Read our top tips to help make your small business as efficient as possible.
Ad feature from Google Workspace
When you run your own SME, time is money. Savings in both of these areas can make a world of difference to the success of your company, as well as to the happiness and therefore retention of your staff. So, how can you make your small business as efficient as possible?
Make security a priority from the get-go
Between 2020 and 2021, cyber-attacks on small companies surged by more than 150%, with remote working acting as a catalyst for vulnerabilities. The effects can be devastating, too, and can range from products being removed from supply chains and triggering legal fees to investigations and regulatory filings
And yet, too many businesses only start to take this issue seriously once they have experienced a breech themselves. Instead, companies need to ensure that they have appropriate security in place no matter where their employees are based, and that all employees are fully clued up on what certain attacks – such as phishing – could look like, and what to do if they suspect they have been targeted.
Invest in the right online tools
Today, there’s a wealth of apps, tools, platforms and partners who can help streamline your business activities and ensure efficiencies in terms of time and money.
When considering which tools to invest in, put yourself in the shoes of your employees and customers. What systems are they already familiar with and fond of? How can you ensure that you appear as professional as possible, and to what extent can all useful and relevant apps be found in one place, and be used intuitively across all necessary devices?
Stress makes employees more prone to make mistakes, less likely to perform well and more likely to suffer mental health issues and even burn out. What’s more, if they go unaddressed, companies can pay the price of high stress levels by way of disengagement, absenteeism and turnover.
This isn’t a challenge that can be overcome overnight. Instead, it requires the right workplace culture to be embedded – this is even more important in the new world of work – and for managers to lead by example. This could look like taking the right amount of downtime or talking openly about their own struggles with stress and how they overcame them.
Asking employees for feedback on how you can lessen stress in your workplace can be an extremely powerful tool – but if you opt to do this, you must be prepared to listen and act.
Ensure effective collaboration and connectivity
We’re all still finding our feet in this new world – one where hybrid working is the norm. This means that we’re faced with challenges that just weren’t there three years ago, including teams that don’t feel as close-knit as they once did, and the inability to hold as many face-to-face meetings as we used to. That being said, the right systems can help plug some of these gaps. Look for solutions that make it easy for teams to work securely as one, anywhere, anytime, and that enable employees to chat, come together and work together in real time.
Do whatever you can to minimise errors
A very real risk of remote working is version control; the majority of us have learnt the hard way that emailing documents back and forth often leads to mix ups and mistakes. When investigating the right platform and partner for you, consider certain scenarios – how can, for example, you make it as easy as possible for employees to edit documents at the same time without problems occurring. Are the video meeting capabilities as strong as they can be, lessening the chance of disruption?
You might also want to look into how tech, such as AI, can be harnessed to make your and your employees’ lives easier. This could include, for example, autocorrections, speedier content creation or data-driven decision making. Automation can be extremely powerful, too – and can be used to decrease the risk of deadlines being missed.
Everything you need to get anything done, now in one place.
For more support discover our free business support helpline and speak to one of our Business Advisers by phone, contact form or web chat.
Wondering what you can ask? Our team can help with a range of digital topics