Have you ever experienced the exasperation of looking for an important document and being unable to find it? Or perhaps forgetting the exact date and venue of an important meeting? And then you try to ask your co-workers for information but nobody can provide you with answers. Irritating, isn’t it?
Now, imagine if you were the boss of an upstart business and this happens to you every single day. The stress levels would probably be enough to make you bang your head on your desk in frustration.
For business owners with small capital, every minute wasted equals money going down the drain. That’s why it’s vital for small entrepreneurs to recognize the early signs of chaos in the workplace and take immediate steps to stop it. Read on to find out how.
1. Lay down admin policies and stick to them.
Even everyday tasks can result in utter chaos if there are no rules to follow. If you want your business to run smoothly, make it a point to enforce clear office rules and regulations for employees. Everything from office systems, paperwork, and HR rules need to be spelled out so that employees can go by a defined routine. For example, you need to designate somebody to be in charge of IT maintenance and troubleshooting so people will know who to ask if there’s a problem.
2. Let employees know their individual responsibilities.
Even before hiring, make sure that the tasks and responsibilities of employees are clearly stated. That way, there will be no misunderstandings on who is accountable for what.
3. Safeguard and update your business records.
Much of the conflict in office management lies in disorganized paperwork. As the boss, you need to make sure that all important documents and business records are updated and kept in a safe place that you can easily access in an emergency.
You may think, “But keeping records is child’s play! I can do that in two minutes!” This may be true if you only have a handful of employees and a couple of customers, but consider the situation if you expand. The paperwork will soon reach unmanageable levels. You can only control them if you make organizing documents a routine task that’s second nature to you and your employees.
4. Assess the physical layout of the office.
Employees will work better in an office that is clean, organized, and comfortable. Try walking through your office to see if there are ways on how you can improve the design and floor plan of the office to make it more welcoming and efficient. Designate safety exits, relaxation spots, and remove all possible hazards—doing so will make your employees more productive and happy!
5. Make time for unpleasant tasks.
Even if you are the boss, there are still certain unpleasant tasks that you simply cannot designate to anyone else—like catching up on accounting records, doing tax reports, or some other duties that you really need to finish yourself. Follow a disciplined schedule and deal with these tasks everyday—doing so will not only reduce your workload but will also inspire your employees to perform their own jobs cheerfully and with gusto.
6. Learn to let go.
It can be quite hard to let go of your control over day-to-day operations of the business. However, if you really want to make it to the top, you have to learn how to delegate and outsource tasks to other, more skilled personnel. Allow your staff to realize their potential by assigning them jobs based on their talents and capacities.
7. Engage your staff in business planning.
Make it a point to involve employees in strategic planning sessions, whether in the office or through team-building activities. Making employees see the overall framework and vision of the company will help foster loyalty and camaraderie among them and provide you with valuable ideas on how you can grow and expand the business together. Keeping communication lines open will also prevent cases of nasty office politics that can ruin the company.
Do you know of any other tips that an aspiring business owner can apply? Let me know in the comments!