What’s the Business Word of 2013? Productivity

Bearded economists have finally chimed in: the outlook is that the US economy will grow at a slow 2% next year. While that’s better than nothing (at least we don’t live in Greece!), money will be tight and businesses in 2013 will have to accomplish more with less.
You heard it here, folks. The buzzword of 2013 will be productivity. It just so happens that a new year is also the perfect time to reevaluate your business model. Coincidence? We think not. Here are three distinct ways to ensure you enter 2013 at your productive best:

Tools

Eliminating monetary and labor redundancy is the oldest productivity trick in the book, but it still holds water. And since everything comes together in the software you use to do business, that’s the perfect place to start your productivity quest. Why do you think we’re giving you 25 days of app-filled madness? If you’re not satisfied with any part of your business software, whether it’s used for communications, accounting, or creative work, stop putting the decision off and find a good alternative now.
In case you haven’t noticed the pattern, more and more companies are moving away from buying local software and onto cloud computing. Being able to access data from anywhere, across platforms? Sign us up. Many of these cloud computing platforms offer introductory level plans that are perfect for a low risk trial of their services.

ROI

Another obvious thing to look at is ROI. When you put money into your business, you should get tangible results for your investment. For the past few years, the business to business field has been booming with new analytics and data driven services. Before you pay for any flavor-of-the-week tech service, make sure that you ask the company exactly what kind of results you can expect (and preferably confirm this with personal research). If the company repeatedly fails to deliver on its promises, it is most likely time to move on and find an alternative.

Workflow

Assuming your company employs more than just yourself, it might be time to reevaluate the hierarchy of labor. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, chances are you micromanage too much. This takes up your valuable time and robs your employees of the opportunity to take the initiative.
Our tip? Take some time and draw out an actual workflow chart that accounts for a variety of the most common situations you encounter in your business. Send the diagram around to ensure that all employees know what to do in these situations without having to be given explicit instructions. You’d be surprised how much time and effort you can save with a little workflow planning.
There you go. Despite the economic climate, there is no reason for you and your business not to make the best of the next 12 months. Keep productivity in mind as you enter the new year, and you should be able to come out on top in 2013!
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