As a small or midsized business owner, you may find that your operations management is in need of an overhaul. The following are three signs that may indicate that your business operations strategy may need some attention.

1. No Business Plan

A business plan is an essential component to your company's success. Without it, you risk a lack of strategic focus and direction, and your overall small business operations management practices will suffer.

Be sure to set out what you want to accomplish right from the start. This will require all key members of your business to sit down and discuss desired objectives. It's important to note that these objectives should be measurable, attainable and timely. For example, if the overall goal for your business is to become the market leader, then one of your objectives can be to increase market share by five percent over the next three months. Once your objectives are determined, you can start to devise a strategic road map toward your goal.

2. Too Much Time Spent on Noncore Activities

Small business operations management involves an understanding of core and noncore activities. Core activities are strategic tasks that are critical to the success of your business. Noncore activities, such as office maintenance, often do not add significant value to your business but are time-consuming. Although both activities are important, your core activities are what will make your business profitable.

Hiring an office manager can help your business manage noncore activities more effectively and allow time for you to focus on the essential activities and integral tasks that can help your business grow.

3. Poor Customer Relationships

Even if you have a solid business plan and spend adequate time on core activities, without proper attention to your customers, you may be putting your business at risk. Proper customer engagement is necessary to promote an exemplary customer experience.

According to a Tonago study featured in Entrepreneur, "81 percent of customers are willing to pay for a high-quality customer experience." One of your goals should be to learn how to engage your customers and, in turn, increase customer loyalty. Certain incentives can help your business earn customer loyalty, such as administering a rewards program for repeat visits or purchases. You can also measure the general success of your customer service efforts by administering customer surveys. The feedback from the surveys will give you an idea of where the business is doing well and on what it can improve.

There may come a day where you find your small business operations management is in need of fine-tuning. By watching out for these three problem areas, you will be better equipped to implement solutions that can help you reach your intended goals and deal with other operational issues that lie ahead.

Tags: Operations Management Business Planning operations