small business

5 Easy yet Effective Tips to Make Your Small Business More Productive

Small business owner having a discussion on productivity with her staff

Small business ownership can be challenging. From small spaces to limited budgets and a whole lot of workload – all this can easily make for a stressful work environment and impact your business productivity. Not to mention, it can also have a knock-on effect on your clients. 

In other words, getting things wrong can be costly and damaging. So how do you ensure your space is designed for maximum productivity and staff satisfaction?

We have curated a list of 5 easy tips to help you enhance your small business productivity like a boss! 

But before we dive into it, what does a productive space look like?

Clutter-free, yes. But that’s not all! A well-designed, productive workspace allows one to work freely without feeling distracted or overwhelmed. This means ensuring equipment and tools are easily accessible, removing distractions, minimizing the chaos, etc.

A. What could this mean for your business?

Being a small business owner, you know you’ve to manage most of the stuff on your own, unlike the big-box stores. Every minute of the day counts and the more you focus on growing your customer base, the better. 

This means working smarter is the way to go, and building a productive workspace is just one of the many things that you can do!  

Here is what you can expect:

  • Reduced errors and mishaps:  A well-organized business space reduces the risk of scheduling errors, miscommunication, chaos, accidents, and other mishaps.  
  • Increased focus and productivity: Imagine being a freelance graphic designer working from home amidst noisy neighbors, household chores, and whatnot. Not very enticing right? You’re more likely to succeed when you can work freely with minimal distractions. 
  • Better work quality: A well-designed workplace allows both you and your staff to smoothly complete tasks that are essential, whether it’s making a sales pitch over the phone or conducting a yoga class. 
  • Enhanced staff and customer satisfaction: A happy team gives excellent service. An organized space makes for improved focus, a harmonious work environment, and improved collaboration. It also makes your clients feel comfortable when at your business and results in improved client satisfaction and loyalty. 

Having said all that, let’s look at some ways to improve your business productivity.

B. 5 productivity tips for small business owners

  1. Focus on functionality and comfort 
  2. Help staff master time management
  3. Keep the space clutter-free
  4. Integrate technology into your workflows 
  5. Give staff space to switch off

1. Focus on functionality and comfort

It is important to ensure that your staff members are comfortable, can focus on their work, and have the equipment that they need to function.

When space is limited, think about scheduling staff on different shifts. This may mean taking fewer appointments at any given time, however, it will pay off in terms of creating a more efficient workspace.

In addition, consider investing in ergonomic furniture that lets your staff work in comfort and concentrate on their tasks. This is particularly important for businesses in the service industry as staff are often on their feet all day or spend a significant amount of time sitting down. This can greatly impact their physical health, so choosing equipment that’s fit for the job can be highly beneficial.

Finally, if your workspace has access to natural light, utilize it as much as possible. If not, or when the natural light is poor, ensure you have good lighting that minimizes eyestrain.

Pro-tip: We have written a comprehensive blog on how to choose the best appointment scheduler that can help you in business management, building customer relationships, staff management, and much more. Jump to it from here!

2. Help staff master time management

As a growing business, chances are that you end up taking on more clients and projects with limited resources. Failing to manage it all not only leads to unhappy clients but also a burnt-out workforce. This can greatly impact both productivity and the quality of service/product that you offer. 

The good news is, that there are plenty of time management tools and strategies that can help improve your small business’s productivity.

On top of that, here are a few other techniques you might consider sharing with your team:

  • Planning: Encourage staff to use the slower periods to plan so when things do pick up, you’re well-placed to hit the ground running. This could mean writing down tasks for the week, setting goals for the quarter, or working out everything that’s needed for an upcoming project or busy period.
  • Organization: Creating a well-designed small business space requires teamwork. Encourage staff to keep their workstations tidy and well-organized. Especially in the case of shared spaces – for example, treatment rooms in a salon – this is particularly important for ensuring one team member’s mess doesn’t impact another’s productivity. 
  • Delegation: One of the essential steps in time management is to ‘pick your battles’. One person cannot do everything, so don’t be afraid to delegate some tasks to other team members with a smaller workload and encourage your team to do the same. 
  • Collaborate: Enhance support for your team by engaging in open communication and collaboration. Discover their requirements for effective time management and increased productivity. They just might have some great ideas that you haven’t thought of.

3. Keep the space clutter-free

Paperwork, appointment books, reports, tools, and whatnot can quickly pile up before you even realize it. 

  • Make regular cleaning a ritual: Have your staff take time at the beginning or end of the working day to tidy and ensure the space remains tidy and comfortable as a whole.
  • Invest in practical storage solutions: Shelves, cabinets, containers, etc. ensure everything has its designated place, making it easy for you and your team to find what you need without having to frantically look for it. 
  • Aim to be paperless: While you may not be able to cut down on paper completely, take what you can to the cloud! Switch to online appointments and billing. Not only does it drastically cut down on paper waste but also vastly increases your physical storage space helping you be more organized and productive. 
  • Encourage employees to prioritize tasks: This, and to keep only the immediate essentials in their workspace to help reduce visual clutter and increase focus on important tasks.

4. Integrate technology into workflows

Using technology in your daily operations not only saves time and energy but also helps streamline tasks, especially when resources are limited in a small business.

The great thing is, there are plenty of tech solutions available today, most of which are on cloud-based platforms. This means your team can access them from anywhere without the need for physical equipment that takes up space.

These small business productivity tools help you optimize repetitive and manual tasks like scheduling, reporting, client management, marketing, billing, etc., and will very much depend on the type of business you operate

For example, if you own a hair salon, you might consider features that allow you to schedule resources like washing stations, hair dryers, etc. with appointments. This ensures that you don’t fall short of resources while providing services and there is no last-minute confusion or chaos. 

On the other hand, if you own a retail business or a call center you might consider features that allow you to set up automatic call distribution. In terms of small business productivity, this means that your staff doesn’t have to answer the phone in the middle of a service. At the same time, no important calls are missed.

5. Give staff space to switch off

Identify spaces inside or outside your workplace that can be used as a chill-out spot, whether it’s the outdoor open spaces, break rooms, or a kitchen. Enabling your staff to have space away from their desk allows them to take a breather, reset, and return with full energy to work – all ready to be productive.

The takeaway

The goal of ensuring small business productivity is to make your workplace as productive as possible by effectively managing time, keeping spaces clean and clutter-free, implementing automated tools, and ensuring that the staff feel supported. 

One thing to note is – not to make decisions in a vacuum. Talk to your staff and listen to their ideas and feedback.

Small businesses can face many hurdles. But the more productive and positive your team is, the greater your chances of success!

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!