“As you grow in this business you learn to do more with less.” Actor Morgan Freeman may have been talking about his profession when he said that, but his point could be equally applied to business.
Many organizations gained valuable lessons from the recent banking crisis when sales declined and they were compelled to operate with fewer resources, both capital, and human. Some adapted and thrived, but others floundered.
However, for some businesses, competition is ongoing and relentless, forcing them to meet challenges head-on.
Think of this as an ideal way to be creative in your thinking and innovative in your approach.
So, what measures can you take if you have to get more done with less? Here are some ways of mastering your resources:
Prioritize Your Tasks and Reap the Benefits
It sounds obvious and yet a kind of paralysis can set in when an organization finds itself having to cope with less.
Decide what needs your attention urgently and act accordingly.
Be decisive and realistic. Will that project you just selected really deliver the result you need?
You may need to eliminate some current projects that are costly and in your new circumstances unnecessary. Doing so will free up resources to fund other more productive ventures.
Effective Planning is a Winning Strategy
With resources more stretched, and possibly fewer staff you need to think outside the box. Effective planning is key to managing slimmer resources.
Decide what needs to be done first and ensure everyone is onboard.
Draw up a timeline for action.
Be proactive rather than reactive and don’t allow slippage.
Ensure all members of your team know their roles and the necessity of delivering on time and budget. You are the team leader, after all.
Keep Your Lines of Communication Open
You may have clear goals, but do you have a good communication strategy within your company to bring people along with you? Can you inspire people to work harder? Here are some tips:
Ensure everyone knows what is expected of them.
Be clear about your objectives.
Be open to other views and you’ll keep your team onboard.
How often should you really communicate with your team?
Staying connected is one of the most important requirements for happy teams and productive teamwork. Finding your sweet spot for interaction frequency might take a little bit of trial and error — especially now that our ways have working have changed, and your ideal interaction rhythms might have changed with it — but if you devote the time to getting it right, it’ll pay off: with happier, more productive, more cohesive teams.
Yes, You Can Say ‘No’
You may have been less cognizant of this in the past, but now you really need to focus more clearly and be proactive on how you expend your energy. That means knowing when to call a halt to the talking and make decisions.
Focus on the now. Manage your day properly with clear objectives and specific time targets.
Meetings can run on too long, so set your agenda and don’t lose control of it or the clock.
Do it today. Deferring action means an even more congested timetable tomorrow or the next day. It is time you can ill afford.
Watch Your Costs or You’ll Pay the Price
It hardly needs repeating, but, with a tighter budget, every cent counts. Loose controls will cost you money that could be spent on other projects.
Do you really need to invest in technology upgrades this year?
Is it smart to cut your marketing budget if you want to drive sales?
Would a more focused social media strategy be a better investment?
Should you cut the training budget, or revamp it to focus on upskilling staff for new opportunities?
Utilize Your Resources and Bin Waste
Resources are finite, and you have to think smarter with less. There is no room for wastage, so ask yourself how you can best use what you have to maximum effect.
Operational needs may mean reassigning staff to other areas. For example, you may have too many in administration and not enough in sales.
Focus on what costs can be eliminated or reduced without hurting your business.
Examine all areas of spending and see how the savings can be reinvested to maximum effect.
Takeaway Yours is not the first organization asked to cope with less. From the banking sector to the automobile industry, companies have shed tens of thousands of workers and survived with leaner operations. With a positive attitude, more efficient use of money and people, and clear communication, you can deliver more for less.