If you’re running a business, you obviously want to be as swift and efficient as impossible.
The reality, though? Most businesses waste their valuable resources without even realizing it.
This rings true when it comes to time, energy and perhaps most importantly, money.
Tightening up your business and looking for inefficiencies is a must-do for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Putting your business under the microscope may not be the most “fun” exercise in the world, but it’s crucial to making the most of your resources so you can grow to your fullest potential.
The good news? Modern technology, tools and apps make it easier than ever to cut down on wasted time and money. Consider the following five types of waste and what you can do to make your business more efficient.
Poorly Organized Data
If you’re spending a significant amount of your day digging through your email and analytics platforms for answers, you’re inevitably wasting time.
That said, there is a need for businesses to gather as much data as possible. Whether it’s website analytics or customer trends, companies can easily get lost in the numbers as they try to connect the dots to win more customers.
That’s why investing in a data catalog vendor makes perfect sense for modern businesses. Doing so ensures that you’re most important metrics and reports are organized and accessible, allowing you to make the most of your business intelligence.
As we noted earlier, many companies waste time without even being aware of it.
Perhaps the best way to understand where your workers’ time is going is by quite literally keeping tabs on their tasks.
Consider how time management tools such as RescueTime can track your employees’ day-to-day activities. Such tools provide for a complete breakdown of any given worker’s schedule to see where they stand in terms of productivity.
Although this might feel a bit like “Big Brother,” this isn’t about an invasion of privacy. Instead, it’s ensuring that no single task is eating up your workers’ schedule or slowing them done. You might be surprised at what you find after just a week of analysis.
Meetings are oftentimes seen as a sort of necessary evil in the business world.
Thankfully, you can avoid the hour-long slog by conducting frequent, smaller check-ins with employees digitally. Whether it’s a quick stand-up session or email updates, consider how breaking up your meetings into smaller groups and putting together a specific agenda can help keep things moving.
Additionally, weigh the need to meet in person versus digitally. Heck, we’re at a point where you can let a bot schedule your meetings in Slack versus doing so yourself.
The takeaway here is that meetings are notorious time-wasters. Although you can’t do away with them altogether, not every meeting has to be a long-form affair.
Poor Project Management
Piggybacking on the last tip, companies can avoid a lot of needless back-and-forth by stepping up their project management.
For example, there are tons of platforms that businesses rely on today such as Trello and Asana to eliminates the need for endless email chains or meetings. Check out how companies use Trello boards for project management to keep a constant pulse on a project’s progress from A to Z.
Proper project management helps eliminate the question of what everyone’s working on and likewise the status of any given project. Having these answers front-facing via boards is a game-changer in terms of productivity.
Marketing Campaigns That Go Nowhere
There’s nothing worse than watching money go down the drain, is there?
Unfortunately, this is the reality for so many businesses today trying to wrap their heads around modern digital marketing. With so many channels and flavor-of-the-week trends (remember Snapchat?), scoring an ROI for any given campaign can be easier said than done.
For starters, focus first and foremost on channels that are proven to create results (think: email marketing). Building a foundation on tried-and-tested platforms will allow you more room to experiment.
Secondly, you can save a good chunk of your ad spend by looking into your current company data and past campaigns. For example, consider the actionable insights from Google Analytics that can help influence future campaigns for starters.
By examining your numbers, you can more easily see what’s working and what isn’t in terms of your marketing. This ultimately allows you to fine-tune your campaigns over time to maximize their performance.
Chances are that there are opportunities to save time and money that are right under your nose. Understanding where your inefficiencies are and how to eliminate them will ultimately help you build a stronger business for the long-term: hopefully this checklist can do the trick.