Tax & admin · 10 June 2020

How to overcome bottlenecks in your business

Retail expert, Catherine Erdly, shares her advice on dealing with bottlenecks in your business…

During these strange times, while many businesses have been negatively impacted by coronavirus, others have grown exponentially. it’s natural for business owners to want to grow their business to sell more products, to grow their core team, and to increase their profits.

However, not every business is prepared for growth. Some businesses arent able to scale because their current systems, processes and resources are limited, causingbottlenecks in production or delivery.

But just because a business isnt ready to scale at the moment, it doesnt mean that it will never grow! Potential bottlenecks just need to be identified and overcome in order for a business to develop and flourish, and every business owner has the ability to dothis.

To successfully overcome bottlenecks in your business, there are several factors that need to be considered in order to identify potential obstacles on the path to growth:

Physical resources do you have the physical resourcesin place to deal with a sudden increase in customer demand? If you hold stock, do you have systems in place so that you have sufficient time to order (and receive) more stock before you run out of an item?

Do you have the storage or office space necessary to store your stock and to pick and pack orders? Do you have enough computers and associated hardware and software to deal with customer orders, enquiries and other day to day business tasks?

Think about all of the ways that a sudden increase in customer demand would affect your business, and highlight the potential problems that you could face. Once you have identified how your existing physical resources could limit growth, it’s time to think abouthow you could relieve the potential pressure that would have on your business, either by increasing resources, or adjusting your existing systems and processes.

People power do you have enough hands to deal withall of the extra work that is associated with growing your business? When you are starting out, it’s all too easy to try and juggle numerous roles within your business, from buyer to warehouse manager, customer service assistant to accounts manager!

However, if you’re working every hour of the day, Im afraid the likelihood is that you arent working effectively. We all have our unique zones of genius? within our business, and for every business owner there are tasks that can be outsourced (or passed to an employee)to free up valuable hours. Customer service enquiries and picking and packing orders are just a couple of the tasks that are relatively simple to pass to another individual to manage.

Why not create how to? videos to clearly demonstrate your tried and tested processes for packaging items or dealing with customer issues?

That way, new team members can easily learn your preferred methods and watch and re-watch the video as many times as they need to pick up all of the useful hints and tips you provide.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Catherine Erdly has over 19 years experience working with product businesses of all sizes from high street names (such as Paperchase, Laura Ashley and Coast), all the way down to brand new businesses with just a handful of customers.

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