If you speak to any business owner, one of the most common complaints you’ll hear is the seemingly never-ending list of to-do jobs that are an inherent part of running a firm – often tasks that generate no direct financial recompense but instead place a drain on resources.
Of course, while no one would deny the importance of duties like invoicing, Human Resources, or staff training when these responsibilities start eating into your day and prevent you from getting on with more productive and fiscally rewarding work, it can start to have a severe impact on your profitability and efficiency.
If the above sounds in any way familiar, read on for some tried and tested tips used by the experts to streamline business operations and improve productivity.
Invest in accounting software
Payroll, invoicing, and associated accounting duties are some of the most common drains on the available time of business owners. The issue with this is that they don’t, in themselves, generate income for your firm. Thankfully, these days, there is a raft of new, intelligent software that can largely automate most aspects of business accounting and look after everything from issuing client invoices to calculating and paying staff wages.
Better yet, if you integrate your accounting software with an ach debit platform, you can even send and receive payments automatically – removing the stress and hassle of depositing checks or manually chasing customers for payment.
Automate, automate, automate
As well as automated accounting software, there have also been huge advances in other intelligent software solutions that can help you automate many of the more repetitive or time-consuming tasks involved in running your firm and staying on top of your day-to-day responsibilities.
In fact, Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are perfectly suited to performing repetitive, monotonous tasks and will help you free up valuable time and resources. The digitalization of business is already well underway and, if you’re not already embracing the revolution, chances are you’ll start falling behind your rivals.
Check online for the full range of available automated solutions – everything from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps to automated emailing systems and project management platforms.
Reduce risk and minimize outlay by outsourcing
All businesses go through peaks and troughs in terms of productivity and the amount of work they have on at any given time. Rather than trying to counter this ebb and flow of projects or busy times, you should consider outsourcing aspects of your operations so you can dynamically react to changing markets but still satisfy client demand.
Over the last twenty or so years, there has been a massive growth in the freelancing sector with many businesses now hiring staff on an ad hoc basis, as and when they need them. Moreover, with the tremendous advances made in technology (coupled with vastly quicker 5G mobile and fixed-line connection speeds), there’s now really no reason to employ staff full-time and have them all working under one roof.
Employing freelancers is a very effective way to expand your business without taking on the risk of hiring full-time employees or bearing responsibility for time off, sick days, training, etc.
Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In our modern, connected age, it’s estimated around 71% of all consumer journeys start with a search – more often than not, on Google, which accounts for just short of 93% of all online search requests.
If you’re to stand any chance of being found by potential clients, you need to ensure your website is being found on the first of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the highly detailed and involved practice of pushing websites up the SERPs using keywords or phrases that are most likely to be used by customers looking for a particular product or service. Having a web marketing and SEO strategy is vital if you want to expand your operations and, perhaps best of all, will give you a virtual sales and marketing presence that works on your behalf at all times.
Brush up your website
There’s little point in having your website ranking high if potential customers can’t quickly surmise what your firm does or what benefits it can provide. To ensure you’re getting your message across quickly and effectively, you should hire the services of a professional web design agency to perform a full audit on your site and its content and verify whether you’re projecting the best image for your firm. You should also include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on your site to help answer common queries and reduce the time you and your team spend fielding phone calls.
Invest in VoIP services
Voice over IP phone systems aren’t just cheaper than traditional fixed and mobile solutions – they offer considerable time savings too. For example, voicemails can be handled like other forms of attachment and forwarded to other users with a simple click and drag. VoIP has the potential to revolutionize how you handle your firm’s communications, and like all of these suggestions, it will be able to streamline your business operations well.