Many entrepreneurs struggle with running an efficient business and tend to make their lives harder than they need to be. This is typically a result of trying to save money – hesitating to invest in software or people. Look I get it, cash flow is limited, profit margins might be thin and you’re barely paying yourself. But what if I told you investing in things that make your business run more efficiently will actually free up your time and resources resulting in you making more money in the end? It’s true! Let’s dive in!
What does running an efficient business mean?
First things first, running an efficient business means being proactive about how you handle things like operations, customers, marketing, etc. Instead of running around putting out fires and feeling like you’re constantly behind the 8 ball, efficient businesses have systems, processes, automation and software in place to keep things running smoothly. It’s all about having repeatable, reliable solutions to common problems and tasks.
How to Run an Efficient Business
Working smarter instead of harder means finding ways to make things easier and more streamlined.
Here are 4 ways to improve the efficiency of your business:
- Automate. You can use technology to automate a variety of routine tasks from email marketing to data tracking. Plus check out our guest blog post “Free Entrepreneur Resources and Template Library for Tennessee Business Owners” to learn more about automation, SOPs and the benefits of using templates.
- Delegate. Be sure to delegate tasks and work to the appropriate staff or contractors in a way that maximizes efficiency.
- Outsource. To free you and your team’s time, consider outsourcing various tasks like bookkeeping, marketing, etc.
- Use tools & technology. From inventory management to to-do lists, leveraging technology is the magic sauce to running an efficient business.
Efficient business success story
Last week, I was in need of a septic system service company for the first time. Still being fairly new to the area when I need a service provider, the first place I look is Google. So with a quick Google search on a Sunday night, I had a list of local businesses to look into.
I scanned through the first few options on the list assessing reviews, looking for the best ranked options. Next, I read through some of the reviews on the higher ranked businesses, checked out what services were offered and visited websites.
Many of the businesses had good reviews, but then I scrolled down the list a bit further and came across one that quite literally blew me away. They had 445 5-star on Google in just 2 years of business and appeared to be legitimately killing it based on their reviews.
I went to their website which was similar to many of the other providers (more on that in a bit) – simple, but user friendly and informative – to learn more. Their website had all the information I needed to make a purchasing decision as well as a way to easily book an appointment online.
I went back to their Google listing and read more reviews – they were stellar! Customers had nothing but great things to say about this company, their work, professionalism, reliability and communication. I was sold – so I called Monday morning and they came out within an hour of our call to service our septic tank. During the service they educated us, worked quickly but carefully, instantly sent us an invoice when they were done and followed up via text with a thank you and request for a review.
It’s tough being a service provider in any industry. It’s tough being a customer in need of a service to find trustworthy, professional providers. This company was effectively showing the customer why they are the best choice simply by doing two important things: leveraging technology and providing a great customer experience.
Work smarter not harder to run an efficient, successful business.
This company didn’t get 445 5-star reviews by manually asking each customer to leave a review on their Google listing. They don’t have raving customers by being hard to get a hold or book a service with. They don’t have a great reputation because they keep their customers hanging as to when they’ll arrive.
They did all that by leveraging technology and automation. And of course providing a world class customer experience – from initial phone call to follow-up.
I noticed during my research they, along with many of their competitors, are using an industry specific software platform called HouseCall Pro. This platform is a one-stop shop for home service businesses. It allows service providers to automate everything from bookings, to dispatching, requests for reviews and more. Yes it costs money, but it simplifies, streamlines and automates a variety of tasks helping free you, the business owner, up to focus on doing the work and building your customer base.
Along with leveraging technology and automation, they nailed the use of word of mouth marketing via reviews. This can be one of the single most effective marketing tactics available to business owners. All you need to do is provide a quality service or product to build a raving customer base along with a platform for them to share their experience and you can effortlessly grow your business. Soliciting reviews doesn’t need to be a lot of work either – take a page out of this septic business’s book and automate the process.
Get Your Time Back
Running a business is hard. You’re constantly doing and managing a million things. It’s truly impossible to get it all done without help. Sometimes that help can come in the form of staff, but the most effortless and cost effective approach is technology and automation.
I know funds can be tight and you might be hesitant to spend money on technology and software, but I promise it’s worth it. You’ll be able to run your business more efficiently, better serve your customers, build value and grow your customer base. And most importantly you’ll get valuable time back to do the work and grow your business.
There’s a ton of technology and software out there that can help you work smarter. While you don’t need it all, you likely need something. I recommend sitting down and figuring out what tasks drain your time, what processes are inefficient and where you could use some automation. Then hit the internet to find platforms that can help you where you need it. You can also check out my blog “SaaS Solutions You Need for Your Small Business” for some recommendations.
This septic service business is truly a great example of how to work smarter not harder and that investing in the right tools (and people of course) to help you run your business has a huge return on investment. Remember they aren’t doing anything special. Whether you’re a service or product based business you can incorporate similar practices to be more efficient, productive and successful.
Intrigued by how to use technology and automation to make your business a well-oiled money making machine, but need some help figuring out where to start? Just book a business coaching session and we can help you figure out your needs and options to explore.