Tips and Tricks for Streamlining Your Office
We all want to get more done. We dream of being able to service four clients in the time it currently takes us to respond to one client’s email. We want to be able to jump right into a project instead of having to wait sometimes weeks at a time for all of the paperwork to be signed and all of the details contained within it 100% correct. You are sure that there has to be a better way, a faster and more efficient way, to get things done. Guess what: there is.
Here are some of the things that you can do to streamline your office, increase your productivity and–as a result–bring in more money.
Install Your Own Server
Yes, setting up your own server can be expensive but this is 2015. Why are you daisy chaining computers to each other? Heck, even the cloud–for all of its inherent safety issues–is faster and better for your company than trying to run everything through a series of networked individual computers. Installing your own server creates a faster and more reliable system through which employees can share files and information. Obviously you’ll have to take steps to keep that server secure, but it’s worth it to know that a single malfunctioning laptop won’t take down your entire company.
Hook that office-based server up to a cloud server and you’ll be able to network with anybody anywhere in the world at any time. Yes, really.
Nobody types memos anymore. Heck, even group emails are on their way out now, thanks to collaboration apps. Instead of spending tons of money every year on printers, maintenance and printing supplies (toner is never going to get less expensive; sorry), invest in a tablets for your workforce. Yes, some things will still need to be printed out. There are rules about keeping contracts and tax information on hand and in hard copy form for specific lengths of time. Still, getting your office down to that single printer is one of the best things you can do for your productivity. Plus, it’s possible to legally sign documents digitally now, so–unless something needs to be notarized–even contract negotiations and signings can happen in minutes instead of weeks.
For a busy office with lots of client meetings (and comings and goings), use a digital sign in app instead of the traditional visitor sign in sheet. These apps protect your clients’ privacy and can be synced across devices. No more having the receptionist phone you to let you know that your 2 PM meeting has arrived. You’ll get a notification as soon as he or she signs in via the app!
According to Inc.com, the average length of a corporate meeting is an hour and a half and most professionals attend between 12 and 20 meetings per week. For some people that means they are spending the majority of their week in company meetings instead of helping clients. Everybody knows that meetings sometimes have to happen. But there are things you can do to streamline them.
One of the best is allowing people to attend virtually. There are so many sites and apps out there that allow for multi-person collaboration. Use them to conduct your meetings. This way you don’t have to wait for people to show up, you don’t have to worry about reserving a conference room and people can multi-task (as best they are able anyway), which allows them to get more done. Everybody wins!
Better Manage Your Digital Home
If you haven’t updated your company’s website in a while, there’s no time like the present to do it. Websites are easier than ever to manage. More importantly, websites do more than they have ever done before. You can set your company’s website up to take payments, process orders, set up meetings, field communication requests, etc. If you work with a drop shipper, you can also streamline your order fulfillment processes.
There are also a lot of programs that can help your company better manage your business’s social media presence. Scheduling updates and posts in advance is a huge time-saver–just make sure there is someone to monitor your feeds so that you can turn off your future messages in the event of disasters or huge news events. Nobody wants to be the marketer who is still schilling during a natural disaster.
These are just some of the ways in which you can streamline your business. Before you implement anything, though, sit down with your team and take a careful look at how your business is operating now. Once you have a good idea of what you’re doing now, you’ll better know how to make things better (including where to start).