3 Ways to Run Your Business More Efficiently

One of the biggest companies in the world is Coca-Cola, another is it’s century-old competitor, Pepsi. On the surface it appears as if all they do is sell a soft drink for a king’s ransom (just kidding) — sounds simple enough. What’s more, you can buy a bottle of coke anywhere in the world, from Downtown LA to the most remote village in Mozambique. What does that tell you? Success in business is not determined by your product, or by the prices of your product, but in how efficiently you run your business.

Of course, you may be looking at that analogy and thinking that you aren’t Coca-Cola or Pepsi, but so what? They weren’t always as big as they are now. They both started out small selling small quantities in drugstores. What they did was think like a big business and that is what you need to do as well.

Allocate Resources for Profit

As a business, your sole aim is to make a profit, and the bigger your profit the better. That is why it is so important that every decision you makes leads towards this, including how you allocate your resources. How you spend your time and money is of the utmost importance, and that is something you need to sit down and scrutinise.

For example, if you got into work this morning and spend two hours signing off expenses or scheduling appointments, you need to realise this isn’t time best spent. Those two hours could have been spent on developing business opportunities that boost revenue. Now, that’s more like it.

Better Manage Business Progress

In order to be successful in business, you need to know exactly what is working and what is not. That means monitoring and measuring everything you can, from Human Resources through to financials. Luckily, there is technology for this, most of which will go further than just monitor and will actually automate functions, such as enterprise resource planning software.

However, don’t just settle for this, go one step further and run a SAP vs Oracle comparison. Make sure the tech you are using to better manage your business is the right one for you. Make sure it is offering you the most streamlined way of understanding and improving your business. That is what the big businesses are doing, and so you should be too.

Attract and Keep Talent

There is so much that needs to b said on this front. First off, keeping top talent is so much better for business for the simple fact it costs seven times more to bring on a new employee than it does to keep an existing one. Take BYG Systems, for example, a company that suffers extremely high employee turnover.

They have been in business for 30-plus years, but have never made it big because they waste resource and talent. However, the other thing you need to realise when it comes to keeping top talent is they have specific skills that should be used to do specific roles. Having them do miscellaneous tasks they don’t want to do, won’t just lower their morale, it will be a waste of the company’s time, money, and energy. 

Why Blend in When You Can Be Authentic and Standout‏

How many of you have seen a popular company make the attempt to rebrand themselves? I thought as much; almost all of you. Some brands got it right, but a few duds come to mind, like Gap (see below) and Arby’s that did it horribly wrong.

From a design standpoint, when attempting to redo an existing logo design for your business [that has worked well for years and possibly decades], it is important that the personality of that design is preserved. After all, these days branding is more than just visuals. It has evolved into the emotions you feel; the experiences you have interacting with that business’ product or service; and the memories you make.

Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo
Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo

Coca-Cola’s classic logo (unchanged for over 100 years) and its “Open Happiness” global campaign are great modern examples of doing it right. Two words come to mind — brand loyalty. When redesigning your logo, bear in mind what your company represents and what you have envisioned for its expansion in the short, medium, to long-term. Form is as important as function; do not forget that.

Do not give up your ‘competitive advantage’! Your brand should be able to tell a story and its visuals are a part of that storytelling. Before you rebrand try to keep in mind the importance of your product and if you are a designer (like myself), before you take on a rebranding project, focus on your client’s unique identity and preserve that explicitly or subtly as is necessary.

Virtually unchanged for 115 years
Virtually unchanged for 115 years

Often times when a business begins to experience growth, in sustaining or expanding that growth potential we seek out ways to improve our product(s) and service(s). Do not be fooled to think that an “improvement” in your brand has to involve a 180 degree move. New is not always better. Old is sometimes best. Sometimes all we need to do is give what has been working a bit of a polish to make it just a little shinier. It “pays” to be authentic.

Disclaimer: NOT a promotional endorsement for Coca-Cola, but their logo’s pretty damn cool.

Editor’s Note: Updated on April 29, 2015