How to be Efficient in Business

Although Carol Chester was pleased that her business was profitable, she had two basic, nagging problems.  The first was that she was unhappy with her personal efficiency.  She knew she spent a lot of time searching for information and not enough time working on it.  The second problem was that she was unclear just how efficient the business was.  In the five years that she had been operating out of her offices, she had never analyzed and reviewed her costs to explore where improvements might be made.

Time spent with two training experts has given Carol a fresh perspective.  The first was a Time Management expert who helped her to analyze where things might be going wrong with her personal organization.  He helped her to solve the information-finding problem she had already identified.  Yes, filing is the answer but Carol needs to find a way of making it important and fun because she just doesn't do it.  She needs to keep important, frequently-used information within easy reach of her desk and she should plan filing time into every day's activity and never leave it as the last thing to do because it will be squeezed out by supposedly more important activities.

In addition he helped Carol to:

  • Spend time planning and organizing

  • Set herself specific objectives

  • Prioritize urgent, important and highest value activities

  • Use a ToDo list

  • Handle paperwork and read only once. And

  • Learn to say "No" with a clear conscience

The second trainer was an expert in Business Efficiency.  He helped Carol to consider a whole raft of issues about her business

  • Were her offices giving her the best return per square meter?  Location can be important to some businesses but for others it's just a vanity thing.

  • Did her production and IT equipment measure up to existing and predicted demand?  What were her growth plans and how would she fund them?
    Was she employing the right people, training and paying them well?  Were they motivated and involved in creating efficiencies?

  • Is Carol getting the most from her accountant, lawyer and other professional advisers; are they actually paying for themselves with good advice?

  • Is waste measured in Carol's business and is there a planned waste reduction program.

Like most small businesses, Carol's had been concentrating on meeting demand in any way they could.  They just reacted without considering medium- and long-term goals.  Although this provided excellent flexibility which is what small businesses should be about, it might not be keeping them on track for the goals they originally imagined. 

Mike encouraged Carol and her management team to develop a strategy that would help them to achieve their goals without losing flexibility completely.  This would help when making tactical decisions on a day-to-day basis.

At the end of the day, Carol settled back into her chair and for the first time in ages she knew she would make better profit next year.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.