This is where I will regularly share tips, tricks and articles, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses who want getting things done to be easier and who dream of being able to turn all the passion of their founders into productive gains.
Time is our real and precious finite resource and with places like the photo below right on our doorstep who doesn’t want to free up more for themselves?
If you’d like a specific topic to be covered please do feel free to drop me a message and I will endeavour to schedule that in.
There’s a lot of impenetrable talk about it, but very simply improving productivity is a direct route to increasing your capacity, leveraging opportunities for growth, or improving your financial bottom line. If you haven’t considered how you could improve the productivity in your own business you could be missing a trick!
To help you on your way we have 4 simple tips for productivity improvement that you can implement now.
Let’s get going on how you can improve…
Stick to what you do best! Whilst it is alway tempting to expand your offerings in a hope of gaining an extra bit of market space it’s generally much better to hone in on a few core products, skills or services and deliver those excellently. By diluting your efforts you make a lot of extra support work, reduce your efficiency and potentially reduce your service levels on the things you really care about.
Think like your customers…What is it that you do that your customers are paying you for? What is of real value to them? This is what you want to spend the vast majority of your time doing. Some of the rest is necessary, like doing your accounts (you can’t avoid those no matter what!) and some is just “waste”. Identifying which is which and focusing on customer value is the hallmark of a productive business.
Don’t Duplicate! This one sounds so obvious but it can slip through the gaps very easily. It applies to everything and is a good rule of thumb to challenge yourself on processes and even team structure. Are you doing something you’ve already done somewhere else? Are you inputting the same data twice? Do you need to add another person doing the same job to your team or could you structure it differently to be more efficient?
Consider every minute…A minute seems such a short amount of time. A minute can’t matter, can it? Well, for your business it can. Consider this: 1 minute the hour is 1/60 of your available time. Over the course of a year that’s around 4 working person days lost. On a £25k salary that’s costing you £500 per person. Now it sounds worth considering, doesn’t it? The message here is small improvements add up to big wins where productivity is concerned!
Getting expert support to improve productivity is an investment that pays for itself – usually very quickly!
Over the last couple of years I had the pleasure of working with local communications agency MPAD. We looked at their own internal processes and then I subsequently facilitated a workshop with one of their key clients. In both cases we used process mapping to visualise what they did, when they did it and finally how much of their time was really adding value to their business. As a result we identified which activities we could make more efficient or eliminate entirely.
“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognise,”
Productivity improvements at MPAD
The sessions allowed MPAD to reconfigure business processes and develop their UX Design and Digital Intelligence Review products. Both slicker systems overall and standardised offerings are key to improving productivity and we certainly unlocked both with the power of Process Mapping.
Mapping as a tool
Having seen the power wielded by some sticky notes and Sharpie pens Mark from MPAD was a convert. Combining the lessons learnt from the sessions with me with other information from a visit to London Mark has adapted the mapping process to use with his clients. Used like this Mark can help everyone see the customer journey. This is a great example of using mapping flexibly and furthermore it highlights how these simple tools can transcend businesses to help teams really deliver great results.