Having your own business might have started as your dream, but it could very quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t start moving with the times. As your business has grown, being the ‘go-to’ person for every little decision has gone from being empowering to becoming a hindrance, and if you don’t take some of the weight off your shoulders, your business could grind to a halt or start to fail.
To avoid this happening, you need to look at what parts of your business you can outsource, where software can help, and where you need to increase the knowledge of those who work for you. This is a lot to consider, so to make your business a better place to work, you need to start in the most important areas.
1. Employee Training
As a small business, you might not have a regimented training program set out, and you might not have any sort of training in place at all, other than having a new person sit with you for an hour or so. This won’t do much for their self-esteem, and they might start looking for another job almost immediately.
By putting a standard training program in place, you will find that:
- Morale is likely to increase
- Productivity will also increase
- Fewer mistakes will be made
- Employees will start to solve their own problems
Of course, this could take money to set up, and as a small business, you’ll want to keep expenses to a minimum. However, if you weigh up the cost of setting up a program versus that list of benefits (especially the one where you aren’t called on to resolve every tiny issue), you are likely to consider it money well spent.
2. Look at Improving Your HR Set-Up
Once employees start to feel more like part of the company, you are likely to find they will stick around for longer. With turnover rates under control, you need to think about HR payroll and benefits. If your current HR setup is just you and an Excel sheet, you need to look at upping your game.
By getting the right company involved, you can put together a competitive company benefits package, your employees can decide which benefits they want without having to tell you, and any new hires can see what they are getting, which can mean you are attracting better candidates for your vacancies.
3. Hold Regular Meetings
With small businesses, it is quite common for information to be filtered down gradually as everyone is busy with their tasks. While this might have worked up to now, as your business is getting bigger, whole company get-togethers need to start taking place. This doesn’t need to be a formal meeting. It can be an extra tea break where you explain what is happening currently regarding things like workloads and customer feedback, and you take input from the floor.
Doing this not only keeps everybody in the loop, but it also allows employees to feel ‘heard’. This can further increase productivity, morale, and quality, as they begin to feel more invested in what you are all doing. This meeting needs to include everybody, and not just you and those you would tell anyway, so nobody feels left out.
4. Outsource IT and Other Areas to Experts
Part of the feedback you are likely to get at these meetings will include some frank views on the machinery or equipment they use (more on that next) and also the IT performance. This second one can be solved by outsourcing the whole department and putting this important asset in the hands of experts.
This might be awkward at first, especially if the first thing they have to do is a lot of updating or migrating you to the Cloud. Yet, once all of these teething troubles are out of the way, you should see everything running faster, and chances are it will be a lot more secure as well.
5. Set Up Regular Maintenance Programs for Your Equipment
Downtime is a problem for any business, regardless of its size, shape, or niche it operates in. It means you can equipment and people sitting there idle, and the potential for you to miss an important customer deadline. All of these will be detrimental to your business and will also be costing you money.
In comparison, setting up a maintenance and cleaning schedule might seem like a much cheaper option. You will detect any problems sooner, and even avoid a few of the more simple ones. You can schedule repairs for when you are less busy, or even have them done at weekends when you might be closed or operating a skeleton crew.
Well-maintained machinery can mean greater productivity and quality, and not being held up every five minutes will decrease frustration among employees and improve morale.
6. Think About the Physical Environment
Of course, you will also need to think about the overall environment you all work in. You need to look at the space everyone must do their jobs, so they are not sitting cramped at their desk or have everything piled up on their workstation.
You also need to look at the cleanliness of the work area and any break rooms you have. Saying cleanliness is everyone’s problem and expecting people to clean up after themselves is a naive viewpoint, especially as different people have very different ideas of what might constitute clean and tidy. The best approach here is to hire janitorial services, so you know things are done to a set standard
You should also think about heating and air conditioning so that people can work at an acceptable temperature, as well as ensuring that it is cleaned regularly so you are not just circulating dirty air around the building and making everyone ill.
Making your business a better place to work benefits everyone including you, and this will start with getting on top of staff training and HR. You can communicate this through regular meetings, so everyone knows what they are doing. The common frustrations with IT and equipment can be bypassed with maintenance and putting it in the hands of experts, and by making the environment cleaner and safer, you are well on the path to allowing your business and the people who work within it to flourish.