Time is a valuable commodity for every individual and institution.
Spending too much or too little time on your activities could cost expensive delays, stress, and other setbacks. As a small business owner, it is vital to ensure you are a part of the 18% of people capable of practising effective time management. The key is to save time! So, how can you save time in your busy small business? Here are thirteen time-saving strategies you should consider.
1. Business automation
Embracing business automation is a must to save time on the business’s daily work operations. You can easily automate business tasks like accounting, payroll, marketing and social media to save time. Carrying out repetitive tasks wastes time that could be used to address more pressing issues in your business. By implementing various automation tools, you can ensure that these tasks are carried out speedily with little to no mistakes, saving your time.
Fortunately, several softwares and tools are designed specifically for small businesses to automate their process at fewer costs. For example, automated email marketing tools can allow you to communicate with all your vendors and customers without wasting time drafting emails to every one of them.
2. Set clear goals and expectations
You want to set clear goals and expectations to succeed as a small business owner. Setting clear goals and expectations will save you time since you know what you want to achieve. This will also help you create more effective plans and strategies. With clear goals and expectations, employees know what is expected of them. They are sure to deliver accordingly- no time is wasted trying to decipher a plan or following it incorrectly. Your business can grow 30% faster with clear goals and expectations than when you don’t have it planned out.
3. Avoid multitasking
A study showed that only 2% of people could efficiently multitask. Chances are you belong to the 98% who can’t handle two or more jobs simultaneously. The truth is, it is better to focus on one task at a time. Although focusing on one task at a time may seem time-consuming, it is better than the expensive consequences of poor multitasking. Multitasking can adversely impact your productivity and increase errors, wasting more time. Be sure to break larger activities into smaller workable bits. Where necessary, delegate tasks to capable workers.
4. Delegate some tasks
During a hectic day, time can be a precious asset. What you spend your most time on can either make or break your day. Keeping your business going and growing requires time, and you want both vital jobs and the bigger task of business management done simultaneously. Delegating some jobs can save your business so much since you can focus on more important tasks without being distracted by other business aspects. This can eliminate waste and promote work efficiency since you can focus on one particular task at a time.
5. Keep an eye on the time
As a business owner, you want to always watch the clock. You can easily lose track of time. Therefore, it is vital to pay attention to the time when getting a job done during workdays. Determine how much time you need to complete every task and create small goals to achieve by a specific time throughout the day. Appreciating how much time you have available for each task can assist you in planning your day without wasting any time. Printing technology has evolved and boasts of countless features that make workflows much more efficient. Today’s printing technology comes with cloud storage, power-saving features, faster speeds and the ability to get more done in shorter periods. Efficiency and productivity gains have been realised via digital printing, cloud connectivity – so all your files can be accessed from one central location and smart printers that offer print-on-demand capabilities. Likewise, it saves your business more time that can be put to more front-facing tasks.
6. Print your business’s materials
Even under an evolving paperless business space, printing solutions are still necessary for businesses. By investing in printing solutions for your business, you would be able to enjoy a reduction of wasting time on hiring the services of other printing solutions. With your printing solutions, you do not have to worry about waiting for a service, and you can do it whenever you need it. You should consider investing in high-quality printers to help your business- depending on the industry and the time-consuming tasks you would want to cut down on.
It is also financially wise to print your business materials yourself. Fortunately, a simple online search of “printing shop near me” will show you several cost-effective digital printing offers available.
7. Embrace collaboration
As with outsourcing, working with other companies proves the best way to save your business time. Collaboration won’t only improve your labour productivity but open your business to more growth opportunities. You can no longer afford to be an island on your own. For this reason, you need to keep up and avoid ignoring other crucial aspects of your project. Collaboration allows you to get things done in less time. Such a strategy can ensure that you save more time to focus on the rest of your small business.
8. Set realistic deadlines for yourself
You’re probably used to assigning due dates to employees to get things done. But do you do this for yourself too? Change the situation by setting strict deadlines. This can feel challenging at first, yet setting deadlines can reduce your time on a job and save you more for other jobs. Consider setting a tight deadline for projects, especially for big jobs. Deadlines can motivate you to get the job done and offer you an incentive to focus. Likewise, sharing your deadlines with others can help make you accountable.
9. Take breaks
Research has shown how taking regular breaks from work can make you more productive. One study proposes that microbreaks can benefit people who feel less engaged in their jobs. But how do you take breaks to save time? It can be hard for a small business owner to take a step away from your desk. However, breaks can make you feel more productive to enhance your ability to complete projects in time and take up more jobs. You can begin with mini breaks, let’s say five minutes, and continue adjusting to increase your break periods. Also, consider scheduling breaks at specific times to determine when to spend your non-work hours.
10. Limit your meetings
Meetings are essential for growing your small business, yet they can also be a significant waste of your time. Frequent meetings, meetings that run for long hours and low-productive meetings can waste your time and hurt your business. So before scheduling any meeting, it is vital to determine whether it’s necessary. It is important to accept when the meeting is mandatory. However, you can explore other ways to convey your message, for example, summarising a thing or two in an email or sending a memo instead. If you have to, figure out the goal of the meeting and what you want to achieve. You can get a lot done sooner to focus on the pressing jobs.
11. Prioritise your tasks
According to the Pareto principle, the 20% of things we do are responsible for 80% of our results. You may have to put some jobs on the back burner when you are behind at work. But instead of cancelling or delaying projects, prioritise them. Create a list of your tasks for the week and prioritise them with the most important jobs at the top. First, you can assess what each task offers your business and focus on the most beneficial ones. A change in priorities can cause you to push back a job. It is okay to rearrange to stay organised and motivated to get more than sooner and shift attention to other waiting jobs. When you can’t seem to keep up with the list, delegating can be your best bet.
12. Take notes
Taking notes can signify how seriously you take your time as a business owner or leader. Taking notes is an unsung challenge of transitioning from school to the workplace. You are moving to a completely different environment with different reasons for note-taking and how to use them. But have you heard somebody get fired on the job for failing to take note? That’s very rare, yet skipping note-taking can affect your business or career. You can imagine how difficult it can sometimes be to remember an important piece of information from your last meeting or interaction with a new supplier or partner. The few minutes or possibly hours used attempting to remember a detail can be used elsewhere to get more productive.
13. Stay organised
Staying organised is an absolute necessity for every small business owner. With proper organising, you can easily get caught surfing through many documents and files to get the job done. The earlier you get organised, the more time you can save with work. For example, consider creating a filing system to keep your workplace organised. You can store documents by type and arrange them in chronological order. It can be beneficial to invest in office supplies such as folders, labels and filing cabinets to store your records.
There are many benefits to ensuring proper time management. Although ensuring that you and your employees save time can be expensive, it is a worthwhile investment. Saving time increases your business’s efficiency and productivity rates, which is seen in its increased revenue. It also reduces stress, improves performance and helps you and employees become more organised. Be sure to implement these strategies into your business today to see remarkable results.