Four top tips for business efficiency

Efficiency Growth concept. Business and technology. Virtual screen

Despite all the talk about business owners wanting more efficiency with new technological solutions, as a modern-day accounting specialist I’m often still shocked to see firsthand just how inefficient many small businesses still are.

No business owner wants waste in their business, whether it’s in the form of dollars, productivity or time. But figuring out how to become faster, better and leaner isn’t easy.

First you need to be open to the possibility that there’s a better way. Being open minded is half the battle. Then you need to identify what’s slowing you down. Let’s look at four things small-business owners should have in place to improve efficiency and become more productive.

Detox your inbox

It’s hard to stay focused on tasks when you’re getting message notifications left, right and centre. Finding a better way to manage your inboxes will allow you to map out your priorities more clearly and focus on what impacts your business the most. Two key tools to consider include:

  • Slack – A tool to help teams collaborate. If you suffer from email congestion, Slack Channels are a great way to communicate outside of email.
  • Calendly – Schedule meetings without frustrating back and forth emails or phone calls. Just integrate the app with your Google, Gmail or Outlook calendar, and let users find a time that works for you both.

Build a culture of accountability

One of the most effective ways you can commit to greater business efficiency is to invest in a simple and intuitive task management tool like Asana. All client facing tasks should be documented in a checklist format with subtasks and instructions on how to complete the work. Assign the job to the appropriate team member and build a culture of accountability. With a more transparent workflow, you can also pave the way for easier transitions when staff leave the business.

Embrace virtual teams

More and more businesses are learning the benefits of virtual teams. Cloud technology tools put you in a strong position to efficiently leverage the talents of qualified people who may not be in your area. A face-to-face video and screen sharing tool like Zoom can help you rise to the challenge of communicating and collaborating from afar.

Accounting in the cloud

Take advantage of technology that was purpose-built to take the pain out of everyday tasks. Some key examples include:

  • Receipt Bank – This expense capture app gives you back time. No more data entry and no more paper. You take a picture of your receipts and expenses with a simple click. The tool extracts the critical data and transfers it directly into your accounting software.
  • QuickBooks Online – This cloud accounting software lets you manage your payroll, timesheets, accounts receivable, expenses, reporting, and BAS (Business Activity Statement) in one place. It’s flexible and works well for anyone from a small start-up and to a larger business, growing with you as your needs change.

Automation isn’t a nice add-on for small businesses – it’s a necessity. It’s about doing more with less and identifying redundant processes and bottlenecks that can be replaced with a smarter, technology-driven way of working. Creating efficiency in the workplace is not a solo act or about simply turning on new tools. Your team needs to be on board. Building a culture that embraces these tools will drive your business to new levels of efficiency.

Lielette Calleja, Owner, All That Counts