No matter how efficient your business is, there is always something you can improve.

Do you find that once productive meetings are no longer fun? Do they run for too long and little gets done? What about projects that run over time or run over budget? Are your processes and procedures efficient? Some days can feel that the more you try to do, the less productivity you and your team achieve.

Fixing these types of things is simple if you take the time to focus on the efficiency in key areas of your business. Here are five tips to help run a more efficient business.

  • Control meeting interruptions

Meetings can interrupt everyone’s day. A meeting at 11, lunch at 12, then an after-lunch meeting at 2 pm. This type of interruption a few times a week and there is not much time for anything else. How does anyone get anything done?

Try scheduling meetings all on one day on a regular basis, where you can, to maximise productivity. If you need regular company meetings, consider giving them a short 15-minute time limit at the start of the day. Use these meetings to keep staff in the loop about the business. Encourage open communication and staff feedback. This is a great way to identify areas for improvement, and to celebrate successes.

And, then there are those requests for quick minute meetings that turn into 15 minutes. These do nothing for your employees’ focus and concentration. This type of quick meeting is not good for staff productivity and an inefficient use of time. Instead, schedule short meetings. Set up a 10-minute meeting at a particular time. Keep it short, on topic, and to the point.

  • Nurture open communication

It is all well and good to tell your employees “my door is always open”. But unless you openly engage with your staff they may never knock at your door. How comfortable do your staff feel about knocking on your door?

Some of the most valuable feedback you can get is from staff working on the job. You want your people to voice their concerns. Your employees are the ones doing the job, they have invaluable insight into how to do things better. Employees can come up with new innovative solutions, if you let them.

By nurturing open communication your team will work better together. Staff will take on ownership of their jobs which boosts productivity.

  • Automate your business

Automate everything in your business that you can. There is good software in the market to help you. Whether it is sending invoices to customers or reordering stock, automating your accounts makes sense. It saves time and money in a competitive environment. This allows staff to get on with more complex tasks that require critical thinking.

While implementing the software to automate tasks costs time and money, it is an investment in your business long term.

  • Multitasking kills productivity

Yes, I know. We are all master multi-taskers, or so we think. But, if you do more than one thing at a time, how well do you do anything? You can usually be effective working on one or two tasks at a time. Anything more and the quality of work declines. This means wasting time going back to fix mistakes. When staff focus their energy on only one or two tasks without distractions, the quality of work will be better and productivity will rise.

  • Use the art of delegation

Learn to delegate. You cannot do everything yourself. When you overload yourself and your staff productivity plummets and mistakes get made. When you have a team, delegate suitable tasks to your people. For things you do not have staff for, like accounting, use accounting software that will automate many business functions. This leaves you free to choose the tasks you are best at to increase your productivity.

These are just a few things to consider at the beginning of a new year to setup your business for a success.