Are your profits falling? Are your employees disengaged, unproductive or unhappy? Sometimes it is tough to pinpoint exactly what is draining time or resources for your company. The truth is, there are some activities and tasks that deserve your time and money, and other things that will slow you down if you don’t pay attention. If you fear that your business isn’t as efficient as it could be, here are five possible reasons for the problem.
Lack of Outsourcing
You don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, the numbers suggest that you shouldn’t. Outsourced IT is up 23 percent from last year, which means that all those CEOs have shed some infrastructural risk, freed up their resources and are now focusing their efforts on improving their companies with more funds and flexibility than ever before. Meanwhile, you’re still paying a premium for in-house services with terrible retention numbers anyway.
Limited or Outdated Technology
It isn’t uncommon for businesses to adopt an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” strategy, particularly when it comes to technology. However, this kind of attitude is keeping you in the dark of new advances. If you’re still chugging away on a desktop, you’re sacrificing the new-found productivity offered by portable iPads and Galaxy Notes. If you haven’t taken advantage of new customer service software like CRM, you’re missing the chance to examine real-time data on your consumer base and their spending habits.
How much money do you spend on things you never use? How much could you be saving if you didn’t? Josie Thomson, a professional business coach, suggests that you start making monthly assessments of where your money is going and how you can plug the leaks. You might reduce overhead by buying recycled materials, raise your deductible for lower insurance premiums or even shrink your offices if you don’t really need that executive suite. The only way to figure out what money is being put to good use and what money is being wasted is to analyze your finances. If you’re not looking over the books every month (or weekly), you won’t be aware of areas where you’re wasting.
Cyril Peupion, the author of Work Smarter: Live Better, is a big believer in the energy- and time-saving properties of an organized workspace. According to Peupion, most workers lose something every eight days, which adds up to six weeks a year of searching for the supplies or documents you already have. He encourages basic practices like always filing your paperwork at the end of the day and always keeping your tools grouped by category. For example, your ink cartridges should stay next to your printer, your stamps should never be far from your letter opener, et cetera. When you have everything organized, your business will run smoothly, and you’ll have everything you need on hand.
No Online Presence
Current projections suggest that more than 161 million people will be virtually shopping in 2014. If your business isn’t online, that’s 161 million potential customers you can kiss goodbye. It’s time to embrace the 21st century and join the ranks of online advertisers and service providers. Start by building a website and joining social media; then you can focus on things like affiliate linking and e-commerce marketing.
If your business is feeling sluggish, you can easily pick up the pace by first identifying what areas could use some changes. Don’t be afraid to implement new strategies, or new resources in order to cut down on the amount of unnecessary work. You may need to use your imagination, but slowly, one change at a time, you will see your business start to pick up and (hopefully) your profits rise.
Author: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, women’s interests, or home and family. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing. Dixie received her information about business technology and business organization from the professionals of neopostinc.com