toggl
  • Clockify
  • My Hours
  • When I Work

Some of these online time trackers integrate with other project management tools to keep you organized and connected. You can also find dedicated products that help you stay on track with your projects. That means you’ll save money and deliver what your customers expect.

To streamline the way your team communicates and how you hand off and log projects, check out some of these popular tools:

  • Slack – Part chatting tool, part email replacement, this messenger keeps your team connected.
  • Evernote – Save paper with this notetaking and scanning app.
  • Asana – Never miss a deadline with this project management software.
  • Trello – If you love sticky notes, this tool offers a virtual whiteboard experience to track all workflows.
  • Basecamp – Another project management tool that wraps in scheduling, chatting, and deadline-tracking.

#3: Assemble the Right Team

Truly finding your dream team is one of the most significant small business hiring challenges. Since small businesses generally have smaller teams, it’s important to attract the right candidates and create a welcoming environment. Companies with engaged workers reap the rewards of dedicated employees and experience less turnover too.

So, what’s the winning formula?

  • Create a clear job description – Make sure you outline a crystal-clear guide to the position and your expectations for candidates. If you eliminate any uncertainty from the jump, chances are you’ll draw the best people for the job.
  • Find the most passionate and skilled candidates – Don’t rush the process or look for qualifications alone. Spend time finding candidates that will be invested in their work and stay for the long run.

#4: Invest in Accounting Software

Organized workflows and the right team are critical to keeping your operations in tip-top shape—but don’t forget about the financials. Accounting software is a priceless tool for a multitude of purposes.

This software can help you complete the following vital operations:

  • Invoicing
  • Balancing books
  • Expense tracking
  • Payroll processing
  • Tracking inventory

And when April 15 rolls around, accounting software with a tax preparer bank and product system can simplify the tax filing process.

#5: Continuously Hone Your Marketing Game

In the ever-changing landscape of social media and digital marketing, it’s more and more important to stay on the pulse of trends and adapt accordingly when you market your business.

An important starting point is to optimize your business website. It’s a virtual storefront, so put your best foot forward. Here’s how:

  • Keep an eye on any inaccuracies and correct them.
  • Make sure it’s secure for visitors.
  • Enhance the design by making changes and cutting out clutter.

Marketing in any format relies on compelling visuals. There are numerous ways to use visual marketing to attract customers, including:

  • Creating your own videos, images, and infographics.
  • Updating your social media channels regularly.
  • Staying consistent with branding.

Embracing digital and small business social media marketing approaches can go a long way toward staying relevant in your area of expertise. It’s also an important way to connect with current and prospective customers.

Start Innovating Today

Your small business matters. And your success hinges on continuous improvement.

Keep experimenting with these and other ways to create greater efficiency in your business. When you put in the work, you’ll improve your day-to-day operations and your bottom line.

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