How small businesses can increase business efficiency

How small businesses can increase business efficiency

The owners of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are aware of the need to do more with less, and most have found ways to operate more efficiently with lower costs. However, SMB owners often don’t have the expertise, time, or money to invest in discovering all the potential additional efficiencies they could achieve. With so many potential options, it can be hard for SMB owners to know where to start, according to Concur.

Murray Warner, business development director, Concur, said, “Identifying additional opportunities to increase efficiency can be as simple as asking ‘Is there a better way to do this?’. It’s important for SMB owners to continually reassess and update business operations to benefit from good business habits that will improve efficiency, productivity, and customer and employee satisfaction.

“For many business owners, technology is a great starting point. As traditional enterprise technology solutions are becoming increasingly displaced by cost-effective, agile, and user-friendly platforms for businesses of all sizes, SMB owners can optimise their business efficiency even further to achieve a competitive advantage.”

Concur has identified seven tips SMB owners can use to increase business efficiency:

1. Automate processes

Most routine tasks can be streamlined and automated for greater efficiency, including network maintenance, marketing, and customer support. Automated, accurate data can also provide immediate answers for organisations looking for cost savings, such as monthly spend figures and outstanding debts.

2. Maximise uptime

Businesses can lose sales due to technical difficulties. A reliable, secure, and responsive network lets employees access the information and resources they need, and maintain responsive contact with customers and suppliers.

3. Ensure mobility

Mobile productivity is critical to SMBs where employees have multiple roles and responsibilities. Organisations need to give employees the right tools to connect to the company network, and communicate with colleagues and customers from wherever they are.

4. Collaborate

Collaboration is key to efficiency. Tools such as videoconferencing and document sharing can help keep all employees on same page.

5. Save by outsourcing

SMBs are used to completing many tasks in house, but this can also create more work for the team. For example, it may be more cost-effective to outsource network security tasks to a managed service provider and free up the IT team to focus on core business objectives.

6. Reduce email attachments

Using emails to share files can create an opportunity for cybercriminals to distribute malware. Instead, SMBs should consider exchanging documents through a secure portal, where files are stored in the cloud with the option of password protection.

7. Simplify technology

Having the latest technology is often seen as an essential for many small business owners, but it can often do more harm than good. SMBs should invest in technology that is easy for employees to use to boost productivity and morale.