While entrepreneurs like to think they operate like well-oiled machines 24 hours a day, and some might, there are often areas of operations that fall behind in speed or accuracy, creating a significant obstacle to achieving objectives and expanding into new markets. Is your workflow management helping you to meet your objectives?

It is a top priority of entrepreneurs to continually seek out new, highly efficient methods of business to make better use of time, energy, resources and manpower. Burgeoning businesses have limited access to valuable assets and tools, underscoring the value of an efficient workplace that aims to free up capital and staff for more pressing projects and demands. Efficiency starts at the top of a company and trickles down through setting a strong example and laying the groundwork for a more collaborative fluid workplace. No matter how busy you may feel while working on business proposals, marketing campaigns or distribution complications, you should always be on the lookout for more efficient methods of workflow management to help gain a competitive edge in a crowded, global marketplace.

Get Stuff Done
If you find that you have an overwhelming number of tasks on your plate and limited time in the day to complete them, consider ways you can prioritize tasks and delegate to staff or technology. There must be a strategy in place to ensure the most important tasks are being prioritized before smaller jobs are brought forward. Business builders must develop a system that helps them stay focused to make the best use of their time and energy.

Entrepreneurs must set a good example for the rest of the company when creating techniques to be more productive. Once the business builder understands how to effectively use time and resources for his or her own projects, the principles can be applied throughout the company for consistent efficient operations and output.

Are you confident in your use of time and energy? Do you see an opportunity to make your company more efficient? Are there functions that you could delegate to your staff that would free up your time for more important activities?

Set objectives
At the onset of a new project or list of tasks, entrepreneurs must understand the end goal. Business builders must not only create long-term objectives for the company as a whole, but draft goals for each major undertaking as well to keep energy focused on what is most important and avoid time-consuming distractions. To turn a three-, five- or 10-year strategy into more short-term, manageable chunks of duties, entrepreneurs must prioritize tasks based on deadlines, demand and overall impact on the company. These objectives should always remain within enterprise mission statements, vision and values, ensuring deadlines do not trump what the company stands for and is working toward in the long term. To set adequate objectives, ensure the goals are:

  • Aligned with company values
  • Clearly understood by all staff
  • Self-generated to increase motivation
  • Inspiring to drive productivity in others
  • Monitored to measure success and areas of weakness

Apply valued principles
The well-known acronym SMART has been applied to many businesses worldwide, helping leaders set clear goals, create effective workflows and establish strategies to achieve the endpoints efficiently. SMART typically stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

The acronym directly outlines what goals should demonstrate to both entrepreneurs and staff to make it easier to achieve them within organizational time and resource constraints. Company objectives should have well-defined endpoints that can be measured, setting realistic milestones toward a long-term path of success and directly address the concerns and demands of the present industry or state of the business.

Once an entrepreneur has learned how to set goals that drive efficiency and productivity, he or she can start to delegate tasks  more effectively to avoid being spread too thin and use available staff to complete jobs faster. A clear outline of what needs to be done, how it should be accomplished and what impact it will have on the company will help both entrepreneurs and staff manage time and prioritize better, creating a more efficient workplace from top to bottom.