Every business must have good business management tools and techniques to succeed and offer value to consumers. Poor management has cost businesses good employees, made some go under because of poor financial planning, and made others miss lifetime opportunities. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of National Affairs, American businesses lose over $11 billion yearly to employee turnover. Other businesses struggle because they are yet to discover the right tools to manage their business, plan for the future, and prepare for the worst. In this article, you’ll discover ten business management tools and techniques to keep your business’s wheels moving even during troubling times.
1. Locating Problems
If your business is to maintain a successful track even during difficult periods, you should have the right business management tools and techniques to locate problems before they worsen. Depending on your business type, you’ll require specific tools and techniques for troubleshooting. For example, you need tools to track fleet movement and performance if you operate a logistics business.
Some businesses depend on regular and sufficient water flow in order to properly function. In case of a leak in the piping system, you need a water line leak detection service to troubleshoot and determine precisely the source of the problem. Some businesses are moving towards automation and the use of A. I. to locate problems. A.I. is thorough and can be perfected if you collect the right data. That way, you can locate problems even if employees are away during non-business hours.
Detecting problems early helps you respond immediately before the problem spreads. Businesses go through major problems because they ignore telltale signs when they first arise. Ignoring the signs can lead to major losses, as well as major repair costs. Therefore, a system that encourages employees to locate and report problems is vital for business growth.
2. Temperature Control
Temperature control is one of the underrated business management tools and techniques to boost work productivity. Temperature control can have a significant impact on a business’s ability to function, as well as on the employees. In the manufacturing sector, temperature control is essential for the following reasons:
- Increasing Machinery’s Life: Machines can serve you for a long time if they operate in optimal temperature-controlled settings
- Improving Employee Productivity: Too high or low temperatures can make employees uncomfortable and thus less productive
- Process Improvement: Manufacturing processes that involve chemicals require optimal conditions
That’s why businesses in the manufacturing sector need the services of a heating and air technician once in a while to ensure proper temperature control. For normal workplaces, temperature control is also vital for maintaining work productivity. According to Effortless H.R., there are three ways temperature control improves work productivity:
- Improved concentration: Low temperatures can make employees lethargic, while high temperatures can cause migraines and poor attention
- Energy Efficiency: Upgraded HVAC systems can help you reduce energy use and pay lower bills
- Illness Prevention: High-temperature environments can cause migraines, dizziness, and dehydration among employees
3. Exterior Maintenance
As a business, if you operate in a physical location, it’s essential to maintain your exterior regularly. For businesses, first impressions are lasting impressions. If clients visit your premises only to spend 15 minutes maneuvering pot-holed driveways and an unpaved parking lot, they may only stick around for a short time. You may need parking lot paving services to impress new clients.
As part of your exterior maintenance plan, have a professional regularly inspect your building’s exterior for potential problems such as cracks, leakages, and issues with doors and windows. Water leakages are quite harmful because they can facilitate the growth of molds and flooding in your property’s basement. Other aspects to include in your plan are exterior painting and upgrading to modern signage.
Exterior maintenance is vital for keeping employees and clients safe. For example, if part of the gutter was sagging, it could fall off and harm someone. Secondly, exterior issues can easily spread to the interior, thus affecting the daily running of your business. For example, open cracks can allow pest infestation. Lastly, exterior maintenance improves the overall appearance of your business, which is essential in maintaining your brand image.
4. Preparing for Trouble
Apart from troubleshooting, you need business management tools and techniques for preparing for trouble. Every business faces a problem once in a while. Great businesses don’t live in a fantasy bubble in which everything goes according to plan. They not only have tools for spotting problems but also for preparing for them. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labor Organization advises businesses to prioritize resilience through strategic planning.
One of the troubles a business can prepare for is natural events such as disease outbreaks, fires, and floods. If your business is located in an area with heavy storms, consider storm-proofing your property, for example, by impact window installation. Prepare a detailed evacuation plan for employees in case of a fire or a disease outbreak.
Preparing for trouble may also include running scenarios of sudden changes in the market and geopolitics. For example, do you have a plan B source if you rely on raw materials from a country going through a crisis? Is your business ready to adapt to disruptive technology such as A.I.?
5. Specialty Equipment
Unless you operate a virtual business, your business might need specialty equipment to thrive and compete with other providers. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association, an organization with 7144 member companies in the specialty-equipment market, the overall specialty equipment market size in the U.S. was $46.2 billion in 2019. Smart businesses know the value of specialty equipment.
For example, if you run a milk or frozen food supply business, you need refrigerated truck rental services to keep your supply fresh during delivery. Specialty equipment varies depending on your line of business. If you’re a medical practitioner, you need equipment such as X-ray scanners, dialysis machines, and oxygen concentrators. The building industry requires heavy rollers, backhoe loaders, and tree removal machines.
Although many businesses could go to the next level and venture into non-traditional jobs, they out because they shun specialty equipment. However, it’s possible to reap all the benefits of specialty equipment without buying one by renting. Once your business breaks even, buying one may be beneficial as not only could you use it for your business, you could rent it out to others to make a profit.
6. Preventative Action
Apart from troubleshooting and preparing for trouble, a business must have business management tools and techniques that can prevent trouble from happening altogether. However, a business must first recognize potential sources of trouble and prevent them from becoming real. For example, if you have problematic trees on your commercial property, they could damage your building or harm people. Calling tree service experts is a preventative action you could take.
Businesses often have two responses to events; corrective or preventative. Corrective action is when a business rectifies an identified problem, such as non-conformity in a product line. On the other hand, preventative action aims at correcting a potential problem before it happens. Preventive action can stop incidences such as financial fraud, building fires, and even food poisoning in food businesses. Examples of preventative action include:
- Carrying out regular internal audits
- Conducting training for employees
- Creating emergency plans for emergencies and natural events
- Performing scheduled maintenance on equipment
- Installing alarms and detectors that inform you of potential problems
Preventative action may seem too careful and use extra resources. However, stopping problems before they occur is much cheaper than responding after they have happened. For example, according to Go Codes, predictive maintenance can save companies about 30-40% in costs.
7. Going Green
Companies that will dominate the market respect and create harmony with nature. For example, plastic, once the gold packaging material, is quickly losing popularity. Customers are opting for more sustainable, nature-friendly, and organic products. One McKinsey and Co. survey found that 75% of all millennials and 66% of all respondents factor in sustainability before purchasing.
One of the tricky aspects of going green is balancing profit and sustainability. That’s why you need the right tools and techniques to go green. If you want to sell real organic herbs, order from bulk organic soil suppliers instead of simply packaging regular herbs as ‘organic.’ Doing the latter may make some view your actions as ‘greenwashing,’ a term used to describe companies saying they are environmentally conscious only for the sake of drawing customers.
Some companies have software to analyze your business practices so that you can rate your sustainability efforts. Instead of going by popular marketing fads, you can hire a consultant to guide you in greening your company. In the long run, clients want company honesty and transparency.
8. Quality Protection
You can start a business with the right marketing and branding. However, to maintain your business, you must provide value to customers. It would help if you had business management tools and techniques to protect quality at all costs. Whether you sell products or services, quality is vital for getting repeat customers. For example, if you plan or host events, you need event security services to assure clients of their safety during the event. Similarly, if you run a local bakery, you need to have quality control assistance. It’ll save you from the embarrassment of poor reviews, customer complaints, and even lawsuits.
Big companies in the pharmaceutical industry, the auto industry, and top food companies have large quality control and assurance departments to ensure quality protection. While your budget may only allow for small quality protection departments, you could acquire helpful software and a few highly trained individuals. The goal is to ensure clients get the best quality.
9. Financial Understanding
One of the biggest problems businesses face is the need for financial understanding. Yes, all businesses are in the business of making money. Yet many need to appreciate the role of quality financial knowledge. Sometimes, you only need a reliable and detailed commercial accountant to keep you from financial problems.
In other scenarios, you need up-to-date financial software to keep you abreast with your company’s financials. A lack of financial understanding can lead you to borrow more money than you can return or keep you from investing when there’s an opportunity. Yet, with a qualified advisor, you’ll know your exact financial position and the potential options you can explore.
Small businesses often sacrifice having an accountant in favor of more technical staff. Yet hiring an accountant will reduce stress and increase your financial understanding. Additionally, it reduces the likelihood of legal problems such as tax evasion.
10. Tax Preparation
Millions of Americans pay their taxes consistently. Businesses can also find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of tax evasion or other tax issues. One Institute on Tax and Economic Policy study found that about 100 Fortune 500 companies didn’t pay their federal taxes in 2018. It would be best if you were always on the right side of the law even when other businesses are not.
Therefore, you need the right business management tools and techniques for tax preparation. Apart from having a professional accountant, you can also have tax attorneys to help you prepare for taxes. A tax attorney will help you navigate the murky waters of tax laws at the local, state, and federal levels. They can also advocate if your business faces a legal issue with tax agencies.
Your business will have more complex tax issues as it grows. That’s why you’ll need to add more employees trained in tax preparation and acquire the best software for tax preparation. Failure to manage your taxes can cause you to incur hefty fines and even business closure.
Each business will face problems and challenges along the way. The difference between successful and struggling businesses is discovering helpful business management tools and techniques. Such resources can help you improve productivity, protect your business from unforeseen circumstances, and prepare you for future opportunities. Begin taking action today to avoid bringing any unintended harm to your business.