If you’ve recently started a small business or have swapped the big corporate world for that of a tiny start-up, you’ll probably be aware of the challenges associated with productivity.
If anyone suggests small teams are inherently productive because of their size, they probably haven’t spent much time in that environment.
With fewer people to manage and to whom tasks can be delegated, small firms have to work extra hard to create a productivity culture within the office.
Here’s some of our favourite ways any business can do just that:
A culture of no distractions
We live in a very noisy world, both digitally and in the physical realm. That means there are numerous distractions that do their level best to prevent small teams from achieving their best work.
This doesn’t mean you should turn off the radio forever or suggest that people can’t occasionally indulge in personal projects if they’re on a break, but it does mean creating a culture of no distractions.
Allow people to turn email off if they’re busy, or work from home if that’s the ultimate environment for a particular task. Equally, the presence of a pair of headphones on someone’s head might suggest they’re in do not disturb mode – and that’s totally fine! This is especially important for creative professionals but applies to almost every business. The cost of distractions is huge as interrupted tasks get delayed and often not finished at all.
Avoid pointless meetings
This is more tricky than you might think, but if you can avoid having pointless meetings scheduled, you’ll all be far more productive.
A pointless meeting is one who’s agenda would just as easily be addressed via a phone call, quick five minute office discussion or confirmation from the business owner on something that obviously needs clarification.
If a meeting must be arranged, make sure only the people who absolutely need to be there are in attendance to avoid wasting other people’s time.
Use email smartly
How many times have you received an email in which you’re CC’d, but which has no relevance to your line of work?
We’re all capable of using email in a much smarter way than that. If someone is involved in a project and would benefit from being copied in – great, otherwise, leave people out who’s inbox you’ll only clog up with meaningless messages.
Give people the right tools
Project management, communication and to-do list management are just some of the categories of tools your small business will benefit from.
It might take a bit of investment here and there, but a productivity culture can only flourish with the right tools to hand.
Train, learn and share
Our final tip is one that will probably be the most effective in building a culture of productivity in your business.
You can never stop learning your craft – no one ever becomes an ‘expert’ at anything that continues to evolve. That’s why training and learning should always be invested in – continually.
What’s more, as people learn and develop their own skill sets, they should be encouraged to share their learnings with colleagues to ensure the knowledge is spread evenly throughout the company.
Becoming ultra productive as a small business isn’t difficult, but you will need to follow the above guidelines closely and promise that anything you do won’t be a flash in the pan; this is something you’ll need to continually improve and adapt in order to stay as productive as possible.