If you run a business, either as the owner or the manager, you might be constantly looking at ways to make things run more efficiently in terms of both time and cost. This is a good instinct, but if you aren’t careful, it can also backfire on you. The dos and don’ts below give you a few things to watch out for.
Don’t Put the Burden on Employees
It can be tempting to look at employee salaries or benefits and see an easy way to reduce your costs, but this is a short-term solution to a long-term problem, and it’s also one that can easily spawn its own set of problems. Every business might have to tighten its belt sometimes but pay and benefits should be a last-ditch solution. Cutting back on these will not help improve employee morale and leave you with a low retention rate. When you’re constantly having to hire and retrain new staff, you lose institutional knowledge, and you waste more money.
Do Use Tools to Identify the Culprits
Too often, managers and owners consider slashing benefits and pay because it’s easy. It’s much more effective to figure out what is really costing your company. Look at departments where you feel as though costs are rising disproportionately. Operating costs for a fleet can often feel completely out of your control, driven by such factors as geopolitics, but chances are there is much more in your control than you realize. You need to be able to drill down and see where inefficiencies are in your organization. A complete fleet management platform can help you with cost reduction and avoid wasting valuable time and money going forward.
Don’t Avoid the Financial Nitty Gritty
Digging into the financial specifics is not just for a single department. You need to know what is happening financially at every level, especially if you feel like you’re burning through your money much too quickly. Stay on top of day-to-day figures so that you can make adjustments as needed.
Do Get Employee Input
Your employees are the people who are most familiar with the various processes you and others have put into place, and they are the ones who can tell you which ones aren’t working and what needs to be done to revamp them. Keep in mind as well that what worked even a couple of years ago may no longer be optimal. Since using social media to boost business is relatively new, it was likely not part of your original marketing plan. It’s worth doing a regular audit of your processes and considering whether anything needs changing.
Don’t Place Productivity Above All
As much as it can seem as though productivity is the main value to push in times when you are trying to reduce waste and boost efficiency, this is not really accurate. First of all, there’s more to good performance than getting through something as fast as possible. While you don’t want customer service calls to drag on for hours, you do need to give your representatives ample time to solve the issues they are being contacted about. Furthermore, if you do want to encourage productivity, the carrot is usually the better approach than the stick. Create an environment in which your workers are happy and rewarded for what they do and their work will probably improve.
Also published on Medium.