To start with, a question as old as time.
Productivity vs. Efficiency
When it comes to business, the lines between efficiency and productivity are often blurred. Let me un-blur them for you.
Efficiency is how much time and resources it takes you to complete a task. Of course, the less of both – the better.
Productivity is how many tasks you can complete in a set space of time. The more output – not always the better.
Streamlined business operations (otherwise known as perfection) lie in the cross-section between both concepts.
Or as Tony Robbins, oft-considered the nation’s top life and business strategist, puts it,
Don’t confuse being busy with being productive – they’re not necessarily related. We all know someone who is always busy but never seems to get anything done.
And, at the end of the business day, you can’t have one without the other – especially in today’s red hot competitive market. However, that doesn’t stop the modern-day small business from hyper-focusing productivity.
If you haven’t thought about how to improve efficiency in a business, you may well be overlooking places where you can cut down on the time you’re spending on a particular task. This saves you money and manpower in both the short term and the long run.
So, don’t be that small business. Instead, avoid the productivity trap and consult the wisdom of an all-knowing business efficiency expert.
What is an efficiency expert?
At their most fundamental level, efficiency experts are masterminds of time management and business process maximization. They know how to squeeze the most out of every one of your and your team’s working days.
An efficiency expert casts a trained and discerning eye over every production line and business operation in your care. From the bottom to the top line, no stone is left unturned. Finally, following their analysis, they’ll pinpoint your efficiency weak spots and shed light on your blind spots. In short, they specialize in identifying a company’s inefficiencies and recommending solutions.
They aim to help businesses become more profitable by improving one or more aspects of your business’s organizational structure and development plans.
Really, it suffices to say that business efficiency experts make life easier for everyone.
Why your business needs to be efficient
A simple fact of the world (including business!) is that resources and inputs are scarce. So, instead of focusing on increasing resources, it’s usually best to work with what you already have. If you neglect your inputs, you’re essentially leaving money on the table. Think of it like the difference between running a well-oiled and not-so-well-oiled car. No matter how much fuel you add, the well-oiled car will always run better.
This is all a fancy way of saying that you need efficiency. Without it, competitiveness goes out the window.
For example: If Andy produces 1,000 lines of code in a week while Brad produces 800 lines, it may look like Andy is the more productive worker; that’s true if he has a low error rate. But if his code requires 30 hours of debugging, and Brad’s works the first time it compiles, Brad is clearly far more efficient than Andy
Do I need an efficiency expert?
As Robbins suggests,
Examine your operations and the processes you have in place. Look for redundancies, dated or excessively complicated processes or unclear procedures.
Or you could just let an efficiency consultant do that for you.
If you’ve never had a prior assessment by an efficiency expert, the simple answer is yet. If you’ve already had your brand optimized for efficiency but feel like things are getting a little rusty, it’s time for a makeover!
When is the best time to consult an efficiency expert?
When prepping your business for an efficiency makeover, it’s tempting to some operational spring cleaning. However, would you clean your home before hiring a cleaner? We certainly don’t think so!
Don’t worry about upscaling or downscaling before inviting an efficiency manager to take a look – they’ll let you know if there’s any scaling to be done. Moreover, you never know what elements of your existing framework may be beneficial if only streamlined. So, keep everything as is and don’t make any grand rearrangements beforehand.
When it comes to reaping the benefits of an efficiency manager, honesty and transparency are the best policy! Now’s not the time to start cementing over the cracks, make it easy for them to get an in-depth look at your company – warts and all.
A company needs expert advice to improve workflow processes and to mend overall business operations. By consulting an efficiency consultant, not only can you expect your profit margins to expand, but you can also make life that bit more easy on yourself (and all of your employees!) A small business productivity boost is as simple as streamlining your current assets. So, look no further than an efficiency consultant – you won’t regret it.
And in the wise words of Robbins, “Business efficiency requires a certain mindset – one of constant improvement, hunger and the knowledge that there is always more to learn. It’s a personal trait, but it is also one that you can make a part of your company culture. It will encourage risk-taking and innovation in your employees, which are both important in creating efficiency.”
And there you have it!