As an entrepreneur, you know that efficiency is everything. You are constantly searching for new ways to improve your workflow and cut the fat in your business so that you can make decisions with agility and clarity. Use these best practices to help you complete what’s necessary and to discard the rest.
1. Eliminate distractions
From the constant alerts and notifications that show up on your dashboard to the incessant noise of printers, cell phones, and water cooler small-talk, your workstation can fill up with needless distractions fast. If you want to perform like a pro then you need to learn how to eliminate distractions.
The good news is that most tasks can be completed in a single shot of uninterrupted focus. Learn to break your day up into moments of high-intensity concentration and agility with breaks in between. You can easily complete most of your tasks in half the time so long as you learn to function in a distraction-free mode and only address relevant information. After these quick bursts, you have all the time in the world to check those notifications, address those spreadsheets, and even hang out by the water cooler for a few minutes.
You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, you just have to surround yourself with them! Delegation is one of the most valuable assets you have in your repertoire of management tools. In order to get a complete solution to your problem, it’s often best to break up tasks based on the individual skills of your team.
Who excels in project management? Who best understands the business process? Who will keep up team morale? As you ask yourself these questions an insurmountable problem suddenly becomes an easy fix once broken up and delegated properly.
NOTE: Delegation is such an important skill that the following three practices are really just specific examples. These are ways that you can break up your problems into manageable chunks and then pass them on to people or businesses that specialize in solving that specific problem.
3. Manage your IT environment
Just like the mind, your business cannot achieve high efficiency if your internet of things is inundated with disorganized information or complicated systems. For this reason, many businesses choose to invest in IT asset management software. There are many great software vendors such as Asset Panda that provide easy integration of their software product across your entire internet of things (including all of those messy spreadsheets.) Asset management systems like Asset Panda seamlessly close the loop between all the departments that you service—it can even serve as your help desk with their Enterprise Service Desk Configuration.
Unless your business specializes in asset management systems then save yourself the headache and delegate this problem to a company designed to give you the ease of use in the procurement of asset data.
One key feature of Asset Panda is the free software they provide with their mobile app. It even comes with a barcode scanner so you don’t need to make any hardware purchases, you can keep using your mobile tools such as your smartphone or tablet to help you find the right data in real-time.
4. Invest in call center software
Some of your most valuable assets as an entrepreneur are your time and your brainpower. Few things will eat up more of your time and brainpower than customer relationship management, so delegate it! There are amazing online vendors such as Bright Pattern that offer oracle call center software to handle all of your CRM needs.
Their programs use artificial intelligence which delivers powerful customer analytics, reporting, and omnichannel quality management capabilities across all channels in a single view. As a business owner, great customer service is a must, but unless you specialize in it, why not delegate that task so that you can go on using your time and your brainpower to do what you do best and leave the CRM to a program designed to improve your business?
5. Utilize the 80/20 rule
The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule should be every entrepreneur’s bread and butter. It was named after Vilfredo Pareto, the swiss economist who first gave us insight into this simple but revolutionary idea:
80% of all outputs are the result of 20% of all inputs.
This rule is universal and applies to almost all scenarios. That means that 20% of the population holds 80% of the capital, but it also means that you wear 20% of your shirts 80% of the time. This can be a game-changer when applied to analytics for businesses of all sizes because it means that 20% of your clients will yield you 80% of your profits while the other 80% of your clients will only give you 20%.
An 80-20 analysis can provide you the vital piece of data you need when making a strategic decision about your budget, taking on a new client, or even what shirt to wear.