How to run an efficient business

The efficiency of your business can make a big difference in your bottom line at the end of the year. It is not only large organisations or manufacturing concerns that need to focus on efficiency; even small businesses operating in retail and leisure can benefit from optimising every part of their business. Efficiency helps you avoid unnecessary costs and ensure that you maximise revenue. Here are some ideas for improving business efficiency.

Boost energy efficiency

Your business will have an energy bill to pay at the end of the month, but the way you consume energy can significantly reduce how much you pay. There are several ways you can reduce your energy consumption. For example, you can use efficient lighting instead of incandescent bulbs and avoid excessive heating or air conditioning. Properly maintaining equipment can reduce energy consumption, while upgrading insulation can also make a big difference.

Service customers efficiently

This requires a bit of planning, but re-thinking the way you serve your customers can help reduce the number of staff you need on site while keeping customers happier by reducing waiting times. Large restaurant chains have efficient service down to a science, but efficiency does not need to equal impersonal service. Look at how orders are conveyed through to the kitchen, and consider whether bill payments can be handled in a quicker way.

Avoid empty, quiet times

A business that is not serving customers for certain periods of time during the day loses money because staff and rental payments are due regardless of the number of customers occupying the property. Think about ways in which you can draw customers to your business during quiet times, perhaps by offering special events or discounts valid for specific hours. At peak periods, consider whether there are customer-friendly ways to increase turnover.

Smoothen the paperwork

Every business has plenty of paperwork to deal with, and you will inevitably end up with accounting duties that take up a lot of time. Avoid any manual paperwork by getting accountancy software, and think about using an online invoice template to bill your customers or suppliers. Even though businesses in the food and restaurant industry are not focused on technology, a few splashes of automation here and there – especially when it comes to paperwork – can be valuable.

Hire the right staff

Productivity and efficiency often boil down to the people doing the work. Hiring the right people from the start will avoid excessive head count and help your business tick over like clockwork. Skills and experience count, but it is often about attitude more than aptitude, so be thorough when interviewing and look for staff members who understand how to work efficiently.

Efficiency is achieved through small changes. It is easy to dismiss small, incremental changes as unimportant, but making several efficiency changes can add up to make a real difference in business profitability. Think about what small but important changes you can make that will each make a difference, and monitor implementation because it is easy to drift back to a more wasteful way of operating.