As a small business owner, you’ve come to know that you are required to wear many different hats every day. Mastering all the various tasks can be difficult, and without the right strategies, you might start to notice that your business’s productivity is suffering. In turn, the productivity of a small business determines the profits and incomes you will be able to see. Increasing the productivity level of your business is paramount, and you can start building your success with the tips below.
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Distractions could be the leading cause of productivity loss in small businesses. Of course, you might not always be able to check whether each of your employees is on social media too often. However, implementing a balanced schedule can represent a working solution to keep your employees motivated and focused.
Indeed, it is essential to allow them to have enough breaks and breathing room. This simple addition to their schedule (and your own) can help everybody stay clear of distractions for longer.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Developed in 1980 by Francesco Cirillo, this time management technique has become one of the main tools for procrastinators. Not using your time correctly and not prioritizing what tasks you need to do first are real enemies for small businesses. Instead, the Pomodoro Technique gets you to set a time for 25 minutes.
During this time frame, you will focus on the task you have to complete. Once the time has gone off, you can take a 5 minutes break during which you can meditate or have a coffee. Then, tick off your first Pomodoro on a piece of paper. Every 4 Pomodoros, you should take a more extended break.
This technique works for all tasks, whether these are small or lengthy, and allows you to keep focused on a single goal for at least 2 hours!
Evaluate the Type of Work You Are Doing
At the end of your day at work – or during your main break – ask yourself if the work you have been doing is real work or “pseudo-work.” The latter is what makes up 80% of the 80/20 rule. This theory, developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto tells us that 20 percent of the effort delivers 80 percent of results.
Outside of that 20 percent, you are not effectively working, but just “pseudo-working.” These are moments when you are indeed sitting in front of your desk, but you do not create meaningful work. This is something you and your colleagues should focus on and adapt your schedule to the new evaluation!
Control Unexpected Industrial Downtime
The cost of unexpected industrial downtime accounts for the majority of losses in a business. This happens when your machinery is not working. In turn, you can start to lose the trust of your customers and the level of productivity you have been working on. Examining when this happens, collecting the data from the accident, and trying to foresee unexpected industrial downtime can help you limit damages and losses.
However, small business owners should plan for such eventualities and implement the systems necessary to prevent unexpected industrial downtime. Speaking to an expert in the field can guide in the right direction.
Delegating is at the heart of any strategy you decide to use to increase your business productivity. Owners and managers tend to take on a much larger workload than the one they can comfortably manage.
There are several reasons behind this behavior, from mistrust to poor management. However, as you start to delegate, you will notice that your employees are happy to take on more responsibilities, while you have the time you need to work on growing your business.
Another essential aspect to keep into consideration is that you will need to outsource some of your services. Even if you had to become an expert in some aspects of your business, you are likely to need others’ help. While not many small businesses can afford the services offered by a professional agency, understanding your strengths and weaknesses is essential.
You might already have a grasp of marketing and feel confident enough not to need any more help. However, taxes or accountancy might not be your forts. In this case, investing in those types of services might turn out to be essential.
Embrace Remote Working
If there is something that the pandemic has taught us is that we don’t necessarily need to face the commute to be present at work. Now that technology is on our side, some of your employees might be happier, more motivated, and more productive when working from their homes.
Even if you have been a fan of traditional offices, today, embracing working from home can ensure that you are saving on office rent without compromising productivity.
Safety Always Comes First
Improving your workplace is not only something you do to ensure that you are complying with the local regulations. The other reason you need such developments is to ensure that work is carried out in total safety within your establishment.
Aside from preventing injuries that can result in costly damages, this strategy makes sure that your employees feel confident and safe. Creating such a comfortable environment for your talents allow them to stop worrying about the workplace and focus on today’s tasks!
Invest in Tools, Equipment, and Technology
Just like what we have seen above, there is no better way to increase productivity than investing in resources. Technology and machines can help you save on manual labor and allow you to speed up your production processes. When proceeding with these investments, speak to an expert to identify the areas that you could improve by buying a piece of machinery.
Training and Rewards
In some areas of your business, the help of a talented employee is still not replaceable by a machine. In this case, do not underestimate the importance of creating a workplace that your team members can enjoy. Implementing a training and reward system is one of the best ways of keeping the morale and job satisfaction levels high. Hint: it is not always about promotions and raises!
How productive your sales team is is in direct proportion to the results that they can achieve. In other words, the more productive they are with their own time, the more their sales will increase for your business. Interestingly, though, multiple studies have shown that productivity across the sales industry has been progressively on decline, even with larger sales teams. The problem, herein, lies with proper and effective scaling of sales tools, best practices, and company processes.
Here are 7 tips to increase the productivity of your sales team and hit even the most aggressive of sales targets.
- Invest in training and proper tools.
Proper tools for your team can help them do their jobs more efficiently, which can in turn motivate them to do more. Certain tools can even help align marketing strategies from the marketing team to sales strategies from the sales team in order to improve plan executions and drive revenue.
- Set realistic goals, celebrate achievements
Goals allow for more focus, and your sales team will benefit from having goals by actually having a target towards which they strive to reach. But make sure that your goals are realistic, because if they are not, chances are, your team might not reach them and become demotivated – which could affect sales. Additionally, celebrate every successes that you achieve as a team.
- Align Marketing and Sales
When there isn’t enough communication between the marketing and sales teams, you might find yourself missing opportunities, which translate to lost revenues as well. Aligning goals and metrics between marketing and sales can lead to an increase in sales quota and profit, so make sure to emphasize the importance of coordinating with the marketing team to your sales team.
- Use social media to your advantage.
Never underestimate the power and reach of social media. It’s a great avenue for new products to be discovered and shared with friends. While having your team sets up catchy customized tents with flags and banners, flyers may be handed out to interested buyers and are ushered into the tents to make their possible purchases. Social media, on the other hand, can help sales teams engage to online leads.
- Embrace Automation
Automation makes life simpler. If you can automate repetitive activities that take up too much of your team’s time when they’re NOT selling, you’ll be able to give them more time to go core selling and bring in more revenue.
- Allow and encourage breaks
People are often more productive when they work in small bursts and take some time off to enjoy the scenery. Encourage your sales team to take breaks in order to feel refreshed and ready to take on another challenge at the workplace. A team with a positive outlook not only works better, but also creates a good environment at work that would inspire achieving great things.
- Actively listen to your team.
Never forget that your team is comprised of humans who may also experience being burned out or at a loss for good ideas. Make it a point to listen to them, be it their suggestions, complaints, or even just the littlest update or report. Make it a habit to open your ears for these people who are responsible for turning leads into actual revenue, and effect change as necessary in order to keep them feeling motivated about working towards the goals that you have already set as a team.
Work productivity is a challenge that every single worker has to address several times in his career, whether it be in the sale industry or otherwise. With the tips above, improving your sales team’s productivity during work hours is definitely possible!