Sure, things are running smoothly right now at your business. But, as any tech-savvy business owner knows, if you aren’t truly efficient, your competitors will quickly gain a competitive edge. That’s while you’re holding unproductive meetings or delaying projects because of a lack of communication, they’re growing their business. So, how can you ensure that your tech-savvy business is truly efficient? Start utilizing these seven strategies.
1. Eliminate what isn’t working in your tech-savvy business.
I’m talking specifically about inefficiencies like redundant processes and relying on outdated information/procedures. For tech-savvy businesses, however, they may also implement way too many systems in order to be cutting edge.
As a result, these inefficiencies hold you back from moving. That’s why you need to be aware of your business capabilities by eliminating what isn’t working.
If you need a place to start, focus on these common sources of IT inefficiency;
Not having a shared language.
You should adopt and define a common terminology that encapsulates your business policies, values, processes, and procedures. This ensures that everyone on your team is on the same page.
Improperly setting expectations.
If you want everyone on your team to “buy-in” then you need to clearly explain goals and expectations. This way your team knows exactly what they’re doing and how that plays into the big picture.
Even if your processes are working, tech like phones, tablets, printers, and servers need to be able to communicate with each other. This may be expensive upfront, but you need to invest in devices and software that work together so that your business operates as smoothly as possible.
2. Improve your recruiting.
In order to have a truly efficient tech-savvy business, you need to surround yourself with the right team. This means having employees who fit into your company’s culture but are also proficient with your technology and industry.
Of course, this can get experience – what with advertisements, job boards, and tracking systems. The good news is that you can improve your recruiting on the cheap by:
- Optimize your employer brand search. Employees will conduct research about your company prior to applying for a job. Make sure that you have control over your brand’s reputation by setting-up profiles on social media sites that your audience uses. Also company databases/employer review sites, and niche websites based on your industry or location.
- Strengthen your Boolean search skills. If you search for “senior developer” chances are you won’t find the ideal candidate. You need to also need descriptors like technologies and languages to find the right person for the right job. That’s why you need to perfect your Boolean search skills. Here’s a useful guide to get started.
3. Limit interruptions.
Email notifications. Staff meetings. Colleagues popping-in and asking if you have a minute.
These are just a couple of the interruptions that we have to deal with on a daily basis. That’s why as a business leader you need to limit these interruptions for you and your team so that you can stay focused.
- Block out chunks of time for uninterrupted – preferably when you’re most productive.
- Put your phone either on silent, in airplane mode, or in another room. Also, turn off social media notifications.
- Batch similar tasks together, such as scheduling meetings on the same day instead of scattering them throughout the week.
- Use tools like SelfControl and Calendar to help eliminate distractions and plan your day in advance.
- Set boundaries when working. If someone asks if you have a minute, then politely tell them not at the moment. I also know of people who place do not disturb signs on their office doors.
4. Automate whatever tasks you can.
By automating monotonous tasks, such as paying employees or scheduling social media posts, you’ll save everyone within your organization some time. It also allows them to focus on more productive tasks that require critical thinking or a little human touch.
Implementing automated processes may be pricey when starting a business, but it will ultimately reduce costs while increasing business efficiency.
5. Be a tech-savvy business, but make time for face-to-face interaction.
Take advantage of virtual private networks (VPNs), customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, interactive calendaring, video conferencing, and tools that unify communications.
This will allow you and your time to communicate and collaborate with each other anytime, anywhere. It also improves both employee and customers’ satisfaction since it empowers your team while delivering superior customer service.
At the same time, you shouldn’t completely rule out face-to-face interaction – even in the digital age. While digital communication has helped with efficiency, face-to-face communication builds relationships, enhance trust, and makes your team feel valued since they can ask questions or share feedback.
Most importantly, it keeps your business running like a well-oiled machine. Instead of spending all day emailing and messaging a team member or customer, you could have resolved the issues with a five-minute face-to-face chat.
6. Single-task to get more done.
As people who are plugged-in 24/7, we believe that we can multitask. I mean I should be able to write this article while responding to emails and tweeting, right?
Here’s the thing. Multitasking doesn’t work. It’s been proven time and time again. As Jim Taylor Ph.D. explains, people don’t multitask. Instead, they serial-task. “Rather than engaging in simultaneous tasks, you are in fact shifting from one task to another to another in rapid succession.”
This isn’t effective because when you switch from task-to-task “ there is a lag time during which your brain must yank itself from the initial task and then glom onto the new task.”
Even more alarming, research has found that it can take up to 40 percent more time than single-tasking.
Single-tasking helps you get more done quickly and effectively because you’re focused on doing one task at a time. Once completed, you move on to the next.
If you’re having trouble getting started, here’s a couple of pointers:
- Write a to-do-list instead of relying on your memory with actionable tips to get them done.
- Set up your day the night before. This way you’ll get your day started on the right foot.
- Prioritize your tasks by focusing on your three most important tasks for the day. After completed, cross that off your list and start on the next priority.
7. Be proactive about security.
Finally, you need to be proactive regarding security. This not only allows your team to have access to information, but it also prevents security breaches. That may not seem like a big deal, but having to manage a security breach means that you’re not focused on more important tasks.
Thankfully, there are some simple actions you can take to become a more secure tech-savvy business:
- Investing in anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware. Don’t forget about firewalls to keep unauthorized users out.
- Using mobile and cloud security measures.
- Working with services that offer patch deployment so that threats are addressed when you’re not in the office.
- Remotely backing-up all of your business data.
- Weighing the pros and cons of a Bring Your Own Device Policy.