Accomplishing more with less is the mantra of modern business. Intense competition is forcing companies to reinvent their business models in such a way that they deploy their core resources more effectively and preserve their most valuable people for the most important tasks. However, streamlining your business without losing any productivity is a tricky endeavor, which is why some entrepreneurs are reluctant to steer away from older, seemingly safer and more labor-intensive methods.
In this guide, we point out several areas where companies can achieve significant savings in terms of both time and money if they are open to innovative thinking:
1. Adopt new communication paradigms
Traditional business organizations used to be structured in a very hierarchical, top-down manner. In this environment, it could sometimes take days for the information to reach the key decision-maker, and even longer for the reaction to take effect. By introducing more direct, “flatter” communication lines, companies can gain much-needed agility and eliminate delays. There is no shortage of digital communication tools and file sharing platforms that can be utilized to facilitate this process.
2. Outsource non-essential processes
It’s tempting to keep the entire production process under the same roof, but this is a luxury only the largest players can truly afford. Companies looking to cut costs and simplify their organization chart should consider hiring external providers for any secondary aspects of the business operation, which allows for effective concentration of force on the most essential tasks. In some cases, it’s even possible to improve the quality of the final product while significantly reducing operational costs.
3. Focus on the most successful products and services
Almost every company has a few pet projects that keep draining resources without creating sufficient returns to justify their continued existence. Recognizing when it’s time to let go of failed products and services is crucial for keeping the company in good shape. Pouring more resources into a small number of money-makers is a more savvy practice in the current marketplace where narrow specialization often trumps size and generalized expertise.
4. Embrace technology and automation
No matter how complex your business model might be, there are elements that can easily be reduced to repeatable actions suitable for machine execution. Automation can greatly reduce the pressure on employees and allow business owners to think outside the box and undertake some ambitious projects without hiring new workers. With the prices of hardware and custom software development continually going down, companies are encouraged to create unique tools and deploy them in bold new ways.
5. Explore new retail channels
Maintaining a strong retail presence in a broad geographic area requires a constant stream of investments to keep all stores competitive. This might not be necessary in an age when sales are increasingly conducted online and people use search engines as their chief shopping advisors. Switching to a model that relies more on web-based sales than on traditional retail is a smart move, particularly for smaller companies that are already operating with thin profit margins.