Overhead is one of the most expensive line-items in most business budgets. Keeping your management and operations lean and efficient helps you realize more in profits. Whether you take the excess income out of the business in the form of salary and bonus or choose to reinvest it for continued growth, having an efficient business structure gives you greater flexibility. Managing a lean business doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are four of the best practices to get you started.
Evaluate Your Current System
Take a step back from the daily grind to evaluate your current business processes. Look for inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses and find ways to improve or eliminate them. Pay specific attention to anything that doesn’t directly create value for your customers.
During this process, remember that your employees are an excellent resource. Ask them for feedback and run ideas by them before making any major changes to your operations. Keep an eye out for job duties that may overlap and ensure that you are taking full advantage of each employee’s skill-set.
In business, time is money and the more you can automate and outsource non-critical tasks the better off you will be. Stay organized with online customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software. There are many inexpensive tools that can help you automate your invoicing, bookkeeping, marketing, and even customer service operations. In most situations, the cost of technology is far less than that of paying an employee to complete the same tasks.
Streamline Your Payment Processing
There are few things more frustrating to both business owners and customers than problems with payment processing. By the time they’ve reached the check-out line, your customers want to quickly close the deal and move on to other things. Delays at this point can result in lost sales and dissatisfied customers.
Using a single payment processing company like Americard to process your on-site, mobile, and online sales transactions simplifies your business and saves you money. When deciding which payment processing company to use, remember that reliability and a strong focus on customer service are critical.
Employees with the knowledge and authority to make day-to-day business decisions are more effective and better able to provide a high level of customer service. Micromanaging or requiring decisions to go through a supervisor adds unnecessary steps, slows down operations, and requires more staffing. Take the time to train your employees well and then trust them to make good decisions.
Keeping your overhead in check while providing an excellent customer experience is the path to continued business success. Remember that as your business grows your needs may change. Technology and customer demands are continually evolving. Take the time to reevaluate your policies and procedures every few years and be open to making adjustments as needed.