These days, it’s not enough to simply hit your target metrics. You also need to maintain efficiency and work towards streamlining your operations. This means getting your team members into alignment, improving visibility, and investing in the right integrations. Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, you need to incorporate some best practices to ensure that your business is on track.
So, where do you start? Do you focus on integrations? Do you turn your energy towards metrics, KPIs, and key results? Or do you take a holistic approach towards operational efficiency for your small business? No matter your company objectives, here are some key tips that you should keep in mind.
Use smarter goal-setting.
For small businesses and large organizations alike, it’s important to have an overview of your company goals and progress. If you don’t currently have insights into your goal progress, it’s time to give your business a bit of a performance review. Start by following the OKR methodology. OKR stands for objectives and key results. It’s a goal-setting framework that makes it easier for team members to stay in alignment and follow goals that benefit the entire organization. The OKR framework is incredibly popular because it trims some of the operational fat and allows you to direct your attention where it’s most needed.
If you’re wondering how to use an OKR, you’re not alone. Luckily, OKRs software is growing in popularity. OKR software includes several key OKR tools that make it easier for you to track overall progress and set smarter goals. You want an OKR software platform that includes OKR tools like goal development, real-time tracking and analytics, and performance reviews. Typically, an OKR tool is addressed on a quarterly basis to ensure your business strategy remains robust. Some OKRs even include performance review templates that can help promote teamwork and aid you when it’s time to measure results. If you’re looking for a performance management tool that helps boost employee engagement, you often can’t go wrong with an OKR.
When you set up an OKR, it’s important to establish the proper key results. Again, key results differ from KPIs. Whereas KPIs are often hard numbers and data, key results are more like outcomes and concepts. One key result or outcome may be to integrate a new software platform by the next quarter. The key result is measurable and sensible. Through the power of OKRs, it’s easier to improve company culture and streamline some of your key operations that could bog down a standard workday.
Spend less time worrying about security.
If you think a simple firewall is enough to protect your sensitive data, you may need to rethink how you’ve set up your database. Many businesses can lose large amounts of time and efficiency by implementing weak or ineffective cybersecurity solutions. Nowadays, cybersecurity is paramount and a simple firewall won’t cut it. While a firewall is still a good practice, you need a cybersecurity solution that can protect you from hackers and also aids with data encryption. Some cyber security solutions are more robust than others, however.
If you’ve looked at some of the latest news, cyber-attacks are only becoming more sophisticated as hackers and cybercriminals develop new methods. Password protections like two-factor password authentication are becoming new standards where they were previously suggested. On top of this, many businesses are relying on remote teams. Maintaining remote security is complex, to say the least. A great way to ensure your data is protected is to incorporate a system that works with remote employees and offers live progress updates. You want a roadmap to your business’s protection. It’s important that each connected account incorporates threat detection and preventive personal checks.
If you’re concerned about your current setup, you should consider developing an account with a leading cybersecurity provider. It’s the right way to ensure you’re protected and it can offer amazing results. If you’re hesitant, look for a company that offers a free trial. On top of a free trial, you can see if any companies have white papers about their performance. Commonly, cybersecurity is a SaaS offering so it could also help if you find a platform that allows you to check on your security measures on the go, whether that’s from a tablet or a smartphone. Whether your team is using Slack, Trello, or Asana or relies on other programs, you want protection from malware and other digital hazards.
Outsource cumbersome processes.
If you spend a good amount of time each month worrying about your accounting, you’re not alone. Many businesses still rely on outdated accounting methods. Between verifying an employee’s routing number to adding a manual signature to each check, bookkeeping can be a hassle. This doesn’t even start on deposit slips and mailing rates. If you’re still writing your own checks and adding the stamp of approval each business day, you may want to opt into a different system that allows you to batch up payroll needs and sign checks more efficiently.
Check printing is incredibly popular for a variety of industries. Whether you’re working with a single check or a department’s worth, it’s much easier to use an outsourced service as opposed to a cumbersome spreadsheet. While a spreadsheet can be useful for balancing finances, it’s not ideal for any CEO or HR team. If you’re a vendor, you want to be able to connect a bank account to a mobile device to make deposits, transfers, and payments that much easier. While you may be tempted to hold onto other programs like Quickbooks, these still require a fair amount of user input and often have a steep learning curve.
Of course, accounting isn’t the only process you can outsource. From website design options to newsletter copywriting, you can set up a demo with a wide variety of service providers to determine what might be the best fit for your business. Don’t forget about those measurable key results, either. You want to be able to measure goals and the same goes for your outsourced business operations. While this can greatly streamline your average business day, you want to make sure that you’ve invested in a service that’s providing a fairly solid ROI. Otherwise, you may want to consider other options or providers to ensure you’re receiving high-quality services. Sometimes, it takes a bit of digging and research to find the top-rated services in a given industry but it’s well worth the effort and energy to do so.
Rethink your toolkit.
When it comes to streamlined business operations, it’s highly likely that one solution won’t solve all of your problems. Instead, it’s better to incorporate a multi-factor approach. When you combine the right sets of tools, services, and platforms, you make it that much easier to spot areas of opportunity and improvement. Whether you’re looking into OKR management or threat detection, it’s important that you prioritize and find the right products that can complement each other. When your services work together, you’ll be surprised how much it can impact your business.
So, pick out a goal management tool, hire a threat detection company, and get ready to clean out some malware. With the right tools and services, your business can run more effectively than ever before.