10 Underrated Hacks For Boosting Your Business
When it comes to increasing productivity, sometimes the best hacks are counter intuitive. For instance, when you are under a tight deadline, it would seem that frantically working and driving others to meet it would be your best course of action. In reality, sometimes the best course of action is to stop, take a few moments to breathe so you can calmly and rationally approach the task at hand. Here are 10 other underrated hacks to help boost your business and increase productivity.
1. Have fun
For some reason, we seem to think of business and fun as being natural enemies. We generally try to get our business done so we can have fun. Google is unquestionably one of the most successful businesses on the planet, and yet they also seem to understand the importance of having fun at work better than any other. Not only do most of their offices contain recreation areas where you can play everything from video games to basketball, but many contain simple, old-fashioned fun elements like a slide or fireman’s pole.
2. Take breaks
It might be easy to take a break when you are between tasks, but sometimes the most important time to take regular breaks is when you are under the tightest deadlines or the most stress. The truth is, breaks help you to refocus, so you have more energy and stamina, not less. A variety of productivity techniques — from the Pomodoro technique to the Flowtime technique — are based on the idea that interspersing periods of sharp focus with regular breaks is the best way to achieve maximum productivity
3. Put employees first
Most businesses understand the value of taking care of their customers or clients, but many forget who it is that is taking care of them. Managers and executives will rarely interact with customers or clients unless there is a problem. The more problems there are, the more interactions there are. More and more businesses are starting to understand that when you put your employees first and take good care of them, they, in turn, take good care of your customers.
4. Hire carefully
Not only is employee turnover expensive, but hiring the wrong person can also have a severe impact on team dynamics and cause a wide range of productivity issues. While you certainly want someone who is capable of performing their duties, the truth is learning a new job skill on the job is generally far easier than learning people skills. Not only should employers take more time with the interviewing process, but you should hire as much for personality as for skills.
5. Create the right culture
The culture of your company has very little to do with what you write about it on paper. Things like a mission or values statement are meaningless if you don’t allow them to guide your daily actions. Culture is also created far more by leaders than by the employees. In fact, the employees do what the leaders do. If you are late for meetings, you create a culture that is constantly running late. If you procrastinate, you create a procrastinating culture.
6. Have a mission
While mission and values statements mean little if they are just words on paper, they can have a huge impact if you genuinely want to achieve them. These days, companies and businesses have to do more than creating a great product. They also have to show that they care about how that product is made. From treatment of the workers that produce the goods that go into the final product to the environmental impact those goods create on the planet, showing you care about more than just the company’s bottom line can go a long way towards increasing your business.
7. Launch carefully
Whenever you have a new product, service or feature to offer, it is easy to get overeager, thinking this is the product, service or feature that is going to launch your business into the stratosphere. Slow, steady, careful growth, however, will trump explosive growth every time. Apple has built a global phenomenon by waiting until numerous features were nearly perfect before introducing them, rather than rushing to launch like most of their competitors. While they might constantly be late to the party, they always arrive impeccably dressed. And we can’t question that as Apple’s total revenue has gotten so bigger that it matches few of the country’s GDP. All this, with just keeping the right focus on quality launches.
8. Use analytics
You can’t know if you are growing or trending in the right direction if you aren’t tracking your progress. Analytics are everything. Modern analytics can tell you what is working and what is not, but they can’t always tell you why they are not working. While analytics can tell you whether or not someone is responding to a certain ad or whether a certain outlet leads to a higher-than-average conversion rate, don’t just pull ads or allocate more of your budget to something without testing to see why something is or isn’t working.
9. Praise often; critique sparingly
Always remember that your employees are human beings. I Though it may seem that the best way to get better results from your employees is to point out what they are doing wrong, that might be more counter-productive than you think. Particularly if you do it often. The best way to get the most from your employees is to point out every time they do something right or have success. That will cause them to want to do it again or do more to get more praise.
10. Help your employees find their groove
In the 1950’s it was common to believe that efficiency was best achieved by setting standard hours in which all employees showed up, did their work and left. From this, we get the idea of “working 9 to 5.” In truth, everyone functions best under slightly different conditions. Some people do their best work before the sun comes up, while others aren’t firing on all cylinders until afternoon. You can significantly boost productivity by helping employees find a rhythm, pace and schedule that works best for them and facilitating it as much as possible.
Sometimes, the best growth tips are not about where to market your product or where to expand, but how to make the most of where you are right now. Remember, growth happens in many ways. It can be weeks after you plant a seed that you see any movement on the surface, but that doesn’t mean that seed hasn’t been busy putting down roots preparing for growth. Sometimes, before you can expand, you need to ensure your roots are buried deep.