Most small business owners have at least one shared complaint; there simply isn’t enough time in the day. Why is that? Well mostly it’s because business owners wear too many hats. Accountant, marketing, sales, internet maintenance, employee management, the list goes on and on. What you need is an effective time management system. I have found that implementing just a few minor changes can make all the difference in the world.
· 25% of all small business owners would gladly pay $500.00 per day for just one extra hour
· 40% of business owners take on 3-4 different roles while 30% take on 5-6.
· 50% of business owners find multitasking the most difficult part of their job
· The number one time waiting effort in business is waiting for information, the number two is failure in the lines of communication (see a correlation?)
It seems all of our modern technology created to save time is actually costing us quite a bit of it. Mostly it’s because we tend to stumble through all of our programs in a haphazard fashion. We often do not utilize the full capabilities of our programs that are intended to unify our business and their quality of service tends to suffer for it. We have found that implementing just a few changes can help out tremendously.
Organize Your Schedule and Communication
Use one universal organization program like Microsoft Outlook or Daylight. These integrate calendars, emails, and schedules in one program that can be shared thought the company. Systems like these also enable those in the communications side to be in the loop in and update each other in real time. This way all managers and owners are up to date as to everyone’s itinerary, what needs to be done, what has been done, how long it should take, and who is responsible for the completion of each task.
Set Your Priorities
Step two, prioritize your day. Instead of doing 6 things at once, pick the most important task for the day and focus on that until that is done. Delegate 2-3 hour slots for the rest of your day. You can rotate through several tasks and then at the end of your day, carry the most important unfinished task and set it as your next day’s priority. And revolve through the rest and so on.
Limit Your Email Times
Step three. Stop checking you emails! Reduce email time to twice a day, in 15 minute slots. Say 7 and 5, or 10 and 3. Whatever works, Let people know your time that you check and that you can only respond during those times. You should also reduce your inbox every day to zero. Too much clutter in your inbox clutters your mind. Eliminate all unnecessary newsletters if they are not relevant to your business. Keep personal emails on a separate account and check them at home.
Mobile Apps are essential. You can utilize time clocks, and integrate your organization programs with you mobile apps. We use daylight which combines all of the most important schedule features, client data and calendars and it also has an iPhone app which we use to link and share date back and forth. We also set timers on all of our tasks to let us keep track of our own productivity.
Combine Your Social Media Pages
Combining your Google plus, Facebook, Twitter, and email list campaigns enables you to update your status and share stories from one location and have it sent to all of your marketing platforms. This will save you a great deal of time and can be done a couple of times a week with relatively little time spent with the added benefit of increasing your content on the search engines.
As long as you’re required to do the job of six people, you might as well combine as many tasks as possible while reducing the amount of time required completing your other tasks. If you use your time and technology wisely and efficiently, you should be able to spend more time on ensuring that your business is running at peak levels without sacrificing your client’s experience.