How to Get the Most Out of Your Business’s Resources
by Arina Smith Business 08 July 2021
Productivity is a term that has come to define the modern business landscape. From individual output to organizational success, the ability to produce is a critical metric for many leaders.
If you’re lacking productivity, it’s tempting to consider hiring more employees or investing in newer, bigger, and better resources for your team. However, it’s wise to start by analyzing another aspect of your business operation: your current efficiency.
Here are several small-yet-effective ways that you can get the most out of your business’s tools and resources without the need to unnecessarily scale your activity or bloat your staff in the process.
Understand Your Resources
Before you begin to work on maximizing your business’s existing resources, it’s important to consider what those resources are. These consist of the components that your company needs to do business. For example, common business resources include:
- Human labor;
- Skills, talent, and expertise;
- A physical office;
- Remote working tools;
Take the time to size up which of these resources are crucial to your business’s operation. This will give you a good idea of what you need to focus on.
Delegate Tasks With Confidence
As a leader, it’s also essential that you learn to delegate and assign responsibilities. This starts on a personal level. Consider where you’re hanging onto activities and duties that could be passed along to another qualified individual. On its own, this already has the valuable effect of freeing up your own time to lead elsewhere.
Don’t stop there, though. Also, look for other bottlenecks throughout your company that is holding up your operation. Is a program unable to keep up with your business needs? If so, replace it with something that can keep everything running smoothly. Is a back-office employee holding up sales because they can’t get contracts processed quickly enough? Reallocate others to help them move along quicker.
Delegation doesn’t just reorient your business’s resources in a more efficient manner. It also is a positive way to shift responsibility onto others. This empowers those who are given various jobs to rise to the task and become more invested in your operation. This added motivation can also impact your bottom line as everyone feels that they are an involved and trusted part of your organization.
Maximize Your Connectivity
Communication and success go hand in hand, especially in a decentralized, remote-friendly 21st-century work environment. One of the simplest ways to get more out of your current resources is to improve your ability to communicate and collaborate.
If you’re operating in a physical office, this can be as easy as upgrading your Wi-Fi. An affordable yet smart connectivity option can breathe new life into a dated Wi-Fi network. For example, Plume WorkPass utilizes adaptive Wi-Fi to provide strong signals wherever they’re needed. It can also capture important metrics, provide additional services such as AI security, and evolve along with your business.
If part or all of your team is working from home, you can also use a plethora of powerful online tools to stay in touch. Many of these, like Trello or Slack, is free for smaller enterprises and can keep your team operating efficiently no matter where they’re located.
Consolidate Where You Can
Another effective strategy is finding areas to consolidate or even eliminate tasks. Start by identifying the areas of your business that are underperforming.
Perhaps you have traditional and online marketing strategies that exist independently. If that’s the case, you may want to combine them to reduce the man-hours and tap into some cross-platform marketing synergy.
You also want to identify unnecessary or outdated business processes and methods. Where are you making your employees jump through hoops that once served a purpose but are no longer relevant? Are you allowing activities to stick around because they’re rooted in the irrelevant past success or very relevant current results? Weeding out unneeded procedures and techniques is a great way to free up resources and refocus them in areas that matter.
Always Be Learning
You may not be adding to the number of your existing resources, but you can still improve their quality. This was already touched on with the example of upgrading your Wi-Fi and other communication channels. The concept can apply to the human element of your business, too.
Consider how you can develop your existing employee’s skill sets. Where can you sharpen skills and develop raw talent? What skill gaps already exist in your staff? Can you enhance your current employee’s capabilities to fill them rather than hiring an outsider to address the issue?
Embracing continual learning and fostering a growth mindset culture are crucial aspects of efficiency. They ensure that what is working today can continue to remain productive tomorrow. They also cultivate a positive perspective toward change and improvement, both of which can help your current resources remain effective in the future.
As you learn to get more out of your current resources, it’s easy to slip into a mindset that you can always do better. Whether it’s through upgrading equipment, consolidating tasks, or developing and growing, you can always increase your efficiency. And in a certain sense, that’s true.
However, you want to keep in mind that there is a natural limit to what you can get out of your current resources. If you’re a tech startup, you can’t expect to have the output of an Apple- or Alphabet-sized company, no matter how efficient you are. At some point, you’re going to have to scale.
As a leader, it’s wise to identify the natural limits to your current resources. Consider reasonable goals and results that your business should be able to achieve. Then look at what is the maximum productivity that you can expect from your current situation.
You don’t have to share this with your staff — there’s no need to create artificial goals to cap their efforts. Nevertheless, being aware of these limitations as a leader is helpful. You can identify the difference between when your team needs encouragement to be more productive and when you’ve maxed out your current resources.
This doesn’t just signal that it’s time to scale your operation. It can also help you avoid turning the pursuit of efficiency into an endless cycle to squeeze as much as possible out of your staff, tools, and other resources.
There are many ways to get the most out of your business’s resources without needing to add to them. Choose powerful business tools that address your business’s needs. Find areas where you can consolidate and delegate current tasks. Look for ways to embrace growth and learning for your existing staff.
By perfecting what you already have, you can avoid the need to scale your staff or otherwise add to your resources unnecessarily. This can go a long way toward maintaining a lean, mean enterprise as you continue to seek success in the future.