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Six Ways to Run Your Business More Efficiently

At a time when gas prices are climbing steadily and everyone is a little worried about the economy, running your investigation or process serving business efficiently is a must. Efficiency does not mean a rigid schedule or work process; however, it does mean being savvy in order to make the most of your time, effort and money. Add a little more efficiency into your business with these handy tips:

Plan Your Route

  • Carefully plan your routes when serving. When you have multiple papers to serve, always plan your route so that you serve all of the papers in the same neighborhood before moving on to the next area. There’s no point in driving all over town when a little planning can give you a clear route to follow. Planning your route does take additional time, but it can save you a great deal of money in fuel costs, and allow you to serve more papers with efficiency.
  • Use routing or GPS software when driving to investigations or serving papers. When planning your route, GPS and routing software can help you immensely. Just type in the address and you will see step-by-step instructions so that you won’t get lost and waste gas. Save your receipt and tell your accountant about the purchase because this software is tax deductible for you.

Outsource Distant Work

  • For serves or investigations that are far away from you, create a network of professional associates. Sure, you are a consummate professional and want to personally guarantee that each document gets served properly; however, in today’s world of rising gas prices driving hours out of your way is not the best way to get your business through a recession. Getting help from professional associates does several things: it ensures the best service for your client, it helps you network, and saves you time and money. Feel free to ask your associates to refer their clients to you when they can’t drive to your area.
  • In most instances, you can make more money by forwarding the work and managing the client. While it is hard to assure that the work will be professionally executed, there are many high-quality resources you can use. Find a resource, such as an association or ServeNow.com, that pre-screens professionals, monitors their quality and resolves complaints in a timely manner.

Investigate Tax Incentives for Hybrid Vehicles

  • Get a hybrid vehicle. Some states are still offering tax credits to those who purchase fuel efficient vehicles. You may end up saving on taxes, as well as gas costs. Process service and investigation work is a travel-intensive business, so anything you can do to reduce travel costs is worth considering. Search the Internal Revenue Service web site (http://www.irs.gov) for “qualified hybrid vehicles” and you will elicit more details.

Multitask

  • Have a laptop with a wireless card with you while you are on surveillance or while you are waiting for a process serving target. This allows you to complete billing, respond to emails and other routine tasks while reducing your idle time.

Focus on Achievement

  • Schedule your time to focus on achievement, not tasks. While you may want to reduce your gas costs, those alone do not make your business more efficient. Reducing time wasted also is a key factor. A waste of time at any small business is the “to-do list” mentality. If you are spending a large part of your day focusing on unrelated tasks that you feel you must complete, you may be missing out on the few achievements that would really move your business forward. For one week, rather than focusing on a to-do list, come up with an achievement list. Each day, list what you would want to achieve to push your business forward. Would that achievement be gaining three new clients a week or completing 50 serves a day? Whatever it is, throughout your day focus on achieving that outcome. By the end of the week, you may be astonished at how much you have accomplished.

Find Help When Needed

  • Hire additional help when you need it. You cannot be everywhere all the time. Know when to ask for help and hire a temporary worker or a new employee as needed. This will free up your time to focus on more important business tasks.

Efficiency does not have to be a complete overhaul of your company. A few basic tweaks and new habits may be all that is required to streamline your business. With your company running resourcefully, you can breathe easier knowing that you are doing everything you can to guarantee that your business will still be thriving when the economy picks up again.

If you have additional ideas to run your business more efficiently, please share them with your colleagues in the ServeNow.com Yahoo! Group.


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