How to improve efficiency in your small business


Communicating your business goals will help employees be more efficient.

By Henry Brown

Even when you’ve made enough profits to expand your small business and hire a few people, it’s still a small business, so your new employees will be taking on a lot of work for not a lot of money. Studies have shown that working long hours doesn’t mean that your employees will be productive the entire time they are at work. In fact, they are more likely to burn out before the working day is over. If you’d like to run your business efficiently, you need to find a way to keep your employees productive.

Reward their hard work

If you’re smart, you’ll already have an employee recognition program in place. People work better if they’re rewarded with more than just a paycheck. Recognizing their efforts and contributions will make them feel appreciated and they will continue to be productive workers. However, you should remember that one employee will be happier with a private “thank you,” while another might prefer a more public acknowledgement. But either way, they will think more highly of you if you express how highly you think of them.

Establish a clear hierarchy

For the time being, your small business consists of you and a few employees. Everyone should know that you’re in charge, so you are the best person to deal with any inquiries. However, there may come a time when new people are hired, and they will need to report to someone. Eventually, you will have too many people and too much of your own work to be able to deal with everyone’s problems. You need to have a clear system in place so everyone knows who they need to talk to about problems with their job. Find out more about organizational charts at

Make your business goals clear

When you started your business by yourself, you never had to hold meetings or clearly communicate your business goals; you knew them, so you just got on with it. But now that you have employees, you need to find a way to illustrate your aims so everyone knows what the target is.

If a goal is not clearly defined and actually achievable, employees will be less productive. Let them know exactly what you expect of them, and tell them specifically what impact this assignment will have.

Use technology to communicate

An effective communication device is especially important if most of your employees work remotely. A company social networking tool such as Slack is faster than email, but doesn’t have all the distractions of actual social media sites.

Match skills to task

Hiring people to do a specific task will keep them working efficiently, and it will prevent you from having to hire unnecessary people. Asking your employees to be great at everything just isn’t efficient, and chances are they won’t be able to accomplish tasks outside their comfort zone right away. Instead, keep them where they’re useful, but take the time to train them in other areas if needed.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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