If you run a small online business, you might work alone, or with a very small team. This can be great. It means that you aren’t spending more than you can afford to on staffing, but it also means that you can grow together. You can gel as a team, getting to know each other, learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and working seamlessly. Often, smaller groups are closer, they work well together, and they enjoy their days in the office. Larger teams, on the other hand, can face tension and stress.
Small teams, however, need to work productively. When there is only a few of you to keep things going, every member of your team needs to be at their best. You can’t afford to waste time. You need to get as much done as possible and really make the most of your time in the office.
Sometimes, working online makes this harder. It’s easy to get distracted online, there’s plenty that you want to click on, and social media is an ever-tempting distraction. It’s also easy to lose concentration when you are sat at your desk, looking at your screen, all day. You can start to feel tired and sluggish and even with the best of intentions your body can become slow and your mind fatigued. You can quickly lose your mental edge and find it hard to give your work your best.
This can be catastrophic to a small business where there is no one to pick up the slack. Wasting time and having off days can mean that you lose money, customers, and business. So, instead of just getting by and doing your best, let’s take a look at some ways to effectively increase productivity in your online business.
Integrate Software and Apps
Do you and your staff members spend your days working on countless different apps, tools, programs, and website? Do you use one app to do one thing, and another for something else? Many small online businesses work in this way, with a massive range of tools in their arsenal.
But, it’s confusing, and a waste of time. You might find that not all of your tools work well together and that not all of your staff no what they are doing with every program that you use. Instead, use enterprise application development to integrate your systems, run your apps and give your business a solid software foundation. It will make your days easier, save you time and decrease the risks of things going wrong and mistakes being made.
Commit to Training
Training is one of the most effective ways to boost the performance of your team. Without comprehensive training, you can’t expect them to work to their best, and you certainly can’t assume that they will be able to work quickly.
Yes, detailed staff training takes time and costs money, but it means that your team can work quickly and well, that you are able to provide your customers with quality and consistency and that fewer mistakes are made. Training is a fantastic way to boost productivity, as well as loyalty, quality, and office morale.
Take Your Time
Mistakes are the enemy of productivity. Errors mean that things need to be done again. Training is one way to avoid mistakes, but you can also reduce them by taking your time and encouraging your employees to do the same. Doing things once, properly is much more effective than doing things multiple times, poorly.
Take a Break
Working too hard is another cause of mistakes, but also of fatigue and slow working. You might find that your team works well first thing in the morning but starts to falter as the day passes. You might find that you all get chatty and distracted in the afternoon too.
Regular short breaks for a coffee, a leg stretch, and a chat, as well as a longer lunch break, can be a great way to keep everyone motivated, alert and happy.
Get Out of the Office
Spending all day every day staring at the same four walls in boring. It’s also bad for your energy levels, your posture, your mood, and your circulation. If you can feel productivity sliding, go out for a walk, get some fresh air.
Regular exercise is another great way to be more productive. Cycling or walking to work instead of sitting in heavy traffic on your commute can help you to start work feeling refreshed, happy and filled with adrenaline. You might find that even a small amount of exercise first thing in the morning helps you to get more done for the rest of the day.
Lists can be a great way to organize your time, keep your days on track and avoid wasting time. If you’ve got a to-do list, you never need to think about what to do next, you can just move onto the next task straight away. Make your lists at the end of the day before so that you can hit the ground running the following day, and try to break them down as much as you can. Encourage your team to do the same, and provide them with the tools that they need to do it.
Goals are as good as lists. Goals give you something to work towards, but also something to celebrate. Having goals keeps everyone on track and helps to boost morale. While it’s okay to have broad goals, breaking them down and keeping things achievable can be more effective.
Start the Day with a Brief
Starting each day with a quick team brief gives you a chance to give your team goals and tasks, to talk about any issues and to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing for the rest of the day.
Keep it Simple
Overcomplicating processes is never going to lead to high levels of productivity. Instead, keep things simple. Automate and schedule online tasks, give everyone core responsibilities and offer as much flexibility and support as you can.