Getting More Bang For Your Buck: Working Effectively With Limited Resources

Philip Manzano • Oct 14, 2016

Five practical steps you can take to ensure everything keeps moving smoothly- even when resources are tight. The post Getting More Bang For Your Buck: Working Effectively With Limited Resources appeared first on Keela.

Guest Author: Jen Sguigna,

Juno Beach Foundation

In a perfect world, we’d have people for every job. Everyone would complete their tasks on time, and no one would ever have to wander outside the realms of their job descriptions.

Few of us live in a perfect world though. Job descriptions for small organizations usually include some sort of vague reference to “other tasks, as assigned.” It could literally mean anything. I worked with someone once who was the curator of a museum, but was also responsible for washing the toilets. While it may not be that bad for all of us, efficiency can seem like a far off dream when there’s only three of you in the office and a million things to be done.

So how can you stay efficient when you have a small staff, none of whom fill key roles such as receptionist and accountant? Here are some tips to help keep things running smoothly.

1. Take advantage of the technology available to you. 

It doesn’t even need to be new or fancy technology! If you don’t have a receptionist to direct calls, invest in a good answering service. No accountant to do your books? Make sure you’re working with a CMS that you’re comfortable with. No janitorial staff? Well, there isn’t really a technology to deal with that – but there’s nothing wrong with a chore chart! Be sure to take the time to discover what works best for your teamwhen it comes to new technology.

2. Surround yourself with people in the know.  

So you don’t have the funding to hire a dedicated fundraiser or education coordinator or similar specialized roles. Use this as an opportunity to network and invest others in your cause. Find consultants – people you can reach out to when you have questions and need an expert opinion. Often, they’ll be willing to do it for free (it could look good on their resume); if you’re able though, you can offer an honorarium. It’ll certainly cost you less than a full time salary. 

3. Or, invest in the people you already have.  

If your staff is interested in increasing their skills, invest in them! There are lots of courses and seminars available to help educate people in speciality areas. 

4. Delegation, delegation, delegation

Don’t try to do everything yourself. There are administrative duties to be done every single day, and you can’t possibly take care of each one of them while also doing your actual job. Assign different duties to each staff member. Someone can be in charge of all postal related duties; someone else can take care of logging donations and sending thank-you cards; maybe you’re responsible for checking the communal answering machine and generic email. 

5. Time management. 

If you find that “extra duties” are eating away at your time, then set time aside for them. One day a week, or one hour a day – whatever you feel is necessary. By allotting a specific time to take care of all the odds and ends that fall outside of everyone’s job descriptions, you can ensure that everything is getting done. 

What have you done to make your small organizations run smoothly? Do you have any tips and tricks to share? 

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The post Getting More Bang For Your Buck: Working Effectively With Limited Resources appeared first on Keela.