Productivity should not be overlooked by any business; in fact, great productivity across the board can prove to be essential to your growth as a business and help you grow faster. You need to remove unnecessary tasks, make your life easier, and leave more time to focus on the tasks that really matter to you and your business.
In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to improve your business productivity in 5 simple steps.
1. Automate as Many of Your Tasks as Possible
The recent (and constant) growth in technology has brought about a lot of automation options that make your life easier – from the little things that make your home life easier to automating all kinds of business tasks, small and big.
There are numerous business tasks that can be automated, such as:
- Social media scheduling
- Marketing and sales emails
- Blog content scheduling
- Customer support (using live chat and customer support tools)
- Sending invoices and bills, as well as logging in receipts (using accounting software)
- Scheduling appointments
- Collecting data about your leads and customers (using a CRM software)
What’s more, you can use tools like Zapier and IFTTT to connect all kinds of apps, tools, and software and automate tasks; for example, saving new contacts and leads on multiple platforms, automatically publishing new content on multiple channels, and much, much more.
Just explore the 2 to find the Zapier and IFTTT recipes that will make you more productive.
2. Understand Your Productivity Issues: Run an Audit
In order to boost productivity across your business, it’s important to understand where exactly you and the rest of your employees are losing time unnecessarily.
And chances are, there are a lot of things that could be taking away your productivity.
This is a pretty complex project to undertake, more so the bigger your business is. However, doing this productivity audit can be hugely beneficial in the future, as your business will run more smoothly – which will help you grow your business.
The things that could be taking up too much of your time, could be:
- Not making full use of technology
- Admin tasks that could be outsourced (more on that in a bit)
- Bad communication between team members
And in most cases, there are easy solutions that you can implement to help – you just need to know what the issues are first.
To help, you can use a time-tracking software like Toggl to see exactly how much time you’re spending on each of your tasks; you can then add all of these tasks into a spreadsheet for a more complete view of your tasks and the time spent: which tasks are taking too long? Which tasks should be quick and simple, but are instead time-consuming?
Once you find out what is eating up your time unnecessarily, you can look into technology to help you save time, automate tasks (as discussed earlier), and find out which tasks you should maybe cut down altogether.
3. Use a Business Dashboard to Track Your Entire Business Operations
Business dashboards allow you to connect all of your different business tools and software so you can view important information about your business, all in one place.
In most cases, you can track all of your marketing efforts, including social media, your blog and website, and your ads, your sales and your sales team’s activity, your finances, such as your remaining cash, your budget, and your taxes, and much more.
Basically, all of your business data in one dashboard. Or, several dashboards, one for each team or department that forms your business.
One great option is 9 Spokes – an all-in-one business dashboard that allows you to connect a plethora of apps and tools and customize your dashboard as you want it.
All you have to do to get started is connect your apps (or use their app marketplace to find more apps to connect) and then add the widgets you want to see.
Plus, you can create a dashboard for each team, so everyone has access to the business data they need, in seconds.
It will ultimately help you save a lot of time and what’s more, it will help you make better, more informed business decisions.
4. Outsource Different Tasks to Save Time and Money
One of the best things about the Internet as it is now, from a business point of view, is that you can find talented people from all over the world to do your one-off and ongoing tasks for you.
Some might look at outsourcing as another way to lose money when you could very well do those tasks yourself – but the truth is, outsourcing is generally quite cheap and most importantly, it helps you save a lot of time. Time which would be much better used by focusing on those tasks that only you can do.
There are numerous business tasks that can be outsourced; most notably:
- Admin tasks (i.e. virtual assistants who manage your admin tasks for you: scheduling, handling reservations, responding to emails, and managing your data)
- Content creation for your blog, website, social media, and other digital channels
- Accounting and payroll
- Search engine optimisation
- Customer support
Spend some time going through all of the tasks you have to do repeatedly, no matter how small or big. Put together a list of all these tasks and consider how much time they’re taking from you: which tasks could you outsource?
5. Use Project Management Tools to Help You Manage Your Campaigns and Tasks
Your employees aren’t sure what they’re supposed to do next. You’re not sure where things are – is that campaign ready to go live? Is new content ready to publish on your blog? How is the product development team evolving?
If you don’t organize your business, your projects, and all of your tasks, it will almost definitely lead to confusion and a lot of time lost unnecessarily.
If, on the other hand, everyone is clear on what they’re supposed to do and when, at any given time, that can have a huge positive impact on your overall business productivity.
One great option for project management is Asana. You can use it to plan all of your business tasks, assign them to the relevant team or person, and then track your progress in one place.
What’s so great about it is that it’s very intuitive to use; you can create different business projects, add the tasks associated with each project including their deadline, and then assign these tasks to the right people on your team.
You can also make things easier for everyone by prioritizing tasks and ensuring a seamless collaboration between different departments.
There are also useful templates available for common processes and projects; for example, your content marketing or blog editorial calendar, launching a new product, and event planning.
A successful business is a smooth-running business. Business productivity is, in fact, essential to growth so if you want to build a scalable business, it’s important to continuously look into ways to help yourself and your teams become more productive with their time.
Because not only will you have more time to focus on your business and growing it, but your entire team will be more relaxed and delivering better results.
What are some of the best business productivity tips you have?