I attended a presentation recently which looked at business growth in East Anglia, but also touched on national productivity. It was sobering to realise that the UK is behind Italy in the European stakes of productivity. With record levels of employment, it gives food for thought as to how small businesses can resource that crucial growth that will continue to fuel economic growth. We will not only have to work smarter, but make sure we’re using the resources we do have efficiently.
On the basis that you have a small but dynamic company, I’d suggest the following:
- Take a look at all the tasks being asked of your team and particularly your key workers.
- You employed them – and pay them – for their specialist knowledge and experience.
- Are they getting distracted by doing tasks that should ideally be done by someone else?
- Would your key workers be more productive if they could immerse themselves in tasks rather than multi-tasking outside their areas of expertise?
- Work out what you are paying your staff in chargeable hours. That helps to clarify the value of their time and how you can make best use of it.
- You might not need more specialist staff, just more resource.
- You might not need more office space, just more capacity to cope with expanding workload.
- This can be achieved by including outsourced assistance into your team mix. Whether that is in the form of remote-working PAs, project assistance, outsourced HR, marketing, a whole raft of services that can deliver what a company needs.
- There are also lots of cloud-based software tools which will help the efficiency of your business. Don’t be afraid to use them – they are designed to be intuitive and are really powerful additions to your business.
Being productive means getting tasks done, projects completed and having the headspace to recognise and plan for future opportunity. Take a moment to step back and see where and how your company could become more productive.