If I had just one word to describe what sets a well-run business apart from the pack, efficiency would be at the top of my list. The best run businesses are highly efficient. Is your business? And does it reap these rewards?
- Efficiency facilitates profit
- Efficiency facilitates growth
- Efficiency spawns from and leads to innovation
- Efficiency frees owners to focus on vision and enables them to achieve goals
- Efficiency reduces managerial frustration and increases enjoyment
(By contrast, re-read the foregoing points by replacing Efficiency with Inefficiency and the opposite outcomes/characteristics.)
Therefore, if profits, growth, innovation, vision, goals and enjoyment are things you are looking to improve or achieve in your business… do what the best business owners do, and make it a high priority to measure, bolster, and manage your business efficiently.
The following five questions focus on those areas where I have seen owners/managers make the biggest and most beneficial differences for their businesses vs. others. Notice the importance of people in your business that are efficiency-minded and trained and incentivized to produce strived-for goals in their areas of oversight or responsibility.
All starting with you in your role…
Do you measure your own work efficiency to ensure you focus your time, skills, and experience upon things of highest importance that must* be done by you, as owner or CEO, and that you delegate other functions to others and train and trust them to do their jobs well?
*Beware of the common owner/founder mentality that you alone can “do it right.” This flawed thinking will over time greatly restrict your business’ growth, demotivate your team and prevent their professional development, and lead to inefficient business practices and results.
Do you hire capable, high-character people to manage divisions, teams, tasks, etc. within your business, and set goals and expectations, and rewards and consequences that incentivize them to be efficient and create and sustain efficiencies in their areas of oversight?
Do you measure the efficiency of your office staff and work crews, and do you or your managers set goals and expectations, and rewards and consequences based on this system?
Assuming you have tested your offerings to prove which are most and least profit efficient (read this as background), are you succeeding at making your most profit-efficient offerings your strongest-selling offerings?
Is someone in your business specifically tasked with the role of “Chief of Efficiency” and responsible for rooting out bottlenecks and inefficiencies and seeking/finding or developing more efficient ways of doing those things (e.g. services, functions, systems, processes, etc.)?
Some Business is Going to Win It - Why Not Yours?
In every area and in every industry, some business is going to be the most successful one… and in my experience those businesses are typically also the most-efficient businesses that would have “yes” answers to all the preceding questions.
So, since helping small businesses win it is our goal and reason for existence, I figured one of the best and most efficient things I can do to help your business to be the best in your area and industry is to pose these questions to you.
In the event your business has a few "no" answers, each question provides its own solution by implying what is necessary to produce a "yes" answer. Should your business need the benefit of our services as it works to create and sustain efficiencies, I encourage you to contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.
Jim Smith, CFP, Founder, PERFORMIDABLE, LLC
Long live small business! Long live small business owners!