“At a time when so many companies are starved for growth, senior leaders must bring a productivity mindset to their business and remove organizational obstacles to workforce productivity,” writes Harvard Business Review contributor Michael Mankins.
This “productivity mindset” is alien to many decision-makers, says Mankins. Too many executives conflate productivity and efficiency, when the two are in fact very different. If you’re serious about taking your company’s growth to the next level, you need to shake off the tired “do the same with less” mentality and learn how to do more with more.
Improving business productivity requires a systematic, across-the-board approach. One aspect of this approach concerns business services — specifically, the productivity-enhancing services you may or may not already use to lighten your team’s load and focus your firm’s limited resources on mission-critical work. If you’re not yet using any of these six business services, it’s time to get started.
- Automated Accounting and Bookkeeping
Even if your company is sufficiently well-resourced to support an in-house accounting or bookkeeping team, why bog it down with numeric drudgery? Invest in a sophisticated bookkeeping suite — something more robust than QuickBooks, if warranted — to handle the rote stuff and free up your team to focus on more complicated financial tasks and forward-looking strategizing.
- Additive Manufacturing (Rapid Prototyping and Collateral Production)
If your company produces custom or small-run products for retail or spec sale, or has in the past explored marketing with physical collateral, you need a competent additive manufacturing company to reduce direct costs and quicken turnaround times. Look for partners with expertise in a variety of complementary additive manufacturing disciplines and proven track records with peer firms.
- On-Demand Legal Document Production and Advice
Most companies actually don’t need in-house counsel. Under normal circumstances, your firm’s legal needs are well within the capabilities of a plug-and-play legal services provider such as LegalZoom. That said, you’ll want to have competent business representation on hand when the need arises.
- Third-party Logistics
When drop-shipping isn’t enough to keep pace with your firm’s relentless growth, look to a trusted third-party logistics partner capable of managing a multi-hubbed shipping network. If you plan to expand internationally, you’ll need a partner with expertise navigating customs, complying with excise regimes, and meeting product compliance standards.
- Employee Wellness Programs
Employees work better when they feel better. Invest in a third-party-administered employee wellness program that incentivizes team members to make healthy choices and encourages a reasonable work-life balance. Don’t worry about occasional breaks for team-building or fitness activities — those who participate are likely to return to the office rested and ready for whatever lies ahead.
- Network Monitoring Software
Last, but not least, limit digital temptations (and productivity loss) by reviewing the best network monitoring software options for businesses and choosing a product that offers sufficient flexibility.
What’s Your Productivity Secret?
Not every business stands to benefit from these six business services. By the same token, you’re probably exploring some business services not mentioned on this list, if you haven’t already implemented them. Ultimately, it’s down to you and your executive team to identify the productivity hacks you need to throw off the chains and unleash your company’s growth potential.