A small business whether it’s a startup or a seasoned one would be a success only if its owner is able to manage time effectively to complete the tasks efficiently. There are times when small business owners wish there was a magic formula that allows them to do more tasks in the given time period. For a business man, time is one of the precious assets that he cannot afford to lose or waste as it can never be retrieved. Three reasons why entrepreneurs should treasure time are as follows
- Time cannot be bought- There are 24 hours in a day for all. Whether you are an entrepreneur or otherwise you cannot buy more of it
- Time cannot be stopped- Whether you like it or not, time marches on, and no one can stop it or hold it up for even a tad bit more.
- It cannot be saved- Time cannot be saved, and stored to be used later when you need loads of it.
Small businesses have to effectively and efficiently manage the working hours to increase their productivity. Here are a few smart tips that if implemented can help a small business owner.
- Bring down the frequency of checking your email- This is easier said than done. There are many who have the tendency to check the emails every 5 to 10 minutes. It’s a huge time waster. This is what you can do.
- Schedule time slots- Schedule three time periods on your ideal working day to check and respond to the emails. Once in the morning before you start work and again before you break for lunch and the last one before you log off from work.
- Set auto-responder- If you are worried that you may offend the folk if you don’t respond on time, then it’s wise to set up an auto-responder. This will let the sender know when to expect a response for this email.
- Declutter your inbox- Keep your inbox clutter free so it’s easier for you to see all the incoming emails. Also keep track of the older ones.
- Focus on one thing at a time and avoid multi-tasking- Studies reveal that only 2.5% of the folk can do or more things at the same time effectively and efficiently. The experts at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London opine that the IQ level of someone who is stimulated by phone calls, texts and emails fall by 10 points.
Time management gurus say that productivity of the task doubles if you focus only on that task. It will be shown in the work performance. This matters when you are an entrepreneur as there is a fine-line between success and failure. To increase your focus and attention on a specific task, use the pomodoro technique.
- Pomodoro technique is a popular time management methodology, where you set a time period of 25 minutes to complete a task. Here you have to focus only on a specified task and at the end of the 25 minutes, you take a break of 5 minutes before you commence another task. This will help you to break down a large task into smaller ones. Additionally, it will also give an insight into where you are spending too much or too little time.
- Use technology to manage time and increase productivity- Whether you are a startup or a seasoned business, it’s wise to use technology to increase the productivity of the employees as well as to save time. The task can be completed with ease if the employees are given formal training before implementing software such as project management and customer relationship management. There are many reputed and inexpensive off-the-shelf CRM software that can be easily implemented into the existing systems. This will boost the sales team to perform better and increase the revenue through appropriate sales strategies. Using a good project management, the small business owner can keep track and monitor his projects at a glance.
Use technology to hire remote employees and induct them into your firm by providing online training and support. Exploit the advantages of cloud technology to outsource some part of your work. It saves time and money.
- Never abdicate, instead delegate- A small business entrepreneur relies on his team to get the work done on time. Delegate a specific task to those employees who are trained to do such tasks and have the know-how of doing so. Otherwise, it’s sheer waste of time. Hiring the right people will aid in managing time effectively and efficiently.
- Learn to say No at workplace- This is a very difficult task. When you are busy and have a long to-do list, gently say the word “No”, to keep away those folk who want to meet you or talk to you. For instance, some employees may want to garner your attention by coming over to your cabin to discuss some matter or the other pertaining to work. If you’re busy, you should say “No” and let them know that you are currently busy and will revert when you are free.
- Reduce communication barriers- If there is a communication barrier, it can prove to be detrimental to your success. For instance, if you are traveling, there should be someone responsible to take care of the tasks and communicate with your counterparts. As a small business owner you should implement a hierarchy that serves as a standard for your business communication. You should also consider using the apps such as Google’s hangout, Whatsapp or Skype for business communications. If you want to discuss something with your team, walk to their desk. It saves time.
- Reduce the number of meeting you hold- Remember time is money and therefore one should not schedule too many meetings. Also, you need to set a time limit on each of the meetings. They can eat away your time.
Time management may sound simple. However, it’s not. To be a successful small business entrepreneur, you need to be organized and disciplined and work smartly. Plan your day wisely and set up priorities. Remember that you have a life beyond your business. By practicing time management and appropriately using the time management tools you can realize your goals and success with less effort.