Time-Saving Hacks for Small Businesses
Too many tasks, too little time?
As a small business owner, it can often feel like there's never enough hours in the day. It's a common problem our clients bring to us.
Whether your hours spill into the evening or nothing ever seems to get ticked off your to-do list, lack of time is holding your business back.
Research shows 'the average entrepreneur spends 68.1% of the time working “in” their business—tackling day-to-day tasks, putting out fires, etc.—and only 31.9% of the time working “on” their business—i.e. long-term goals, strategic planning.' If you're constantly occupied with the here and now, you don't have time to think to the future for growth.
Even more worryingly, it's not just misplaced attention; small business owners reportedly waste 21.8 hours a week! That's a massive chunk of time going down the drain.
If you want to start saving those hours and getting stuff done, try our time-saving hacks!
Divide Up Your Day
Multi-tasking has long been pushed as the busy business owner's best tool.
Getting two or three jobs ticked off at once? Sounds like the dream. The problem is, that's all it is. A dream. Multi-tasking is actually less efficient than taking tasks one at a time, reducing the quality and quantity of your work.
Instead, try chunking out your day in advance. Rather than an endless vague to-do list, portion out your time and allocate tasks. Easily waste hours on social media and emails? Set yourself a half an hour slot and get as much done as you can in the time. It not only keeps you more focused and efficient, it stops small tasks taking over your whole day.
TOP TIP: Include time for unexpected interruptions in your plan. That way, you won't be overloaded when an inevitable issues arises.
Use the Right Tech
Technology can be your business' greatest friend and worst enemy.
The difference is using the right tech well. The latest system everybody is raving about could be completely useless to you if it doesn't fit your way of working. If you're using the wrong tech, or have the right system in place and are just not using it properly, you could be wasting time and money.
Take time to really think about where tech could fill in the gaps for you. What could you automate to save yourself half an hour a day? Or even an hour a week? Every little bit of time saved can add up to make a real difference.
There are so many great options in tech, and new offerings always popping up, to save you time, stress and energy. Research now is an investment in your future.
Prioritise in Advance
Save time by knowing what really matters.
When you plan your day, make sure your priorities are clear. It can be tricky running a small business when everything feels urgent and reliant on you. When there's so much to do, it's hard to know where to start.
You might be tempted to tick off the quick, easy tasks at the beginning of the day to give bursts of accomplishment and motivation. The problem is you can waste your energy and drive on tasks where they're not needed. You're then left with the gruelling, urgent and most stressful jobs when your motivation is flagging. Battle through the biggest priorities first and tick off the rest without the weight on your shoulders.
Try planning your day at the end of the previous working day. Even jotting down a list of your top priorities before portioning the time out the next day is great. This way, you can get going in the morning know exactly where you're at and what's next.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Do you struggle to delegate?
It's not always easy, especially as a small business owner. As much as we know we should, it's difficult to feel like you're losing control. Even with the best team behind you, feeling confident that everything will get done to your high standards can be challenging.
How can you manage it?
By defining each and every role within your team and setting clear boundaries, you know exactly who is doing what. Making ownership clear ensures nothing falls through the cracks. Time spent now running your team through the important processes will save you at least ten times as much time in the future now you can hand off those tasks.
Look After Yourself
When you have no time, you can find yourself filling up every spare moment with work. The trouble is these snippets of time here and there aren't always the most productive. Constantly starting and stopping or using up your leisure time to catch up actually slows you down.
Instead, use this time to prioritise your wellbeing. There's no point in pushing yourself if you burnout. Anything achieved now will only be lost when you ultimately are forced to take a break.
One study 'of 500 small business owners found that more than eight in 10 (83 per cent) have experienced stress in the past six months, with almost half (49 per cent) saying they have been more stressed than normal and 17 per cent admitting they are ‘highly stressed’.'
An investment in yourself now to tackle this saves you time in the future.
If you're a small business owner struggling to get your time back, book in one of our free sessions to see how we can help you. We know how to get things running smoothly so you can take a step back and slow down.