Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Improve Business Productivity

by Melissa Hopkins

Improving business productivity can be essential to sustaining a profitable business. Inefficient procedures and unmotivated employees can have a significant impact on your bottom line. It is important to develop strategies to increase productivity in order to remain competitive in your field. Fortunately, by implementing some policies and procedures, you can help increase both productivity and morale.

1.     Offer adequate training programs to new and long-term employees. Productivity can be negatively impacted by employee uncertain how to prioritize job duties, use software or implement new procedures. Develop a training program for new hires with specific milestones. Check in frequently during the training period to ensure new employees are learning essential skills. Schedule regular refresher courses for all employees, and use training when implementing new procedures or software.

2.     Create a work environment conducive to productivity by fostering open communication. Allow employees to offer suggestions for streamlining procedures and updating office policy. This helps employees to feel invested in the success of the company. Offer rewards for suggestions that increase efficiency and save the business money. Allow employees the opportunity for flexible scheduling of their work hours so they have better options for handling personal matters outside of business hours.

3.     Create a system to help employees deal with office disputes. According to a survey by Leadership IQ, 93 percent of employees feel their productivity suffers from working with low producers. Employees who aren't doing their job can not only decrease productivity in general, but also be bad for morale. Give employees an option for reporting problem coworkers, and take action when necessary. This will decrease the frustration for hardworking staff members, and raise overall efficiency.

4.     Reward employees for productivity. Rewards don't need to involve salary increases to be effective. Rewards could include a free lunch at a nice restaurant, an extra day of paid time off, or even an employee of the month certificate. Promote competitions for the rewards between teams and individual employees. Conduct monthly staff meetings to announce and congratulate the winners of your productivity challenge.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Five Tips for Writing an Effective Business Plan

by Nathaniel Davis

1. The business plan should tell a compelling story about your business. It should explain who, what,  when, where, and how.
2. Forcing discipline and logic into the business should be a goal of writing the business plan.
3. The business plan should be focused and clear. The number of pages and the style of the cover should not be the focus. Though they can add to your business plan, too much can also take away from what the purpose of you plan is.
4. Specific business objectives and goals with general parameters to guide the organization should be defined.
5. In order for the business plan to be good, it should be a living document that is updated regularly.