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10 Steps Towards Operational Efficiency

In order to maintain a business that remains competitive, you need to ensure that it runs like a well-oiled machine. Doing so means maintaining a high level of operational efficiency and making sure that you, along with your business partners and employees, are following your processes diligently. In order to help you take that first step towards operational efficiency, we’ve listed 10 things you can do to ensure you’re on the right track.

  1. Outline Processes

Talking things out with your team and being thorough about your process is a good way to communicate what you expect out of everyone. Taking that next step and documenting these processes will save you so much time in the long run. It’ll allow any new employees to know how things are done and help any employees that are out for a period of time get back into the swing of things seamlessly. It also helps everyone on the team remember certain steps in case they get lost or don’t remember how to do something.

  1. Measure Performance

You know the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – it’ll be harder to know what pieces of your operations need fixing and which are working unless you measure their performance. You can make great use of Consolidata’s dashboard features or other ways of measuring data in order to get an idea of what you need to improve and what can stay the same.

  1. Track Time and Prioritize

Time is your friend and also your enemy. It can be very easy to lose track of time in a fast-paced environment run by deadlines and meetings. Keep track of the different activities you do throughout the day and eliminate the activities that rob you of valuable time while prioritizing the most important tasks. Doing this correctly will help you stay ahead of things and allow you more time to spend perfecting other parts of your business.

  1. Adapt

Successful businesses never stay the same. Adapting during the growth period of your business will be crucial and either make or break you. As your team starts to grow, so must your operations and workflow. Try putting your team members in different roles and seeing how they pan out, using their talents wherever they fit best. Doing things “the old way” may be beneficial for some, but not all, parts of your business. Be adaptable and learn to take on new ways of doing things.

  1. Avoid Pointing Fingers

With every new project, there will be new challenges. When the going gets tough, it’ll be easy to point fingers at specific people. However, many times it’s the process and not the people. Be sure to review your process and iron out any kinks that may be clogging the progress of a project. If you notice that some team members just aren’t holding their end of the bargain, some constructive feedback and encouragement goes a long way and promotes a better response rather than finger pointing and interrogation.

  1. Align Expectations

There’s nothing worse than an unhappy client that feels their expectations weren’t met. Because of this it’s super important that EVERYONE has a clear understanding of the expectations. First, be clear with your team about the expectations your client has and be clear about the process. Second, be clear with your client about what they can expect from your team. 

  1. Be More Selective

It can be very tempting, especially in a competitive environment, to want to take on every client that comes your way. To put it simply, dont. Not every client will be your ideal client and many times you may not be the ideal agency for the client. For this, it’s important to understand who your ideal client is, in terms of the types of personalities you work best with and also if their needs match what you can do for them. If you know it won’t be a good fit, it’s ok to turn them down and even refer them to an agency that can better help them. After all, it’s all about relationships and maybe down the line you’ll be better equipped to help them.

  1. Avoid Over Communicating

Nothing is worse than attending a meeting that could’ve easily been an email. It happens way too often. There is a thin line between effective communication and over communication. While you want your client to be in the loop of how a project is going, they don’t need to know everything. Focus on the critical aspects of a project and avoid the urge to send constant emails, or just eliminate the need for emails altogether. Use apps like Slack to have an easier form of communication.

  1. Involve Everyone

While everyone has their own set of strengths and their own set roles within a project, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop. Weekly meetings to go over a high level overview of a project or the company’s progress is a good way to establish a sense of collaboration and a proactive mindset. It’s also a good time to bounce ideas off each other to see how you can push the company forward and it gives you a better sense of which team members have more to offer.

  1. Leave Ego at the Door

In order for any project to be successful there needs to be a sense of respect and accountability amongst everyone involved. Be open to new ideas from other team members, even if they hold a lower position or are newer to the team. Avoid getting defensive and learn to take feedback, leading by example in this department will make it easy for those under you to follow suit and be more collaborative.

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