Every now and again a business needs to take a step back and review its entire operation. It’s natural to draw a line on the sand and regroup, reevaluate, and refocus, all with an eye to improving the bottom line.
Such a 360-degree assessment can be daunting, but a four-point template can guide the way and make the task both simpler and more productive.
For a start, optimize expenses
The start of this process should involve an assessment of how all spending is currently carried out across the organization. Nothing should be off the table. Be thorough to get the best results.
Money spent in one department, after all, is money that is not available for another one that just might be a better choice. When making internal budgeting decisions, executives need to consider many operational factors, but they should also guard against letting ROI get lost in the mix.
Are there investments in the marketing or customer service departments, for example, that can increase overall returns? Or, are there cuts in some departments that can reduce costs without undermining operations? Either way, adjusting expenses to accurately reflect the relative impact of each department going forward can significantly affect your bottom line.
Empower your employees
It makes an enormous difference, but it’s easy to forget. When your employees know they are valued, respected, and trusted, they will go about their work with a sense of ownership and pride. And that attitude has a big impact on your bottom line.
HR experts around the world have embraced the concept of giving employees the training and the means to make important decisions within their purview, and to act on them.
Not only does that have the obvious benefit of greater employee satisfaction and reduced turnover, but it also results in:
- Entrepreneurial thinking
- Creative problem solving
- New efficiencies and savings
- Improved customer service
- Enhanced productivity
For businesses and employees, that makes for a win-win equation.
Collect meaningful data – and put it to work
Not so very long ago, business leaders had to make crucial budgeting decisions based on either too little information – or perhaps just as risky – too much. On the one hand, it simply wasn’t possible to quantify every aspect of doing business, including critical ones such as customer engagement and satisfaction. On the other hand, an overabundance of data could be as likely to confuse decision-making as to clarify it.
Thankfully, technology – and the advanced analytic tools available now – has changed all that. Today it’s possible for businesses of any size to collect vast amounts of data on every facet of operations and seamlessly analyze and act on it. Today’s resources remove the guesswork from managing complex operations, and that can only mean a healthier bottom line. From external services such as HubSpot and Buffer to internal solutions that can track, quantify, and assess data to maximize efficiency and reveal inefficiencies, business decisions now can be firmly grounded in hard facts and sophisticated analysis.
Invest in effective software
Just as thoughtful data collection will make a business more efficient, an investment in meaningful software will have a direct effect on any company’s profitability. Here too, technology has transformed the landscape, and these days any assessment should include a close look at opportunities for new software to produce savings and increase profits. Software solutions can automate manual processes to improve the accuracy of forecasts or even enhance employee empowerment through self-management tools.
One dramatic example of the impact a strategic investment in software can have is seen here in the call recording system. This allows businesses to not only record and archive every interaction with customers, but it also enables them to gain on-the-spot insights and make informed, real-time responses that can make them more profitable. For cost-conscious businesses, the platform translates directly into a reduction in the amount of resources being consumed in interactions, and makes possible the consolidation of data center operations. Such software solutions are a wise investment for the short term, because they reduce expenses for the long term, paying for themselves many times over.
Of course, there are many other steps a business can take to re-tune, but these four straightforward exercises can provide a strong foundation for a better bottom line.
If you aren’t already including the IoT in your re-tuning exercise, learn How to Rewire the Organization for the Internet of Things.