The business model you set in the early stages is not indestructible or ever-lasting. This means that as time goes by, the equipment you purchase will start being less effective. Your employees will start deviating from the most efficient business practices in order to make their work easier (at the expense of productivity), while some may even turn to theft. Team leaders might start looking for ways to get promoted, sacrificing the unity of the team for their own gain.
At the end of the day, you won’t notice this directly but through some of the many side-effects. You’ll start losing more money than ever, lose some of your most loyal return customers and you might even get abandoned by your most promising employees. Here are several quick methods to fix this.
1. Re-examine your contracts
The first thing you need to do in order to get in shape is re-examine your contracts and check your expenses. For this, you should contact your accountant. A lot of entrepreneurs take their utility bill for granted, yet this, alongside your broadband, is something that you can negotiate for and, in this way, substantially lower the price. If not, you can always look for a different utility company or internet provider. Apart from this, you should probably cancel your landline.
For the last, you need to start a new round of negotiations with your suppliers and see if you can get a better deal than you did the last time. After all, you’re no longer a new company or a first-time entrepreneur, which means that you should be able to get more leverage this time around.
2. Don’t trust anyone
The next thing you need to understand is that there are different levels of trust in the employer-employee relationship. Staring over one’s shoulder while they’re working is something that you shouldn’t be doing since it shows a clear lack of trust in the ability or work ethics of your employees. Moreover, this additional pressure might make them underperform. On the other hand, installing a remote employee monitoring software, that tells you what task they’re currently on and what digital tool they are using is something entirely different.
Similarly, looking at your employees 24/7 is a bad practice that’s more fitting for an Orwellian dystopia than a workplace of the 21st century. However, no one has the right to complain about a camera in the storage room. As for the delivery system and the deliberate misuse of routes by unconscientious drivers, this is something that can end up costing you a small fortune over the course of time. This is why you need to find a GPS tracking and driver management platform.
3. Lay off emotional vampires
Another thing you need to understand is the fact that productivity is not everything. There are some people who do their job to the best of their formidable abilities, yet, diminish those of everyone else. Even though they individually bring results to the table, they make the life of everyone sitting near them a living hell, which might drastically affect their own efficiency or increase their desire to abandon you. These are so-called emotional vampires. You need to recognize them and remove them from your employ. While this may sound harsh, this is something that simply has to be done.
4. Rent equipment instead of buying it
One of the problems with buying equipment lies in the fact that this is something that you’re supposed to extract value from in years to come. However, what if innovation comes at a much quicker pace? It definitely won’t be financially viable to replace all the laptops around the office as soon as a new model comes out. This is why you need to set your equipment into two categories – those items that you should buy and those that you should rent.
In some industries like construction business, pieces of heavy equipment are most commonly the ones that are rented. This is because the company in question doesn’t require them to be used all the time. Nonetheless, even if the piece of equipment (let’s say crane) is used more than 60 percent of the time, it’s probably better to just buy it.
Sometimes, the simplest way to handle the task is to let someone else take care of it. You see, outsourcing is a method that’s being used even by some of the world’s greatest conglomerates, while it’s not underrepresented with SMBs and startups either. First of all, it helps you avoid the necessity of starting your own in-house department, which is, at very least, a costly adventure. Hiring process is a time-consuming issue, whereas purchasing new equipment and paying for software licenses may alone be enough to justify this move, from a financial standpoint.
Apart from this, outsourcing helps you focus on a single task (your company’s core task) instead of forcing you to be all over the place. Due to the fact that you might not be as proficient in areas such as IT, HR or customer service, this also helps you turn towards the task that are in your area of expertise.
Lastly, even if you already have a department, chances are that the staff members delegated here aren’t as efficient as people from a specialized agency. In this way, outsourcing leads to a direct efficiency and productivity boost. This last item alone can improve the way in which your business performs, therefore, also contributing to the way in which it’s perceived by your partners and clients.
As you can see, each of the above-listed items displays one mutual characteristic – flexibility. In most cases, they are there to help you take a look at the old problem from a brand new perspective. For instance, instead of looking at the performance of your employees, you need to consider their emotional impact in order to increase the productivity of your team as a whole. In a world where the majority fails, those that adopt a different approach might thrive.