You can find plenty of tips on how to save money, though some of these are counterproductive in the long run. For example, making it hard to get service under the warranty or reducing customer service will eventually drive away your customers. The best thing you can do is improve the productivity of your team without hurting customer service. Here are 4 productivity hacks for small business.
Learn About Managed Mail
We’re not talking about managed email or web hosting. We’re talking about managed mail programs for processing packages and letters. Managed mail services like The Delivery Group can take over a surprising amount of work that dramatically improves productivity in both the front and back office. Let them ship things that aren’t coming out of the warehouse in individualized orders. Let them receive and sort incoming mail so that each department can focus on their core competencies instead of removing unsolicited junk mail and trash from the incoming mail. You could even get a bill for these services by department instead of having all the work falling under general overhead.
Invest in Customer Retention
Too many firms invest in sales instead of customer retention. However, it costs roughly 25 times as much to secure a new customer than to keep a current one happy. This means you should invest in customer service and tech support before you pour money into new salespeople. Work on customer segmentation and personalized messaging before you pursue new market segments.
Invest in Your People
Depending on the job, it can cost the equivalent of several weeks to up to a year’s pay to replace someone. It isn’t just the cost of listing the job on various websites and reading resumes. You have to take time out of your schedule to interview them, and when hired, there is always a learning curve. That’s why you want to improve employee retention instead of hiring. If people aren’t as productive as expected, determine if there is a skills gap. If you can solve this with targeted training, you’ll avoid the need to hire a new person and you’ll have the loyalty of the person you trained instead of fired. You may want to develop standardized training for new hires so that they become full-fledged members of the team faster. This may be the best solution if you have high turnover of new hires but not among your established team members. If you’re losing people who’ve been there for a while, find out if the issue is a lack of advancement opportunity, low pay or unclear job responsibilities.
Determine Your Core Competencies
What is the core mission of your business? Is your goal to share a certain cuisine with everyone in the area? Do you want to share a specific story or set of expertise? Define your core mission. Then ensure that anything and everything you do is clearly aligned with that mission. If you sell content, you could switch from a magazine to a digital newsletter or subscription only videos. However, it isn’t worthwhile to start selling unrelated products. If your intention is to share a unique cuisine, bottling your best-selling sauces and selling them in groceries stores is a reasonable avenue of expansion, as is publishing cookbooks. However, setting up restaurants selling a different cuisine is not. Use this central mission to determine what new products and services you may offer. And use it to get rid of products and services that distract from your main mission. If you want to expand in a new direction, look for complementary service providers such as someone putting your product in their gift baskets.