In business, your day isn’t always going to go smoothly. You’re going to have a crisis to deal with or new information to act or even an opportunity that’s going to take your focus from its usual priorities. In those moments, is your business going to crumble without your input? Or is it going to keep going strong? The answer to that lies in the amount of preparation you put into it. Here we’ll look at the standards and the tools you should be implementing to make sure your business is running full steam ahead even when you’re dealing with new challenges.
Communicate and strategize
The first step to creating a system in your workplace that can work better even when you’re not able to give it your all is to improve the communication. It’s not just about giving people the tasks they have to do themselves. They need to understand the context in which their work plays and even the strategic goals themselves. If you strategize with your team, you can ensure that more of them will be able to rise to keep the ship running in the right direction even if you can’t. It also has the added benefit that people are a lot more engaged with their work if they know the goal they’re contributing towards. Not only will that help them do their job better. It can also get people thinking outside of the box for ideas that will help the team as a whole, not just themselves. That’s the kind of thinking you need in a crisis.
Track your assets
In retail, manufacturing and a lot of other businesses, your inventory and assets are hugely important. If they go missing, even for a little while, it can throw the whole thing out of whack. Especially when loss of assets becomes a problem in the business and a drain on the cashflow. To make sure that you’re operating with all the assets you need, you should start using an inventory system. With electronic inventory systems, you can not only track what you have and where it is. You can also pinpoint who does have access to it and who shouldn’t have access to it. Meaning that if anything goes missing, you can quickly find out where it is and why it went missing. In the case of employee theft, it can help you get rid of someone who’s proving a serious risk to the profitability of the business.
Track your people, too
We’re not talking about outfitting all your employees with GPS devices, of course. Though that can be useful for any drivers you employ. No, we’re talking about tracking their productivity. About using key performance indicators to get a closer look at what their day-to-day is. Or using productivity tracking software for a better look at their daily workload. You want to find out what exactly they’re contributing the business. Sometimes you just get someone on your team who isn’t performing the amount of work they should be. It might be a problem with the individual or a problem with the tools they have to complete their tasks. Whatever the reason, tracking their productivity can help you highlight those problems and solve them before they become a problem for the productivity of the business as a whole.
Tighten the supply chain
Not all the relationships in your business are inside the company, either. Most businesses have need of suppliers. Whether it’s for simple things like stationary to making sure you have all the materials you need to produce the goods you sell. Whatever your suppliers provide, you need to make sure they’re able to keep providing. To that end, it’s a good idea to start building better relationships with them. Don’t just assume they do their job to the perfect standard all the time. Figure out the challenges they might face themselves, figure out who their suppliers are. With that information, you can more readily identify problems you might face down the line and prepare alternative plans. A direct line to their supplier in times of need, for instance, or simply looking into other options should they be temporarily unable to keep you in supply.
Smooth your IT approach
Most businesses are using some form of IT, usually within a network that allows better communication and quicker sharing of digital resources. These networks can be tremendously helpful, but they can grow unwieldy. Especially if your business is scaling and you need the IT system to grow with it. To that end, even if you normally have no problems, it’s a good idea to have a chief information security officer to get in touch with. The right help can not only help you protect your vital data. They can also help you sort out any problems in the tech quickly and help you implement the solutions that will fit the growing needs of the IT system and the business as a whole.
Avoid those problem people
We’ve mentioned unproductive employees. Again, we should stress poor productivity isn’t always a result of a person’s work ethic or behaviour. But it definitely can be. Just as a lot of problems in your business can be caused by having the wrong person in the wrong place. Implement a better approach to how you hire for your business. Don’t just consider the skills they bring to the table. Consider their personality and how it works with the rest of the team. Someone with a negative effect on morale doesn’t just make your other workers a little less happy with the company. It can spread toxic behaviour like gossiping or taking sides in conflicts. It’s best to simply avoid hiring or keeping people that so much hostility or negativity can spiral around. Or to put it more aptly, consider having a ‘no jerks’ hiring policy.
We hope the points above help you create the tight-run ship you need. With the right approach to the tech you use in your business and the people you work with, you can make sure your business is efficient no matter what’s happening.