The best thing you can do for your company in 2013 is to optimise it. Optimising something essentially means making it better so that you get the maximum value out of it. How can you ensure that you are going to get the most out of 2013?
- Expenditure optimisation and profit maximisation
Reducing expenditure directly contributes to your bottom line. Be creative about it and seek opportunities to collaborate with your suppliers. Also look for ways to reduce your energy usage.
- Space utilisation optimisation
The better you utilize your space, the less you may have to buy or rent as your business grows. Alternatively unutilised space can be rented out to generate income.
- Time management and productivity improvement
Make sure that you and your team get the most out of your day – not by working harder, but by working smarter. Make your meetings more efficient, automate processes where appropriate and eliminate wasteful activities as far as possible.
- Value add and customer satisfaction maximisation
Focus on improving the quality of the service and / or product you supply and be more flexible. Mistake proof your processes and delight your customers.
This may seem like a tall order, but if you approach the optimisation challenge with the right game plan, you may surprise even yourself with the results!
- Step 1: Decide where your focus should be
If you try to focus on too many things at once, you may end up not achieving a single thing. Choose 3 things to start with. You can always add more goals once you have achieved some of your goals.
- Step 2: Set your targets
Set a stretch target. This is something you might not yet know exactly how to achieve or even if it is entirely possible. This is not about setting your team up for failure, but rather to apply yourselves creatively to surpass even your own expectations.
- Step 3: Get everyone involved
Make sure that everyone is working towards the same goal. Every single person attending a meeting should be working towards improving meeting efficiencies, not just the meeting organizer.
- Step 4: Maintain the focus
A great way to do this is to ask for weekly updates and then to communicate the summarized results to everyone once a month. If you start with this, don’t give up, because the moment your focus falters, so will your results.
- Step 5: Be flexible
Be willing to experiment with new ideas that your team come up with, even if you cannot see how it will work right from the beginning. The opportunity to experiment and permission to fail every now and then are key elements of an innovative culture and could just be the differentiating factor between failing and exceeding your goals!
- Step 6: Celebrate your achievements
Come into the habit of celebrating hard work once completed. It can become a powerful positive reinforcer of the desired behaviour that you want to see from your team.
In any successful business, optimising can never be just a once off activity. As one goal is reached, another goal should be set and so on. Continuous Improvement is a valuable process through which to achieve optimisation and is the only way to continue to remain competitive and sustainable.