Breaking Growth Barriers: Reshaping Operational Efficiency For UK SMEs
SMEs face numerous operational challenges when it comes to achieving sustainable growth.In a previous article, we discussed the problem of balancing the demands of making sales with service delivery, while dealing with limited cash and staff resources. However, another significant barrier to growth is suboptimal operational efficiency, so in this article, we’ll look at how UK SMEs can break through these growth barriers and reshape the way they operate their business.
1. Define And Reshape Your Business Processes
The first step along the road to making improvements is to identify how work currently gets done in your organisation, including the people who work on each task, how tasks are prioritised, and how success is measured. This will allow you to define your business processes – e.g., your sales process – and build a roadmap for practical ways in which they can be streamlined and improved.
2. Embrace Digital Transformation
Digital transformation has been a buzzword in the business world for the last few years, but many UK SMEs have been slow adopters of new technologies. By embracing digital solutions such as cloud storage, software automation, and data analytics, SMEs can significantly improve their operational efficiency and save time and money that can be redeployed elsewhere. These digital solutions empower employees to collaborate more efficiently and access data and analytics information while working remotely, and also give decision-makers the necessary information to make targeted improvements, from sales to supply chain management.
3. Smart Outsourcing
Outsourcing can be an effective way for small businesses to streamline their in-house operation and cut costs, while simultaneously accessing specialist skills and technological competencies. A smart outsourcing strategy should focus on key partnerships that deliver the most value for the business, prioritising those relationships that help your business become more flexible, reduce overheads, and allow internal staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.
4. Measuring And Monitoring
KPIs and periodic data collection are valuable assets when overcoming barriers to growth. Thanks to the growth in affordable and accessible data analysis platforms, small businesses can now leverage the benefit of analytics software to control expenses and optimise productivity more closely. Proactively measuring and monitoring your performance will give insight into the effectiveness of individual staff members, strategies, websites, and marketing channels, and also help decision-makers address inefficiencies, spot trends, and explore new market opportunities.
5. Seek Out And Embrace Feedback
Last but not least, feedback from customers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders is an essential aspect of the growth process for small businesses. Seeking out and embracing feedback empowers you to make adjustments that ultimately improve the operational efficiency of your SME, as well as illuminating blind spots and pinch points. Feedback often identifies inefficiencies that may not be immediately apparent through the data, and gives insight into what changes may be necessary. In particular, the voice of customers is crucial in shaping strategies and creating marketing messages that align with their needs and motivations. Encourage feedback by creating an environment in which customers and employees feel comfortable and safe to share their thoughts.
JDR Group provides a range of inbound marketing services to small businesses, helping customers expand their brand authority, develop their online presence, and make more sales online. To find out more, please contact us today.
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