Inefficiency has the potential to kill a business. An international study by research company Loudhouse showed that 44% of wasted time is due to inefficient processes, followed by paperwork overload at 43% and meetings at 41%. As one of the core issues facing businesses today, it’s vital to deal with inefficiency swiftly. However, you can’t fix your efficiency issues if you don’t realise that your business is inefficient.
You might have had a strong feeling that something is wrong, with mounting frustrations leaving you searching for answers. Inefficiency could be the thing that’s dragging your business down, especially if you notice any of the following signs.
1. You Lose Information
The ability to find information quickly is crucial for any business. You don’t want to waste precious minutes searching for the right document, spreadsheet or file. When important information goes missing altogether, it could mean you lose time and money, and take a hit to your reputation.
2. Invoicing Is a Slow Process
The faster an invoice is created, approved and delivered, the quicker it can be paid. For some businesses, this process can take days, or even a week or more. In a fast-paced business world, this isn’t good enough. Slow invoicing disrupts your cash flow by delaying payments. It wastes time and money too, with costs including out-of-date carbon copy forms and delivering forms back to the office.
3. Your Employees Are Stressed
A business’s employees are its most important asset. If they’re not happy at work, they won’t be at their most productive. An overwhelming workload and inefficient processes cause stress across the board. 29% of UK workers say they have disengaged from work due to inefficiencies, and a third have even looked for a new job. Slow and outdated technology ranks highly among top employee frustrations.
4. There Are Too Many Mistakes
If you’re going to get something right, it’s worth getting it right the first time. Unfortunately, all too often, this isn’t what happens. Avoiding mistakes entirely is tough, because it’s difficult to completely eliminate human error. However, if your business is struggling to get things right all the time, inefficient processes could be to blame.
5. Your Business Isn’t Growing
Business growth is essential if you want to keep up with changes in your industry. If your business isn’t growing, or it’s growing too slowly, inefficiency could be what’s holding it back. Continuous business growth becomes impossible if your costs are too high and keep getting higher, or even simple tasks take longer than they need to.
6. Your Costs Are Rising
Mounting business costs are proving to be a huge problem for small businesses in the UK. In the 12 months before March 2017, research showed that business costs rose faster than the rate of inflation. When faced with increasing expenses, businesses need to be able to find ways to save. Some high expenses can be difficult to avoid, but others may be due to inefficient processes that need to be addressed. Relying on outdated forms, for example, can produce costs related to completing, transporting, organising and storing paperwork.
If your business is inefficient, you need to get to the route of the problem. What could be the core issue impeding efficiency for your company?