“How can I increase productivity and sales?”

No doubt, this question and these two words are on every small-business owner’s mind, as they go hand in hand with driving revenue.

Contrary to what you might think, however, you don’t need to invest in expensive office supplies, hire more in-house employees, or increase salaries to encourage greater productivity and boost your sales.

With a little creativity, you can encourage your staff to do so on a budget and right away.


Here are four things you can do today to improve your and your staff’s productivity.

1) Promote a Positive Culture

It shouldn’t be surprising that low engagement results in decreased productivity. Studies show that companies with disengaged employees will likely experience higher job turnover, lower productivity, and higher absenteeism.

Companies like Warby Parker, Zappos, and REI, on the other hand, rank high for employee happiness due to the positive culture they promote.

Focusing on your employees’ happiness can improve productivity. You may not have the budget for sleep pods, but you can start simply by bringing in bagels for breakfast on Fridays, holding a monthly cocktail hour after work, or providing a discounted membership at a local gym.

Survey your employees to see what they would appreciate most. Small gestures, like casual Fridays or pizza lunches, can make the office a more positive place to work.

2) Hire a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You may not have enough tasks or a large enough budget to hire a full-time, in-house employee, but you can benefit from a virtual assistant.

Entrepreneur calls virtual assistants “a startup’s secret weapon,” and for good reason. Using one can help you reduce costs and increase productivity.

Virtual assistants are administrative professionals who work remotely, usually on an hourly basis, to help you with any projects you need assistance on.

Instead of spending your time on little tasks like following up on emails and scheduling meetings, you can let a virtual assistant take on the small, everyday jobs that need doing. This allows you to focus your energy on the big projects that will grow your business.

3) Harness the Power of Technology

Technology can help you stay organized, collaborate with your team, manage time spent on projects, and automate tasks. And the better your team can do those things, the faster your business will grow.

There are thousands of apps designed to help teams stay productive, and many of them are free or inexpensive to use.

If your team has a specific area you want to work on, such as remote team management, time tracking, or social media scheduling, you can find a tech solution to tackle it. There are even apps—like FocusWriter, Focus Booster, and SelfControl—that help your staff cut distractions and stay focused.

Test out a few to see which best match your working style and needs.

4) Gamify Your Processes

Motivation is essential for improving and ensuring productivity. It’s easy for repetitive and laborious projects to sap employees’ energy.

But these tasks are usually unavoidable and necessary for your business. You may not be able to eliminate these tasks, but you can make them more exciting with gamification.

Gamification is exactly what it sounds like: turning work into a game. This strategy is designed to tap into employee motivators by integrating game mechanics into work tasks.

There are paid gamification platforms, like GameEffective, that integrate into your CRM or other enterprise software. But you can also get started for free right away with your own game elements. Offer prizes for most projects completed, host challenges focused on quality, and create badges—like best attendance or most positive attitude—that employees can work toward.

How Can You Increase Productivity TODAY?

Every small business can benefit from a productivity boost, from increasing sales to establishing a more enjoyable workplace.

Put a few of these strategies into practice and see which work best for you and your team.

Comment below with your go-to tips to increase productivity or share your experience with the advice listed here.

Read more: How to Make a To-Do List to Power up Your Productivity