Home Business Insights & Advice Supporting productivity in small businesses

Supporting productivity in small businesses

by Sarah Dunsby
19th Jul 23 1:00 pm

Business productivity is vital when it comes to running your own business. The process can be challenging for new start-ups, and it might take some time before the ins are ironed out, and you find your footing. Small businesses in the UK have long fallen behind their international counterparts regarding productivity. There are many reasons behind this, from lower labour rates, increased turnover and a struggle to find suitable applicants for job roles or simply down to poor management. What is known, though, is when it comes to small to medium businesses, productivity seems to be a massive hurdle.

So what can SMBs do to tackle this issue?


If the issue for productivity is an inability to invest in the right employees with the right skills or afford the latest technology, then outsourcing is the perfect compromise. Outsourcing parts of the business, such as IT Support, can enable you to remove one less thing to worry about and be confident everything you need is being provided for that particular service. Make sure that the services offered are applicable and beneficial to what you need to do and will provide you with an improved option than the one you currently have.

Strip things back

If you’re trying to do too much or overcomplicate things, stop. This will impact your productivity and play a part in your eventual downfall if you don’t change your ways. Strip things back and keep it simple. Your strategy doesn’t need to be elaborate to get you back on track; you just need some SMART goals in place and targets to work towards. Look at how to get from A to B and focus on that. Everything else can be brushed aside.

Reduce time wasting

Could that email have been a phone call? How much time are you wasting in your business? Sit down and look at your regular activities and how much time each of them takes. From here, you can look for workable options to help you reduce wasted time and to get more done in your day. From reducing meetings to introducing collaboration tools to allow employees to work together easier to avoiding delegating and giving people one task at a time to focus on, once you know where your time goes, you can rework how you work to make things more productive for everyone.

Avoid burnout

A lack of productivity will leave you always playing catch up. Playing catch up will, in turn, lead to you and your team reaching your limit and burning out. If you are struggling with workplace fatigue, you need to step back and address the morale and health of your whole company to ensure that people can work at their best and put their focus where it needs to be. Encourage breaks and shorter working days. Enforce the end of the day by not working past a certain time and avoid making people be tied to their laptops and phones during their own time to allow them time to switch off and relax.

Productivity in business can be a huge problem. You need to think strategically about how you can improve things and the stress and strain this is putting on your company as a whole. From here, you can implement these changes to make things easier and better for everyone.

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