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Efficiency is always of the utmost importance in business, but it’s even more important for a small business owner than for most. You will have limited resources relative to the giant corporations, and you will have to leverage those resources as efficiently as possible in order to ensure the greatest possible chance of success.

Likewise, you will have limited time — especially if your business is a startup and you are the primary driving force behind it, and are responsible for juggling many different professional roles at once.

There are many things you might choose to do in order to improve the performance of your business and reduce waste, but it’s important that the steps you take yield effective results.

Here are a few tips for increasing your efficiency as a small business owner.

Hire new people in support roles

As a small business owner, hiring staff is going to be a significant investment. For that reason, many small business owners may opt to avoid hiring for any roles that seem a bit “gratuitous” or lofty. Support roles, in particular, are likely to get neglected.

But while a sales team is more of an immediately urgent feature of a business than a sales operations team, be in no doubt that the sales operations team — as pioneered by Xerox over 40 years ago — has the potential to radically transform your business and ramp up your sales.

Generally speaking, support roles exist to streamline the work done by more conventional roles. They will deal with the numbers, handle forecasting, planning, and territory design. They will operate “in the shadows” so to speak, but they can dramatically streamline the various processes of your business.

Play to your strengths and let go of the need to micromanage

One of the big causes of inefficiency in small businesses, if bosses — that’s you — who just aren’t willing to delegate tasks, or to allow others to do their jobs — and who insist on micromanaging every single detail of the business and its workings.

To improve your efficiency, you need to drop this approach. Focus on your core competencies. Maybe you’re an excellent strategist but a poor proposal writer. Focus, also, on empowering and incentivizing your staff to be more autonomous.

Keep an eye on what’s happening in your business via reports and regular reviews, but step back, and let the teamwork as they’re supposed to.

Explore the ways in which digital tools can streamline your operations

Running a small business once meant that you, or another person, had to be responsible for each task in the company, and had only relatively old-fashioned and inefficient tools at hand to work with.

These days, however, there is a wealth of digital tools available that can help to streamline your operations and make everything that much more effective and hassle-free.

Make good use of these tools. You might find, for example, that the nightmare of trying to get your team to collaborate effectively on a project without stepping on each other’s toes, vanishes once you start having them handle all of their tasks collectively via Trello.


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