Small business owners are often over-worked. Whether you have help or not, the steps you can take to improve your own productivity have the highest return on the invested effort. Here are our top time saving tips for small business.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
A common mistake small business owners make is trying to do it all themselves. For example, they often invest hours researching an issue before writing a response instead of hiring a lawyer, accountant or other knowledgeable expert. Worse, this time is essentially wasted, because it is unlikely, you’re going to use this knowledge yourself. Bring in a web developer to make your website mobile friendly. Have an IT guru update your website or migrate your website to a new host. Bring in an assistant to handle administrative work while you focus on landing new clients or overseeing your team.
One of best ways to get more out of the day is to prioritise what you do. Don’t waste time on trivial tasks. If they’re important, it may still be better to delegate to someone else. Narrow your to-do list to things only you can do. This list may include interviewing new hires, reviewing your weekly or monthly financial statements or approving marketing plans. Prioritise what you do. Don’t waste time picking out decor when you need to pay your taxes. Don’t surf the internet for entertainment or read industry news until you’ve taken care of the angry client in the waiting room.
Use Managed Mail
We’re not talking about managed web hosting, though that has its benefit. Instead, we’re talking about managed mail services like The Delivery Group. Managed mail services are equivalent to outsourcing your mail room. Give them stacks of parcels and outgoing mail. They can weigh it, apply the optimal amount of postage and ship it. They may send items to a central warehouse where it is distributed to regional post offices, speeding up the delivery time of your deliveries. This is invaluable when you’re an ecommerce business. They may work seven days a week, improving service for those whose main office is only open five days a week. Let them receive shipments of returned material or legal documents on your behalf and clear out the junk mail that wastes the time of your critical shipping and receiving team.
There are a number of variations of this advice. Maintain separation between your personal and professional life. Don’t market your business at every public gathering. Don’t let your team call you in the middle of the night or on your weekend trip with your family. This prevents the incredible stress that comes with always being on-call, and it forces your team to either do it themselves or let it wait. You can simplify this process by planning for contingencies in advance and having set processes, whether it is what to do if the store is robbed or dealing with the arrival of a legal notice.
When you’re at home or on vacation, disconnect from work. And enforce the same separation with your employees. When they’re on vacation, they shouldn’t be ordered to connect to online meetings or answer phone calls. This will lead to improved productivity and higher morale.