When you have a small business it’s easy to feel like you don’t have to worry about your employees. After all, you hired them yourself, and in a small company it’s difficult for someone with major flaws to slip through the cracks, right? While there’s a good chance that everyone you hired is a well-meaning hard worker there’s also the fact that you can improve their efficiency with outside incentives. If you want to get the most bang for the bucks you spend on employee wages, try these five methods to boost efficiency and get more work for the same pay.
Require Accountability with Transactions
One of the ways in which you can increase employee efficiency is to increase employee accountability. Someone who thinks that they’re doing a good job is still going to double check their work when they know that the boss can see everything they’ve done. That’s why instituting a policy of company sign-ins (which can be as easy as assigning each person a barcode and having them scan it when they take over a register) can help gently remind workers that they’re going to be held accountable for the transactions in which they take part. Reminders like this, Barcode Discount says, also help reduce in house theft because it’s a lot harder for someone purposefully stealing or miss selling (i.e. ringing up an expired sale price for an item in order to get it at significant discount) to claim that it wasn’t them who made the “mistake”.
Help Eliminate Human Error
Barcodes can also help in a small business setting where every item doesn’t come with a barcode already attached. In situations like this it’s easy for honest human error to play a role. Even if you hired great, hardworking people who would never steal from you they will still make mistakes. They’re not perfect and neither are your customers. Between the two you can bet that you’re going to have to disentangle more than one snag in your business career. It’s more or less the cost of doing business. However, you can boost efficiency by actually making the work easier on them. Buying a barcode printer, offered by Shopify, and attaching your own barcodes to products, and then having them scanned into a computer seems like a lot of work to deal with, but it’s easy, up-front work. It’s hard to make a mistake during that process, but it’s very easy to make a mistake when handling long strings of data from packaging or the like. In fact, clerks who have to manually enter data spend two to three times as long correcting mistakes, according to the Houston Chronicle. This kind of issue means that you could be costing your own employees lots of time, and yourself a lot of money in the process. It’s better to take the time up front to prevent a more chronic loss of time later. A stitch in time saves nine, as the saying goes. It’s good for hemming a shirt and for efficiently managing your business.
Allow for Flexible Customer Service
A mobile POS system is a good bet for any business. Customers like to be taken care of promptly, and interactivity is a great bonus. Plus, the simple interface for most mobile point of sale systems means that you can put more of the transaction in the customer’s hands. More and more people are worried about credit card and identity theft these days, and there’s a good reason why they should be. With that in mind, anything that lets a customer control more of the checkout process (and expose their credit card to fewer opportunities for fraud) is a good thing.
Speed the Transactions Along
People hate to wait. This is best illustrated online, where shopping cart abandonment is a huge issue. In fact, the second leading cause of shopping cart abandonment is that the checkout process was simply too long, according to Copy Blogger. It might not be as obvious to you that long lines and slow check out times are losing you customers; after all, most people who commit to filling up their cart and standing in line in person aren’t going to bail after a set amount of time. However, a bogged down line could make a shopper who was thinking of stopping in change their mind, and so on. Also, the longer your employees spend with any one customer the longer they have to make a mistake.
Many businesses only allow preapproved trainers to interact with people in need of instruction. This is a sound method for the basics, but most people need to be shown more than once over a variety of situations. Allowing your employees to guide one another once they’ve reached a level of proficiency is a great way to help them learn long term.