How to Increase productivity is every business's age-old issue: more productivity, more profit. Increase the bottom line. At every board meeting, it is on the agenda. It might be disguised as something like contract issues, updating machinery, staffing issues or a number of other things but what it means is, increased productivity. How can we increase the output?

In the early days, productivity was the act of increasing output by manual labor or automation. At the turn of the 19th Century, the industrial revolution was getting going. Steel mills, woollen mills, foundries, transport, manufacturing, etc. You think of it and you can probably trace its roots back to this particular time.

There starts the search - how to increase productivity.

Really since time immemorial the search to increase productivity and more productivity and better productivity has been on every business’s agenda.

pointing-out-the-details.jpgIt all starts with a plan and a process. Get this right and it's all systems go!

3 business ideas on how to increase productivity 

1. Have a process. Simple? Well yes and no. A process needs to be planned around the end result. Der! That’s stating the bleeding obvious. But it is astounding the number of businesses that start on a trial and error basis. Sure they need to make mistakes, this is a given, but they need to test the process. Test every step with the end result clearly visualized. This way is a total needless waste of money and resources. 

The primary number one item is to have a detailed plan to go back to your record keeping. You will remember I have said time and time again, “ nothing happens till a sale is made”. Please understand this. 


This goes back hundreds of years. Noting has changed. Still the same issue today. So, having said that, doesn’t it make sense to start here?

Back to the record keeping. Not keeping records? Shame on you. Get out of my website now and come back when you have done it.

Do you get it?  From day dot keep records. Keep records of everything. There are no excuses. Are we clear? Given you have done this basic business action, now analyse these major components. 

  1. Number of leads per sale.
  2. Number of presentations per sale
  3. Number of closes to get a sale
  4. Cost per sale
  5. Cost per presentation
  6. Cost per lead.

When you see the results you will have the answer to how to increase productivity. 

Do not glaze over this exercise. In fact, it is a good idea to track this process and document it and publish it in the company action guide. ‘How to evaluate the records’.

2. Training your people. In the early day's the ‘people’ might be you and your wife but it doesn’t matter if this is the situation or if you do have 1 or 2 or more staff. Train them on how the process and systems work. Report and record every twist and turn. The results change with the environment. The economic climate. The seasonal shifts. Tweek it and present the findings to the production committee. 

What no production committee? Well, establish one ASAP with a clear set of guidelines for reporting. Be answerable to the committee chairman or head of Production. In the early days, this might be you and your partner and your mentor. No mentor? Get one ASAP.

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call-centre-staff-with-headset.jpgCall center outsourcing might be a good place to start. Maybe a virtual PA.

3. Be willing to outsource. This is a major benefit to most companies. The sooner you discuss this and get on board the sooner your productivity will increase. Yes, it does take training but it is so beneficial to the health of your business. Starting your business with these components makes it a more efficient cost structure and a lean profitable machine. 

Again keep records of the training schedule quality control. 

A few more inclusions can also help in your quest to increase productivity.


As a bonus let me tell you a story about a team of tunnel builders digging a tunnel through a mountain. They formed two teams. The foreman instructed the first team to start digging, then he instructed the second team to go to the other side of the mountain and start digging. When you meet in the middle you would have dug the tunnel. If you don’t meet in the middle you would have dug two tunnels. Well, it’s obvious a key element of how to increase productivity is COMMUNICATION.

I think this little story goes a long way to understanding communications.

There you go my friends, increase productivity. 3 business ideas to take on board.

Take them. Modify them and use them. You will be amazed by the results. Great communications is part of the big picture of how to increase productivity.

Time Management

I  cannot talk about increasing productivity without mentioning time management. I will only touch on it here because it deserves a page of its own. 

Collaboration with a mentor.Sit down and document the issues occurring with production and discuss how to improve them. This is vital and should be done at least monthly.

Nevertheless, let me make some important points to be included in your understanding of how to increase productivity.

The first point I’d like to make is probably obvious. The more efficient your business can be in managing time the more productive it will be.

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So it is incumbent on you as the business owner to make a time management system for each component of your business. From the time the business opens to the inventory stock take, to the hour's staff work, to the time allocated set down to achieve a task. Time manage everything in the business. Doesn't matter how tiny you think it is. Set a time to complete it. Remember the devil is in the detail. You have to be specific to be terrific.

As I have been banging on about throughout this page and others. KEEP RECORDS. Always be searching for how to make it better. Searching for how to streamline the task. Maybe it is purchasing a machine a robot whatever it takes to keep on top of time management issues. When you get this right well, you have increased your chance of survival and making your business great. 

If you love what you do

Again if you love what you do this will be something that gets you jumping out of bed every morning, sing in the shower and making it a pleasure to start work every day. As a byproduct, this attitude permeates throughout the business. Staff are happier, suppliers love to do business with you and most of all your customers will feel it. Guaranteed.

So there you have it. How to increase productivity, and who doesn’t want this? Everything I write here is to help you get the odds stacked in your favour. Use it abuse it. Get it done from the the moment you start your business.

“Experience is not the best teacher it's the only teacher.” “Who said this?” I don’t know. I wish I had said it, but I’m using it. In fact, it is my mentoring slogan.

Experience isn't the best teacher it's the only teacher

focus on the process the results will take care of themselves.

Confidence comes from experience