New research from Sage and Nesta has shone a light on the regional distribution of small business productivity, and it makes for interesting reading!
The study – entitled ‘The State of Small Business: Putting UK entrepreneurs on the map’ – sampled small business owners around the country.
Let’s take a look at the key findings, and what you can do to increase small business productivity.
What does new research say about small business productivity?
Businesses in some parts of the UK are up to 26 times more productive than others.
London is the most productive region, with each employee generating an average turnover value of £1.45m. The least productive region was West Somerset, where employees generated just £56,500.
The study concluded that factors including local business-related initiatives, business death rates and the availability of a highly-educated workforce all played a role in determining productivity.
London and the South East were identified as the regions where small business numbers are increasing most rapidly.
The study also highlighted just how critical small businesses are to the UK economy. SMEs were found to be responsible for 73% of all new private sector jobs since 2010. The technology sector experienced the highest growth rate, at 23%.
How to increase small business productivity
These are just some of the ways you can increase small business productivity:
1) Automating processes
Small business owners have to deal with a myriad of minor, repetitive tasks that can for the most part be automated.
So, set up automated email responses, adopt multi-channel social media promotion platforms and use project management tools. Make sure you automate financial processes too, using accounting software like FreeAgent or Xero, including:
- Invoice dispatch and payment reminders
- Expenses logging
- Payroll administration
- Cash flow calculations
2) Categorising work
It takes time to change your mindset and set up again when you’re regularly switching from one task to another. Overcome this by categorising your work and focusing on one type of task at a time.
Set aside a specific chunk of time for each of your tasks. Complete all your emails in one session, schedule meetings back-to-back and allocate a specific time to carry out financial planning/administration.
3) Delegating tasks
You need to be immensely practical to establish and run a small business. But, you can’t do everything yourself.
Therefore, look for opportunities to delegate time-consuming, yet straightforward, tasks to staff with the right skills and experience. Provide clear instructions to ensure staff carry out these tasks to the expected standards.
4) Meeting agendas
Meetings are a strategic must-have for inspiring small business growth. However, regular meetings can quickly eat into your productive capacity.
Combat this by setting out clear agendas for your meetings. List specific topics and allocate an estimated time for discussion of each. Ensure all attendees are up-to-speed by sharing key information in advance.
5) Maintaining health and wellbeing
Small business owners are notoriously hard-working, and chances are you expect a lot from the limited number of staff you employ.
However, maintaining health and wellbeing for you and your employees is crucial to productivity. Do what you can to encourage work/life balance and healthy lifestyle decisions wherever possible.
Use these small business productivity tips to streamline your operations and get maximum value from your employees.
Get the accountancy expertise you need to grow your small business by calling on the experts at 3 Wise Bears.