April 30, 2009 at 1:05 am Leave a comment

In this tough economy, are you looking to streamline operational efficiencies and cut costs?

Do you want to develop new revenue streams and increase current profits?

If you answer yes, here are 10 useful tips any business can use to improve its bottom line profit and improve the day to day workflow:

Prepare Weekly “Flash Reports” – Provide your management a tool to better monitor and manage key business indicators on a weekly basis.  If you don’t know your KPI (key performance indicators), such as your costs of operating your business, your breakeven point and your sales, you are running your business blind.  A “ballpark” number might be good enough for some businesses, but nowadays any business needs to have a structure and  knowledge of its costs, revenue streams and profit margins. Setting clear standards for your business allows you to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of your strategies.

Get Everybody In The Process – Communicate effectively to your management and employees your process, your improvements, share your goals and vision.   Not everyone will want to go along with change.  Improvement will come easier if you include people who will be impacted by changes as part of the overall process.  Show them the benefits and help them understand the process as a whole is the key to a successful transition. Look for areas where supervisors and managers are involved in day-to-day operations of the business and these will be the most common areas that can benefit from empowering employees. Provide leadership and management training for key managers. Focus on the continuity of leadership between the departments (and shifts) and their ability to control labor resources.

Have A Cash Flow System In Place – Forecast and plan the flow of income and expenditures throughout the business cycles to project the need for cash and credit line requirements.

There are only two ways to increase cash flow in business.  The first way is to cut costs by focusing on improving your business operations.  The second way shifts your focus to sales.

Improve Your Relationship With Your Customers. Get in touch with your existing customers. Whether by phone, email or letter, follow up with your customers and remind them that your business is ready to serve them this year. You need to constantly look for ways to encourage repeat business. Although marketing and advertising are important to get more customers, quality, service and customer satisfaction are what keep a business successful in the long run.

Time Management – Make a to-do list and prioritize your tasks. Time management enables each of us to improve and be more productive and fulfilled individually, so logically the effects across the whole organization of good or poor time management are enormous. The collective implications of wasted time and the benefits of increasing personal productivity are immense. Time management skills are extremely  important for everybody especially people who often find themselves performing many different jobs during the course of a single day. Time management skills will help you increase your productivity and stay focused on your day to day workflow.

Reduce Paperwork – One of the quickest ways to streamline your business is to look at the paper flows in your business. Paperwork can quickly pile up and add unnecessary lead times in variety of areas. What information do you add to the paperwork and why is it needed? And why is paperwork is important to perform your job? If anybody answers, “because it’s always been done that way.” it is almost certain that this area of the process is a prime candidate for reducing paperwork and streamlining the process. Also, if each piece of information cannot be justified, it should be eliminated from the form to reduce the amount of work necessary to process the paperwork.

Negotiate With Vendors – Always look for the best deal with vendors. Shop around. In this though economy it is easier to negotiate good deals with your existing vendors and new vendors. By doing this you will be able to save good money.

Outsource No business is too large or too small to get the benefits of outsourcing. All businesses can benefit from it. There are many reasons to outsource any variety of functions. If you want to successfully implement outsourcing, planning and preparation are key. Outsourcing can save you time and money.

Evaluate Your Pricing – Think about raising your rates. Do a deep analysis before doing it. Now is the appropriate time to inform clients that your rates are going up. Just be sure to check out what the competition’s doing and make sure your prices or rates aren’t too low. You don’t want to overprice yourself out of the market, yet you should not bear the burden of a cash flow shortage. Give your customers a month or two advance notice should you decide to increase your rates.

Find Ways To Cut Your Costs – Even if you have secured funding from investors, you need to constantly look for ways to reduce your costs. Do it yourself, if you can, or hire an expert to work and possibly cut your variable costs, such as labor and material, and your fixed costs as well. The result is an improvement in your company’s bottom line and an increased competitive advantage.


Entry filed under: Business Improvement Tips, Profits & Revenues.

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April 2009

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