How to Improve Efficiency in Your Creative Business
Efficiency is important even a creative business like yours, so learn how to streamline your processes to trim waste and increase revenue.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Efficiency can be seen as one of those business metrics that everyone would like to improve but the realities of improvement can seem utterly incomprehensible. This is because the term efficiency does not apply to one process or outcome; rather it describes the overall running of your organization.
While efficiency might at first seem like an out-of-reach metric, this does not have to be the case at all. In fact, with the right knowledge and understanding, it is possible for any creative business owner to improve their internal efficiency rates today. Read on to find out how.
1. Automate Wherever Possible
A few years ago automation was regarded as a hugely valuable technology that could only be utilized and afforded by larger, established companies. Technology has come a long way recently and with this evolution comes increased access. It is now possible for smaller creative companies to take advantage of all the benefits automation can offer your business.
From chatbots to an automatic bill pay app, there is a wide range of automation services on offer. The tip to gaining the highest return on your automation investment is to first carefully consider your company’s needs. For example, if you struggle to pay your bills on time and are regularly incurring late payments then you should consider using an automated bill pay app, whereas if your customer service teams are finding it difficult to keep up with the incoming customer queries then you should invest in a chatbot.
You should review the possible relevant automation solutions then spend some time considering the needs of your business to ensure the biggest impact from your investment.
2. Offer a Remote Working Model
When many businesses were forced to quickly adopt a remote working model in 2020 many people were worried about the negative impact this would have on efficiency and productivity rates. While these concerns were completely understandable at the time, they were quickly proved to be unfounded.
Studies have shown that remote working can improve efficiency rates, productivity rates, and worker wellbeing. Business owners who are looking to improve efficiency rates in their creative business should be considering offering their staff a hybrid working model. The way that your hybrid working model will look depends on the needs of your organization and the preferences of your staff. For example, some staff might be able to work from home most of the time, while others might prefer to work in the office and only work from home a few days a month. Allowing staff to choose their working location, where appropriate, will not only boost efficiency rates but worker morale, too.
3. Use Project Management Software
Many creative businesses work on a project-based routine. If this is the case for your organization then you should consider adopting project management software. There are many different types of project management software on the market, so it is a good idea to look into the different offerings before making an investment.
While the individual offerings of project management software can differ, they all share some key features. These features are designed to make it much easier for managers to assign tasks to the relevant staff members and track ongoing progress. This means that it is easier than ever to identify a drain on efficiency and rectify the problem before it is able to fully impact a project.
4. Reduce Stress Levels
Studies have found that when employees feel stressed they are unable to work as productively as possible. Research has found that higher stress levels also lead to an increased rate of human error. This is because stress impacts one’s ability to concentrate for sustained periods of time. Not only will stress affect your efficiency rates in the short term; but in the long run, too, as high stress levels within your organization can lead to higher employee burnout and absenteeism.
There are many steps that you can take to reduce the levels of stress within your organization. Firstly, you should promote a safe culture of communication, so an employee feels able to express themselves before stress is able to build. You should also encourage your employees to take regular breaks, to get outside, to take exercise, and eat well, all of which have been found to help to reduce stress levels.
5. Redesign Your Office Space
If you have a lot of people who are still working on-site then you should take some time to think about how your office space might be impacting internal efficiency rates. When you are looking at the design of your office you will need to think past current interior design trends and consider how your staff work individually and with each other. You should try to optimize your office space to facilitate the individual working style of your organization to ensure the highest possible efficiency rates.
6. Promote Collaboration
Studies have found that collaboration can improve internal staff performance rates by as much as five times. Collaboration is hugely important to creative business as it has been found to be a huge influence on creativity and innovation. Not only does collaboration help to promote efficiency rates and increase creativity in your businesses but it can also be hugely valuable when it comes to worker morale and wellbeing.
Leaders and managers of a creative business should make sure to promote collaboration within the organization. This can be done in a number of different ways. You can assign time for collaboration; for example, you could organize weekly brainstorming sessions. However, this formal set-up does not always suit every business or project.
To ensure you are able to benefit from collaboration constantly you should create a culture where this practice is valued highly. By encouraging staff to work collaboratively, consulting their colleagues with questions and suggestions your business efficiency will improve. Changing a work culture can take time and it requires dedication from managers to lead by example. However, over time creating a culture that truly values collaboration can have a big impact on the efficiency rates in your creative business.