There’s nothing more exciting than being involved with a business from the very beginning. In fact, that sense of pride as all of your hard work comes to fruition is one of the most rewarding parts of being an entrepreneur. It’s vital you not allow inefficient startup processes to kill the buzz of launching your own new enterprise.
As you might expect, one place where a lot of new organizations struggle is with time and resource management. After all, when you’re just figuring out the best way to run your business, a bit of trial and error is required.
To help you narrow your focus and improve your company’s efficiency, we’ve compiled this list of eight tips for startups to make processes more efficient.
1. Know your strengths (and weaknesses).
Whether you’re making personal changes or just trying to improve how your team manages workflow, it is imperative to know both your strengths and weaknesses.
Why? When you know areas that either take you longer or require vast improvement, you can take steps to make that happen.
For example, let’s say your team is excellent at social media marketing but terrible about graphic design. Never leave one team member to struggle for hours making pretty images for your Instagram channel.
Instead, you could give another person who has a knack for visual layouts the opportunity to take the project over. Not only does this save time, but it can make the end result a lot better than leaving it to someone who is less skilled.
2. Use technology to connect startup processes.
A key aspect to any efficient business is finding all the right ways to connect your business, technology, and processes together.
For example, startups in the e-commerce space have to deal with product management software, warehouse information, website management, and more. All of these combine to ensure their product is getting to their customers quickly and efficiently. And that’s a lot to organize.
That’s why companies like Tradefull, which is a complete e-commerce solution, help online brands handle everything from warehousing and shipping to multi-channel sales. It fully integrates with multiple platforms to make sales, order fulfillment, and marketing much easier.
For startups, whether you’re in the retail space or not, using tech to make sure all of your processes are well connected is an excellent way to run efficiently — leaving room for other activities that are equally important for growth.
3. Don’t be afraid to spend for solutions.
Another tip? Don’t be afraid to spend a bit of your budget to get the right solution for better efficiency.
This is an area where budget-conscious companies sometimes try to cut corners, only to realize their staffing and manpower hours to take the long route far exceed what they would have spent for an integrated solution.
Not sure whether a tool or service is worth the cost? Add up all the hours your startup team would spend on that specific project, then add an extra 10%. If the cost of the service or tool is less than this amount, it’s definitely worth trying out.
4. Be flexible with new startup processes.
Efficiency isn’t something that’s truly achievable overnight. Instead, startups need to be somewhat flexible when it comes to implementing new processes.
Give these solutions time and moderate adjustments within the first few weeks or months. Time and tweaking are key in determining if adding it to your workflow is positive.
If you’ve tried the new steps or software out for a period of time and things still aren’t working out, then look for something else.
Being more efficient as a startup really comes down to knowing how to use trial and error to your advantage until you get to where your whole team is working at their best.
5. Skip the multitasking.
Likewise, trying out new solutions for better efficiency doesn’t always mean multitasking.
This is an area where a lot of entrepreneurs (and thus startup executive teams) really flunk. They simply try to take on too much at once, which can lead to overload and mistakes.
Instead, make sure you’re taking the growth of your business one step at a time, both on an individual and larger organization level.
Allow employees to focus singularly to really ensure they’re doing well at their jobs before tacking on other to-do items.
6. Automate startup processes where you can.
Automation is another area where startups can really improve efficiency.
With tons of great tools out there, finding areas where you can skip the human work time and leverage timers, autoresponders, or even automated actions is really key.
For example, Zapier is a work automation tool that automatically moves information between web applications. By doing this, you’re able to bypass tedious work processes and focus on work that requires more attention.
Finding areas where you can use tech solutions or software apps to simplify processes is key for growth and time savings.
7. Don’t get buried in the details.
There’s something about a good entrepreneur that just makes them better at building new companies from the ground up.
However, this also means they generally have brains that can get super hyper-focused on those little details. This is just about inefficient as it gets.
Instead, make an attempt to not get buried in the details. Focus on the bigger picture and how it affects the business as a whole.
Why is this important? When you can see ahead of those little tasks that add up to time wasted during the day, you can make better decisions on where to skip small ones or decide which ones to hand off to someone else.
8. Minimize meetings and improve other communication methods.
Finally, startups can help improve overall efficiency by minimizing meetings—but still improving other communication methods.
For example, try things like a newsletter to get out information about certain projects or growth strategies. This is especially helpful at times in which you’re mostly trying to spread the word and don’t necessarily need input.
Why does this work? When your staff isn’t concerned with whether they all have to gather in the conference room for something simple, they can spend that time working on critical tasks.
Improving Efficiency as a Startup: A Process, Not an Event
Growing a startup from the beginning to success is something that takes time and effort.
However, by using the tips we’ve mentioned in this guide, you can help improve the efficiency of your organization and keep your team on track.