The number one way for small businesses to reduce their operating costs is to improve the communication between their internal personnel and departments. Most businesses try to streamline their systems but do not clearly understand what they must accomplish in order to do this and often times are led astray because they have misconceptions about how software they have purchased is actually being used.
Rather than working on something abstract a business can streamline its systems by simply focusing on communication. Start by drawing the business from the customer’s experience pretending computers do not exist. Define every piece of information and the paper that would have to pass between departments for the system to work. After the entire system is defined using paper begin applying the technology the company is currently using to each point of communication. If the company cannot identify what is being used for a particular point of communication then that point should be addressed and a system put in place. By mapping the communication and putting a process in place for each point a business will not only streamline paper work, but will better define each job position.
Once the positions are defined a business will be able to improve the hiring and training processes because it will have a clearly defined job description for each position which will lead to improved job postings which will lead to improved applicants. Most businesses do not pay attention to the costs associated with hiring the wrong person. The expense of hiring, training and losing a person are enormous especially for a small business. Improving communication throughout a company will help a business reduce overhead expenses by increasing efficiency and reducing employee turnover while improving the customer’s experience.