In the corporate spheres, small business entities have the most amount of flexibility and potential to change their strategy or identity when needed. Flexibility in management and processes can pay huge benefits in both short and long term, especially when it comes to improving productivity. One of the most common mechanisms for boosting productivity in small business is to use benchmarking, a type of critical analysis that can boost profits quickly by turning an eye inside and outside your businesses' walls. Benchmarking sets standards for a company's operations, increases productivity by allocating more resources towards a company's strength and attempts to remove or change inefficient procedures.
The first step in any benchmarking strategy is to look outside your business at successful competitors to get an understanding of how other businesses succeed. There is no shame in imitating a successful strategy―corporations do it so frequently that it can become impossible to figure out which entity started a practice―if it has been proven to work. Identify competing businesses that have better productivity and profit than your small business and utilize their methods (or their methods with a twist) in order to become more competitive. A friendly request for information can deliver surprising results.
Once competitive productivity is identified, it is time to look at your own small business and determine what exactly promotes its success. Giving recognition to productive employees, groups, or projects will boost productivity as other employees can be trained by the same methods or set to compete and create a better process. By identifying and giving recognition to excellence in employee and management work, a small business creates an environment in which everyone wants to work harder in order to gain recognition of their own.
Benchmarking can be done internally but often is best done in tandem with a business consultant. These experienced eyes are best able to determine the holes in your company's strategy, in any underperforming departments, or in wasteful practices that drain valuable resources. Benchmarking is not something that can be done once and only once; it is an ongoing process of increasing productivity in small business. While your company may not have the resources for an entire department based on increasing productivity, frequent evaluations and consultations can allow you to determine where you can increase efficiency and where more profit can be gained. The end result is a small business better able to compete in the economic environment.