Research and Development Tips for Small Business

 

Innovation has become a buzzword for modern businesses

The competitive advantage for businesses that are continuously refining or reinventing their offerings is one of the most critical aspects for growth in a global market. Every business has the capacity to improve its products and services. Through managing the scope and cost of these changes even small businesses can be innovators. The evolution of your products and services must be driven by a system that encourages and fosters ideas in four key areas:

1. Improving your product quality

What does quality mean for your business? There are two ways to improve quality:  by increasing efficiency from an operations perspective and perceived value from a marketing perspective. Customers’ buy your product because they have a degree of confidence in receiving a consistent level of quality from your business. Both marketing and operations may be doing what they feel is best for their goals, but unless they cooperate there could be significant repercussions to the overall product.

 

Tip: Your first goal should be to meet your customer’s minimum expectations 100 percent of the time.

 

Mark Wardell's Top 10 Tips for Reducing Your Expenses

1. Reduce Overtime

Overtime is expensive, but a little preplanning of your work schedules will go a long way here. The feast or famine cycle that many businesses go through can drive costs up without a corresponding increase in sales. The trick is to keep a steady pace with your work, otherwise you find yourself needing to pay overtime simply to keep from missing your deadlines.

2. Create a budget

If you don’t have one, make one. It may seem like a time-consuming project but if your money is important to you, then the results will be more than worth the effort. Simply put, a budget is your most effective tool for setting and reaching your financial targets.

3. Nurture a cost saving culture

Everyone can and should take fiscal responsibility for their work. One way to do this is to involve everyone in the budget. A budget isn’t just a tool for Management. Make all your employees accountable for the line items that affect them. For example, an office administrator may be accountable for keeping your office supplies on target with your budget.

6 Examples of Effective Design for your Organizational structure

How does your business operate right now? Who does what? Who reports to whom? When the roles, responsibilities and relationships of people in your business are unclear, work will not be accomplished in a timely and accurate fashion. Many companies invest significant time and effort into designing a robust organizational structure.

Organizational structure gives form and shape to your business

Coordinating the work your people do and their working relationships to let people work cooperatively and efficiently toward a common goal.  Without forethought, as a business grows there is little flexibility and room for expansion.  A strong organization structure blends talent, strategy and resources facilitating easy decision making because everyone is aware of their role.

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“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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