14 productivity tips for SMEs

| July 1, 2019

Business productivity is an essential building-block for the growth of any company.

For SMEs businesses, productivity is even more crucial as much of the work is performed by a limited number of people; less so than a larger company with a staff of 150 people managing every detail. Completing mandatory tasks in the least possible time takes strategic proficiency. Cost is another factor. For instance, a larger company will have more funds to carry out a huge advertising campaign.

Productivity also requires focus and if you are running a business, an array of matters will inevitably require your attention at times making it difficult to focus. An article from Forbes.com titled ‘Losing Focus In Your Small Business-It’s Not Always A Bad Thing,’ touches on some very interesting points. It’s a good read if you find yourself unfocused and veering off course.

14 Productivity Tips for Small Businesses

The only means of getting the most out of your small business workplace is not by cramming in additional hours. It’s by working smarter-not harder.

Here are 14 productive tips to keep your small business fired up!

  1. Master the To Do List

Place urgent tasks at the top of your to-do list. Other tasks can be delegated (outsourcing will be explained later in this article). Once your to do list is completed, check again to make certain that you have your business priorities in order. This will make your goals clearer and achievable in a more expedient manner.

  1. Don’t Let Distractions Distract You

According to an extensive and very popular workplace distraction report from udemy.com, “80 percent of workers report being distracted by talkative coworkers and 70 percent agree that training would help block-out distractions.” Other studies assert that it takes office workers nearly a half-hour to ‘get back to work’ after an interruption.

This is not a call to turn your office into a barrack; however, you certainly can’t afford to have those paid to assist you with your business endeavors gabbing or checking their social media accounts on the regular.

  1. Formulate Clear Realistic Goals

Small business owners are sometimes too idealistic. Highfalutin contrivances about business growth and half-baked management conceptualizations are a road to guaranteed failure. Caution is recommended as redirecting your time, resources, and finances into pie-in-the-sky schemes will cause more harm than good. Alternatively, keep your head above water by maintaining a calm, realistic outlook about your business goals.

  1. Take Advantage of Technology

Technology today is extremely advanced. For instance, software giants like Time Doctor provide time use tracking, chat monitoring, payroll, and other features that you can flawlessly integrate into your company’s computer network for more effective employee management. Technological developments can boost your business productivity to no end.

Just make certain that someone on your team has the skills to discern the ins-and-outs of the technology you opt for.

  1. Spread the Work Around

Companies are outsourcing more and more. Even small businesses can take advantage of sites like Fiverrand Upwork. Hire as-you-go freelance sites are a huge asset for small businesses, especially if your budget is tight. Everything from marketing and social media management to sites like 99design for logo and site design are accessible for reasonable prices.

  1. Take Email Marketing to the Next Level

If you are using your private email for marketing purposes, put the brakes on this practice right now! There are a number of email marketing tools available with features like built-in templates and scheduling that will give your emails a masterful impact. Hubspot  and ActiveCampaign are just two of the many tools available for email marketing, marketing automation, sales and CRM, and more.

  1. Stay Informed

Stay informed on the latest info about your industry like marketing trends, government guidelines, and ecommerce protocol. What’s more, don’t be shy about reading blogs of your competitors in order to stay abreast of the competition.

  1. Keep Meetings to a Minimum

According to smallbiztrends, employees have literally had it with meetings, not that they aren’t occasionally helpful. Check-out these numbers:

  • 41 percent say tech problems cause engagement problems
  • 69 percent routinely suffer interruptions
  • 25 percent of employees are easily distracted
  • 59 percent of employees are less engaged due to too many meetings

Nevertheless, don’t let those numbers discourage you. Meetings are of the utmost importance, it’s simply a matter of timing. Calling a meeting every time someone moves the office wastebasket is tedious. Additionally, too many meetings misappropriates time that could be spent being productive by interrupting the progress of day-to-day tasks.

  1. Promote Team Work

Encourage teamwork regardless of the number of employees in your small business. Remember that camaraderie boosts productivity creating a more positive business environment.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Work Environment

Your employees are the bedrock of your business. Showing appreciation is a worthwhile investment. Ok, it’s not like you have to order sushi for lunch everyday or pass out gift cards; however, by providing an agreeable work setting, your business is bound to be more productive.

  1. Communication Is Key

Business productivity is tremendously dependent upon good communication. Be sure to ‘close any gaps’ by keeping lines of communication open and remaining approachable. During meetups, touch on key objectives and allow feedback from participants.

  1. Maintain a Schedule

Stick to a productive schedule. If starting at a certain time each morning works for you and you’ve had success with it, “why fix it if it ain’t broke?” Keep a purposeful comprehensive daily schedule and stay with it.

  1. There’s No Order Without Orderliness

In order to remain productive, be orderly. A cluttered work-space is a hindrance to productivity. When your work-space is tidy, your mind will be inspired, thereby increasing efficiency. Un-clutter your work-space so that whatever you need is easily accessible.

  1. Changes Are Inevitable

Times change, people change, businesses change, and we change. Keep an open mind to the ‘winds of change.’ Remain flexible, as it will be less difficult when the time comes to make important adjustments.

Moving Forward

The above tips are just a handful of ways to achieve maximum productivity for your business. While there are no magic formulas, there are certain actions you can take to guarantee that your business stays viable. According to life coaches and other experts “80 percent of success is mental, 20 percent physical.”

Take time during your day to chill-out. Studies suggest that daydreaming increases creativity and problem-solving skills. In addition, it helps you focus on important tasks giving your mind the freedom to ramble and visualize new ideas. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!