Productivity pitfalls for small business and how to avoid them

Productivity pitfalls for small business and how to avoid them

Anyone who has had the courage to start and run a small business knows there are many potential pitfalls, not just in the start-up process when you need to make sure your planning is as foolproof as possible, but when you’re up and running. That means you need your business to be as productive as possible so you and your workforce can enjoy the benefits of a well-run organization.


Put simply, productivity is the measure of how efficient a person, a system, a machine, a factory, or other relevant parts of the business is at converting what is put into what comes out – inputs and outputs. It’s calculated by dividing the average output over a specific period by the total resources and costs incurred during that period. This takes in energy, personnel, materials, and capital costs and means that productivity can be measured and, if there appear to be problems, these can be addressed rather than leaving them to create further and more serious problems down the line.

However, many experienced entrepreneurs often recommend taking the help of OKR and KPI software programs to increase their productivity. But to properly understand properly these frameworks, one needs to first know the difference between the two. Those interested to learn about it can check an article where Profit explan the difference between OKRs and KPIs.

At the most basic level, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are numbers that business owners look at to maintain a healthy business. In most companies, KPIs indicate revenue targets and month-on-month growth of various business metrics. You can track all of your regular business activities with KPIs. OKR (Objective and Key Results), on the other hand, is an approach based on ‘goal-setting’ that you can employ to convey desired outcomes throughout the organization, focusing on the most important areas that need improvement. After you have identified the improvements needed, you can consider the possibility of coaching your team so that they can implement the changes and achieve the results you want.

Good management

It’s likely that before you started your own business you will have worked for other people. If so, you are bound to have an understanding of what good managers do. They encourage their staff, listen to them and work to understand their skills and needs so they can be helped to both enjoy and be focused on the work they do. It’s an important way to improve productivity. No one at work will be happy all the time – there are life events outside that may affect an employee’s well-being – but trust and openness can go a long way to providing a productive working environment.

A great way of heightening productivity levels is by ascertaining how each employee functions. So, when put into training, you could encourage them to take this working styles assessment so that you can put up teams based on their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to produce sustained efforts and remain consistent in their output. You can also set rules for access to social media, for example, but often if employees are trusted not to exploit their access, they will feel happier to put their efforts into being as productive as possible. People don’t like to be bored at work, but you do need to watch out for warning signs that there may be problems that you are not sure how to deal with initially.

Identifying stress

There are times when some people find the stress of their working and personal lives difficult to manage. They may have health issues that make it difficult to concentrate well, often because of the worry that is entailed; if they have other problems, they may turn to the abuse of alcohol or drugs.

A simple oral lab fluid test from an experienced drugs test provider could save you from many complications in the future and help you to provide support as someone recognises their own problem and works to overcome it.

Substance abuse can be dangerous, not only for the individual – it can also have a major effect on the safety of co-workers. Setting up a drugs testing programme in your business – it’s now commonplace for many employers – gives you the opportunity to identify potential problems and help anyone who has those problems.

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