In this day and age, time management is a useful skill for just about anyone. When it comes to running a small business, though, it is essential. After all, how are you supposed to schedule meetings with clients, respond to each customer enquiry, and ensure a speedy service if you can’t manage your time? What happens is the work piles up, and the customers and clients get annoyed, leaving your business in shambles. To make sure your business stays on top of everything, use these ten time management tips.
1: Outsource Jobs
As a small business owner, it’s crucial to learn that you don’t need to do everything yourself. Even if you’re a new business, some tasks are better completed by professionals. It might cost you more at first, but the amount of time (and stress) you save will make up for it. It means your workday can focus on other essential tasks.
Some jobs that you would benefit from outsourcing are accounting, marketing, and SEO marketing. Accounting, in particular is one that you should consider, no matter how new your business is. Managing your finances, payroll, and taxes requires time and accounting knowledge – by hiring an accountant, you ensure no mistakes are made. Look for certified Accountants in London for a professional, reliable service that will save your business time and effort.
2: Work Usual Office Hours
Owning a business means you don’t have to work nine until five, but more often than not, it is wise to do so. Think about it – most other businesses work during those times, so it makes sense to be around when others will want to contact you. Plus, getting into the routine of usual working hours will help reduce distraction. If you know office hours are solely for work, you are less likely to take a few hours out for personal business.
3: Plan Your Week’s Schedule
It’s much easier to manage your business hours when you have a plan, which is why you should plan your week’s schedule before the week commences. Know what you need to do each day, whether that is contacting a client or counting stock. It’ll help the week go much smoother, and by the end of it, you’ll find you have more tasks completed than if you started without a schedule to stick to.
4: Set Aside Time for Breaks
Good time management doesn’t mean scheduling every hour for work. In fact, it’s much easier to manage your time when you dedicate certain hours to breaks. Remember – just because you work for yourself that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take an hour off in the middle of the day! Not only will it help you get back to work with a clearer mind, but it will also reduce your chances of getting distracted when you are working.
5: Hire Employees
If you find yourself overloaded with work, consider hiring employees. Putting this off can be bad for business. While employees cost money, they also reduce your workload and contribute to a smooth-running workplace. Then, you can focus on other tasks that require your attention while the more manual jobs are taken care of.
6: Know When You’re Most Productive
One of the tricks to getting more done is knowing when you work best and scheduling your tasks to accommodate that. Some people are hard workers in the morning, whereas others work better in the afternoon after they’ve already spent the bulk of their day at the desk. Work out when you can focus the most, and then dedicate the most daunting tasks to that time. For the time of day when you struggle to focus, allocate the smaller and simpler tasks.
7: Separate Work and Home Life
It’s hard to manage your time when you have both work and personal obligations hanging over your head. That is why you must separate your home life from your work. If you still work from home, you should set up a dedicated space for your business so that the two don’t melt into each other. Otherwise, you will end up with a poor work-life balance and a loss of productivity. When you are at work, be completely dedicated to your tasks, and when you are home, leave your business obligations until the next day.
8: Write Easy-to-See To-Do Lists
When running a small business, it’s easy to become distracted by one task and forget about another. That could result in a disgruntled customer or an ignored email, though, which is why you should write to-do lists throughout your day. Be sure to place them somewhere easy-to-see, too, so that you don’t forget them. Then, once you complete a more urgent task, you can get back to your day and what needs to be done.
9: Don’t Overload Your Schedule
One common mistake small business owners make is thinking they can take on more than they can. In reality, this will only harm your success. If it looks like your schedule is overloaded, then make plans to cut it down. Take some of the lower priority tasks and push them back, and consider getting outside help (through hiring or outsourcing) to get through your workload. Once you do this, you will be able to focus better on the tasks that matter most.
10: Learn How to Prioritise Tasks
Prioritising is a skill that all business owners must learn. If you have a long list of tasks to do that day, you can’t start from anywhere – you need to list them in order of priority to ensure the most critical jobs are completed.
To prioritise better, you should write lists, highlight the most important, and consider when you are most able to do the longer tasks. By doing this daily, you will find you get through your task list more often and that everything important is always complete.
With the right time management skills, your business has a better chance of success, so use these ten tips and sail through your working days.