What is business operations? It’s any and everything that happens as a company operates that keeps it running smoothly and bringing in revenue. Collectively, this may include the people, processes, equipment and systems that keep the business functioning.
Element of Business Operations
How a company operates varies greatly, based on its size, type, industry and more. For example, a brick-and-mortar car dealership operates completely differently from that of an online auto broker.
The dealership needs point-of-sale terminals for processing down payments and cash purchases. However, the online broker uses digital shopping carts and e-commerce software instead.
In most cases, business operations for larger scale companies must deal with the following:
One of the most important elements of a company’s operations is its process. It has a major impact on the efficiency and productivity of the business itself, as well as the people involved in it, from management to customers.
Manual processes take longer to achieve the same goals as processes completed using software programs. Automate processes save time, which, in turn, saves money. Documenting these business operations processes allows managers to study them for cost-savings, consolidation, improvement and new employee training.
Processes help determine staffing decisions. They help you understand who needs to do what and how many employees it takes to get each specific task done.
Small businesses need fewer people with general knowledge and experience related to the industry. Larger companies, on the other hand, need more staff and they must specialize in specific areas, such as human resources.
Just like in the real estate industry, location is key to business operations. However, different types of companies put importance on location for different reasons. Here are some examples:
- Solopreneur – Home office with a desk and chair will do
- Real Estate Agent – Needs access to a conference room or other location where they can discuss and sign documents with clients
- Dry Cleaners – Must have a location large enough to hold equipment and inventory as well as a place where customers park
The equipment a business uses for optimum performance and efficiency usually directly impacts location. A hair salon owner with several workstations for other stylists needs different equipment and more space than a mobile stylist who provides services in people’s homes.
And although a landscaper doesn’t necessarily need a brick-and-mortar storefront, the business does need a truck for transporting equipment and a place to park the truck when it’s not operating.
How to Improve Business Operations
Looking for ways to improve the way your business operates overall for better efficiency and performance? Here are three suggestions:
1. Measure Performance Consistently
Not every business will measure performance and milestones the same. But they should all create the process of performance measurement based on goals. Management must set clear objectives and achievable targets that everyone involved with the business operations understands and works toward.
Your goals can’t be vague. They must be clear, and once again, achievable. For example, instead of setting the goal of bringing in more revenue next quarter, try reaching for a 25% revenue increase. Then, simply put a measurement system in place that tracks the company’s overall progress toward that goal.
2. Keep Up with Industry Trends
Knowing what’s happening in your industry is key for effective business operations. This helps you understand ways to outperform competitors and improve processes.
These trends could be anything from keeping up with new laws and regulations, to understanding the local economy, to switching over to more innovative operations and equipment.
Real estate agents are a prime example. In most states, they must take up-to-date refresher courses every two years to ensure they know how to use trending systems and software and innovative marketing tactics.
3. Simplify and Automate Processes
As time evolves, so do industry standards. You must be prepared to change with the times for improved productivity. That means keeping up with the latest equipment, software and tools, so your competition doesn’t outshine you with better processes that customers appreciate.
To get the best results possible, implement processes that simplify or automate your business operations. For example, instead of manually managing inventory, automate the process by using an inventory management program.
Or for email marketing, instead of manually sending out emails to new subscribers, create drip campaigns and email automation to save both time and money.
Improve Your Business Operations
If you’re looking for ways to improve the way your company operates on a day-to-day basis, Content Marketing Geek can help. We’ll help you understand how you can improve everyday processes that increase productivity while impressing your customers and clients.
Find out how our team of content marketers can help you do business better. Contact us for a free business operation consultation today.