The big box hardware store is awesome, but I’m learning a few things that improve my experience there. Recently, I’ve tackled many projects that required 25-30 bags of pebbles that weigh close to 50lbs each. I used to load them onto my flatbed cart, load them into my vehicle and then unload them at the house. That’s 3 touches x 25 bags x 50lbs x more trips than I care to count. That formula equates to a hernia. I don’t think my AARP card covers medical. Then one day a pleasant cashier whispered to me the sweetest words I’ve ever heard. She said I didn’t need to load them onto the cart. She said I could pay, drive around and an employee would load them for me. If I didn’t hear a band of angels singing “Hallelujah”, I know I saw a halo over her head. That means only one touch for me. And well, to be honest, when I get home, I make the kids unload them anyway. That’s how I maximize efficiency around the house.
Look For an Easier Way
As in most things we do habitually a better, easier way probably exists, only if we will climb out of the mindless ruts we fall into and give it some thought. It may be true that there’s nothing new under the sun, but a better mousetrap is on aisle 12. One of the most important things a business owner can do is to invest time in working ON the business instead of always working IN the business. We’ve discussed that idea recently. So, how can you work ON your business to maximize efficiency?
Here are 5 ways to maximize efficiency:
- Analyze what you do everyday or what your employees do everyday. Ask your good employees if there are better ways to do some of their tasks. Who better to ask than the people performing the same tasks over and over, week after week? Incentivize them to come up with ways to maximize efficiency. You may uncover a great idea while giving your employees a sense of ownership in the process. Also, learn about time and motion studies for a better understanding of things to evaluate.
- Ask your employees if their tools and equipment are adequate. If your commercial vacuum cleaner is held together by duct tape and prayer and your employee has to spend 30 minutes a week reapplying new tape, it may save time and money in the long run to buy a new vacuum (as well as providing your employee a much better work experience).
- Attend industry trade shows and follow industry-specific blogs or forums to stay current on products, services and technologies. It’s easy to get head down in the day to day. As you do you may miss new things that come along that can save time and make your life easier.
- Invest in yourself. Just about any financial advisor recommends that we pay ourselves first by saving 10% of our income. But many successful entrepreneurial types will also advise leaders to invest 5% of their income in personal development. Business owners are leaders. They lead their employees. The better a leader leads, the happier employees will be and the more efficiently they should work. Invest in courses, books and seminars that make you a better leader.
- Rid your business of handwritten timesheets if you have remote employees. This is more than a shameless plug for our online clock in, clock out system. With sincere, heartfelt concern for your business, we urge you to implement an automated time tracking system. Handwritten timesheets are eating away at your bottom line like termites, and are the most inefficient thing you are doing.
As a business owner, you are the leader and the visionary. We hope that our 5 ideas will help to maximize efficiency of your business and help you become the best leader possible.
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