How to optimise service delivery in a small business? I have 3 specific area for improvement that worked for my business and will be useful to you. (Some of them will be quite surprising.)
Did you know Aotearoa New Zealand thrives on its small business?
There’s usually a lot of noise surrounding the big players and their effect on the economy in the media, but 97% of all companies have less than 20 employees.
It’s baffling, right?!
That’s a lot of proud service-based business owners who work their butts off to provide a top-notch service for the clients they serve.
That’s also a lot of small business owners who rely on their handful of employees to show up every day as the best possible version of themselves.
And a lot hinges on just that.
3 Things I Did To Improve Service Delivery In A Small Team
It’s these exact thoughts that made me wonder what we can do to optimise service delivery in a small team. Because it’s obvious service delivery matters.
I’m not talking about fluffy academic ideas that look good on paper, but practical things that I know first-hand will get you ahead in your daily small-team battles. I had a good think: What are the service delivery optimisations for a small business that worked for my business and will be useful to you?
So, …3 specific area to improve service delivery in a small team come to mind.
Leveraging technology for efficiency
Creating a culture of empowerment
Infusing cultural values into service delivery
Now, you may be a little puzzled by this list, so let’s unpack it…
How To Optimise Service Delivery In A Small Business: Leveraging Technology
In a small team, there is no such thing as the luxury of time.
One of the best ways to make a big dent in the amount of work with the smallest amount of hands lies in using technology. With the right tools, you can amplify your impact and be much more efficient.
A few technology tools come to mind for your small team service delivery optimisation. You’ve heard talk about them before.
A project management tool ( I use Monday.com, but you knew that already)
A chat tool (I use Zoom Chat, but Slack is also popular)
Industry specific tools (Obviously, this will be different for each of us)
It probably isn’t going unnoticed that, at a minimum, the first two of these tools have everything to do with communication. And I must say that especially the introduction of a project management tool had a massive impact on my business. In all honesty, I can’t think of a business that wouldn’t benefit from using one.
There’s one caveat: it needs to be used consistently. This is not negotiable in my business.
If you’re finding your business isn’t getting much gain from your project management tool, that’s likely where the problem lies. As a manager, you must put your foot down on consistent use.
Zoom Chat gets a good amount of use too, but in a different way. Because we work as a remote team, we use it similarly to when you would tap someone on the shoulder in the office. (For example: “Hey, that caterer we used in that last event? What was his name?”)
But if it relates to the task on the other hand, it goes in Monday.com.
Working my project management tool like this means it also acts as my risk management tool. If anything happens to one of my team, I can get another member up to speed within half a day, because everything that is of importance to get the project ahead is right there.
(More on this topic in this episode)
How To Optimise Service Delivery In A Small Business: Empowerment Culture
When you have a small business, every team member matters.
Where in large corporation a lack of motivation, work ethic or indifference can easily go under the radar and sometimes is even tolerated, it’s just not possible to allow this in a small business. To optimise service delivery in a small team, you need every team member to play at the top of their game.
Being at the helm of a small service business for many years has taught me that if you want people to take responsibility, you need to give them responsibility. Give them a task and let them run with it! Then praise them. (I’m going to repeat that: praise them!)
Here’s an example of how to optimise service delivery in a small business through empowerment:
Recently, I told one of my team members : “I want you to be the go-to person for this tool. Learn everything there is to know about it. Take responsibility, be curious, and find out how we can leverage this to our advantage in the way we serve our clients.” My team member fully took on that role and took deep pride in becoming that super-user. But - surprise, surprise- it also lifted a whole weight off my shoulders.
Because creating an empowerment culture has many benefits on so many levels.
People feel valued and trusted
It’s the best motivation booster
It takes work off your plate
But an empowered team isn't just a feel-good story. It directly contributes to better service delivery and client satisfaction. Because when team members feel a sense of ownership, they're not just doing a job; they're invested in the success of your business and what you do.
What’s not to love?
How To Optimise Service Delivery In A Small Business: Incorporating Cultural Values
The impact of cultural values on your small team service delivery optimisation may puzzle you a little.
I discovered this superpower as a bit of a fluke.
Here’s the deal.
I am Māori. And from the very start of my business adventures, we were “by Māori, for Māori” at our very core.
But it wasn’t until several years later that the ripple-down effect this had on our service delivery became clear to me.
Here’s why I think it has such an impact:
When you are your business and your business is you, there is authenticity and core values in everything. Inadvertently, this has a profound impact on client relationships and brand identity. It's no longer just about delivering a service; it's about creating an experience that resonates on a deeper level.
People don’t want to do business with a bland cookie cutter business without identity and clear values. To improve service delivery in a small team, cultural values, whatever they might be for you, are not to be underestimated.
It becomes the secret sauce of your business.
Now, there’s a lot to say on this topic and I don’t want to take it too far in this episode, but I would highly recommend having a good look at who you are and what you believe in.
Most likely you’re not even aware of what your cultural values are because you likely don’t see them as anything separate from yourself. Heck, you’re probably surrounded by like-minded people, which makes it even harder to recognise. But it’s something that’s definitely worth unpacking.
So that’s it, folks!
Do You Want Some Help With That?
I hope this episode served you and helps you get a bit clearer on how to optimise service delivery in a small business?
Let me know what YOU do to improve service delivery in a small team! I’m interested to hear.
And as always,…
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I'm @SandraJulian.co .