As a small business owner, you feel like you work constantly.
Even on your ‘off-time’ (what is that?!), the wheels of your mind never stop turning. You’re constantly thinking about how to improve your business, get more customers and increase your sales.
But no matter how many hours you work, you can never seem to get to the end of your to-do list.
When you’re working in this manner, it’s only so long before you suffer from burn-out. And as a small business owner, you definitely can’t afford that to happen!
That’s why it’s important to start working smarter. Here are five small business management tips that can help you accomplish that!
#1) Plan Your Time
Improving the productivity of you and your team starts with getting organized.
Take some time at the beginning of each week to review your business’s projects and goals. Then create a master list of all the tasks you need to accomplish.
Next, estimate how long each task would take to complete and prioritize each task. Open up your calendar and schedule a suitable time to focus on each specific priority.
Trying to remember things that need to be completed is an energy drainer. Instead, write down any item that needs to be done so that you no longer have to remember it yourself.
Solution: Make a list of three tasks that you want to accomplish each day.
#2) Stop Wasting Time
Many times, meetings that are held with the goal of increasing efficiency end up doing the complete opposite. They can quickly get off track, drag on for hours and create confusion for your staff about what still needs to be done.
Even worse, they can leave employees feeling mentally exhausted which can affect the rest of their workday.
Solution: Before scheduling a meeting, think about whether the information can be shared in an email or memo instead. If a meeting is still necessary, try to limit your meeting to a half hour or less.
#3) Just Do It
It’s easy to get into a habit of putting off certain business tasks by telling yourself you’ll complete them tomorrow.
But then tomorrow happens and they remain on your to-do list.
Apply the Nike philosophy and “just do it” when it comes to tasks that need to be done! For any task that takes you less than two minutes to complete, stop putting it off and do it immediately. If a task requires longer than a couple of minutes to complete, either schedule it to be completed at a later date or see if it can be delegated to someone else on your team.
Solution: Begin your day with the task that you least prefer before you accomplish anything else. This helps set the tone for a more productive day!
#4) Control Your Email
Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Receiving constant alerts for new emails and social media comments isn’t helping.
How many times have you started completing a task only to abruptly stop it when you receive a new email notification?
When was the last time you took a few minutes to scroll through social media?
Regularly pausing your work to start a new task causes you to start and stop a different train of thought – creating more work for you in the end.
Solution: Schedule a maximum of three times each day to check your email and respond to social media comments. Ignore (or stop) phone notifications otherwise! When sending emails, use short, efficient messages and only include necessary parties.
#5) Outsource When Possible
You only have so many hours in each day. Wouldn’t you rather spend them focussing on key business aspects that you excel at rather than ones you struggle with?
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to get tasks accomplished that require the skills you lack.
Was math never your strong suit? Then outsource your company’s payroll to a bookkeeper.
See the benefits of a regular e-newsletter but regularly experience writer’s block? Then check out a copywriter.
Need a new website that you can drive traffic to? Look for an affordable web designer.
Sure, outsourcing may initially seem like a luxury for small business owners. But when you use an affordable one, it actually isn’t! Plus, hiring an expert to complete a task that your skillset isn’t suitable for can bring savings in time, stress and productivity.
Solution: Decide what business tasks you dislike the most or are least qualified to complete. Then find a freelancer to fulfill that role.
As a small business owner, it doesn’t take long to get overwhelmed. But by implementing the small business management tips above, you can quickly experience an increase in productivity and a decrease in your stress level!