Cutting Corners Without Affecting Quality Or Service
The Nature of Running a Business
A business owner understands and accepts the responsibility of effecting change for the good of her or his business. It’s part of the nature of running a business.
Needless to say, you cannot effect change without compromising on something. However, there are ways to be more effective and increase your profits without demoralizing your staff and being apparent to your clients. Start by cutting down on unnecessary in-house expenses.
Start With Office Procedures
If your business has been operational for several years, the tendency is for certain standard operating procedures (SOPs) to get complicated. You need to review your operations from the bottom up and trim the unnecessary steps.
For instance, when a job order comes in, how many people does it take to process the order? Sometimes, shifting manpower around can help without making a dent on the finished product or service. In the process, you avoid spending more than you should.
Strive For Business Process Excellence (BPE)
Be open to adopting new measures for optimum productivity in your employees. The point of doing this is to lessen red tape. Take the example of an incoming order. How many forms are needed to process the order? If you have to set up a new account, how much paperwork is involved? How detailed are your forms, and can they be incorporated into one form instead?
BPE is an ongoing process. It isn’t just overhauling your SOPs once, but constantly reviewing them. It starts with the right documentation. Do you have an existing office manual? Update this and implement it. Schedule quarterly reviews with your officers. Require them to submit a report on the effectiveness of their respective area of responsibility.
The last step in BPE is automating your office. As the owner, and with the right software, you can keep tabs on everything that goes on in the office. If you are using different software, you might want to consider consolidating them. This will allow you to have data when you need it. This can provide employees with answers without having to leave their desks, and a faster response time with clients. Ergo, your customer service will improve, and you start building loyalty among your clientele.
Get Your Employees Involved
Effecting changes without discussing them with your employees will not be effective. This is because you need their support to get the business back on track. In fact, feedback from your staff will be very valuable. If you are in manufacturing, members of your production department can suggest positive change towards improving productivity; frontliners can come up with better ways of dealing with walk-in customers; and your accounting department might have a few good ideas about collection and approving credit terms for new clients.
Think Out Of The Box
The internet is a powerful marketing tool. It has widened the spectrum of clients for all businesses worldwide. Today, you don’t have to limit your marketing to your community, city, state, or even country. You need to start thinking globally.
You can even consider outsourcing. It is quite possible that you can subcontract some of the work. This will help cut down cost on utility bills, manpower, and resources. The advantage of outsourcing is that you can reject work done if you are not happy with it. With a regular employee, whether he does the job well or not, he will get paid for his time. It isn’t the same with outsourcing. You have the option of not paying for substandard work.
Cost Cutting Starts With You
As the business owner, you need to set the tone. Unless you practice cost cutting yourself, you can hardly expect your employees to willingly accept changes.