Starting up your own business can be exhilarating. You are excited about the product or service; you know it’s bound to be successful. You spend long hours, day and night, to hire the right staff and establish the appropriate procedures, and you put all your might into your new business to allow it to grow and succeed.
Even in the midst of all this excitement, both small and large businesses need well-laid plans to flourish. Your dedication and drive may take you only so far. You need to equip yourself with the latest methods, frameworks, and technology to make your startup work.
Fortunately, there are many tried and tested methods to streamline your startup’s operations. Read on for some tips to streamline your startup’s operations.
1. Get to Know the Basics
One of the most important factors for a new business is knowing exactly what you are selling and who you are selling it to.
Targeting the right audience is key. Decide how you are going to do this: figure out the resources you need and the channels you will use to reach customers, all within your budget.
Hire smart. In the beginning, you may not afford to hire many people. For this reason, you may need someone to be able to handle more than one department at the same time.
According to Geneca, a software development company, unclear business objectives, out-of-sync stakeholders, and extreme rework implied that 75% of project members were not confident regarding the success of their project.
To avoid this, create a model of your business. Note which skillsets you need and hire accordingly.
2. Automate Administration
Why bother yourself with bill payment, customer inquiries, and payroll administration when your computer can do it?
Entrepreneurs use up to one-third of their time in payroll and benefits administration. You don’t even need to hire separate staff for these functions — use Cloud Services for managing your files. Cloud computing is predicted to grow from a $67 billion industry in 2015 to a $162 billion industry by 2020 (compound annual growth rate (CAGR) = 19%). Invest in an online customer portal that offers a personalized customer experience. Let your customers find answers, manage transactions, and submit support issues on their own.
Online invoicing systems can be a handy tool to manage your finances. They can help you balance your books more efficiently by streamlining the invoicing process and automatically recording transactions. These systems can even make that annual tax return a bit less frustrating.
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Why take the entire burden upon your own business when there are companies willing to take it for you? Focus more on your creativity by outsourcing departments such as Human Resources. Doing so will save you the tedious administrative work and data entry to simple errands.
Instead of hiring full-time employees, try freelancers for projects such as copywriting and web design.
A recent survey showed that outsourcing for the next 2-3 years after 2016 will allow for a 26% cost savings, a 21% increase in quality improvement, a 19% improvement for access to skills, and an 11% increase for both financial flexibility and marketing time.
4. Online Marketing
An online presence for your business is more important than ever before.
There are more chances for your business to reach customers online than any other medium. Did you know 81% of shoppers carry out online research before buying things? Having a simple website is not enough. To be noticed, let alone to stay competitive, you should invest in some of the numerous available online marketing resources.
Social media marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, and email marketing are some of the most effective and inexpensive marketing solutions for your business. Furthermore, Google Analytics (and other web analytics tools) can help you to improve your website to make it more user-friendly and discoverable.
5. Stay Timely and Collaborate
Fix a timeline for every process from the development of your product to its marketing and launch.
You can manage project activities, resources, and your team better with task management software. These task management applications not only help you streamline the process better but also make it transparent. This promotes effective collaboration between the team and avoids confusion.
You can also use such software to assess weak areas and re-design your process. They also give you a more comprehensive view of monitoring the project timeline. Moreover, keep using modern tools for startup growth.
6. Have Fewer Staff Meetings
If you have your business processes aligned most effectively, automating unnecessary activities, chances are you don’t need too many staff meetings. Try using email or a Project management application to track important issues and receive feedback.
As per a survey, 60 percent of executives felt time wasted in meetings, and 74 percent were unsure if the meetings were even effective. There are also meeting management apps that can help you conduct meetings online and convert notes into standardized minutes.
Are you an entrepreneur with tips for up-and-coming startups? Share with us in the comments below.