Small Businesses

Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Most business owners know that 20% of their products account for 80 percent of their sales. You can save time and money by identifying which products or services drive your business. You can focus your efforts on the most important things, and reduce the time spent on the rest.

Prioritize. You can make your business more productive if you prioritize certain activities. It’s a time management tip, but it is still a great one. Make sure you tackle the most important projects first. This strategy can be taught to your employees to help you all find the time to finish the important projects. You can assign a time limit to each activity once you have ranked them in order of importance. Set a time limit on when you will return calls and respond to emails. A schedule helps you to stay focused on the important tasks and not get distracted by mundane tasks that don’t really help your business grow.

Make a “to do list” every day. It is easy to believe that you don’t have enough time to make a list every day. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of tasks that small business owners have to do each day. Even the most dedicated business owner can be distracted by last-minute interruptions or distractions that make it difficult to complete a task. A concise, but well-prepared “to-do” list will help remind you what you need to accomplish that day. This will help you remember to call your important client. When creating the list, don’t go beyond what is necessary for the day. Instead, set realistic goals. While it’s great to be ahead of the game, you can still work towards your goals once the list has been completed.

Every business owner has to learn to say no. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a customer who is difficult or an employee who needs your help, it is not a good idea to spread yourself too thin. Customers will sometimes ask for more than you can provide. Before you say yes to something, think about whether it is a good idea for your business. Learn how to delegate.

Owners of small businesses may be tempted by the temptation to micromanage every aspect their business. Some tasks don’t require an owner. Teaching employees how to make decisions and take action within their responsibilities. This can be very difficult for the micromanager. However, it will allow you to devote your time and energy on other important tasks, such as bringing more customers. Do you need to be contacted by an employee about purchasing equipment? Yes. Is it okay for an employee to call you because someone was late? It is unlikely. Small business owners won’t have to deal with minor issues if they can create parameters that limit each employee’s decision-making power. Employee morale will be improved by having clear boundaries. People hate being micromanaged in all honesty. Your employees were hired for their talents, so why not make the most of it?

Communicate with employees and be aware about your business’ deadlines. Small business owners remain in control and need to communicate with employees to ensure they are on the right page. You should discuss the deadlines with your employees each week. Also, make sure they contact you with any developments. You must stay in touch with clients and avoid miscommunications late in the game.

Make sure you take time for yourself. This is counterproductive. Both small business owners and executives are guilty of confusing productive with busy. Human beings require time to relax and decompress. Studies have shown that short breaks can actually increase productivity. The brain doesn’t need to be wired to work continuously. People who take breaks make less mistakes and are more productive. A Dr. Coker study has shown that short breaks online can make people nine percent more productive than overly stressed colleagues. Take a moment to relax for the benefit of your company.

Focus on your goals. What are your goals for your business? Every month, set aside time to review your goals and see how you’re getting there. Examine which strategies are helping you move forward and what ones are holding you back. It may sound simple but small business owners often get so caught up in their daily activities that they forget to evaluate their goals. Constant evaluation can save you both time and money, as you find the right methods to help you.

It can be tempting to think you can save money by doing everything yourself. Sometimes outsourcing is more cost-effective than doing it all yourself. You could spend your time as an accountant following up leads or building relationships, instead of spending it on accounting. Small business owners complain that they don’t have enough time to grow their businesses. This is evident when 35 percent of owners say this.

Outsourcing specialized tasks not only allows business owners to be more productive, but it can also help improve the company’s image. It is likely that hiring a graphic designer for a brochure design will yield better results than just typing the text into Word. You don’t have to hire a professional if you can’t afford it. You might have multitalented employees. A person with a passion for graphic design may be able to do a better job than you, and they might even be willing to work a bit less than professional to gain the experience.

It is not possible to grow a business by staying busy. Every business owner should evaluate his or her time. Responsible owners will be able to see what is happening and put in a lot of hours. Are the hours being used in the most productive way? How much time are you spending putting out flames and setting things in order? You have limited time and must make the most of it. Although some of the above time management tips might seem counterintuitive and expensive, consider the potential loss to your business if you can’t find the time for your customers. The face of a business is its owner. Owners who are trustworthy get the business done. How can customers get to know the owner if they have never met him/her? A sale is likely to be more profitable than the $10 per hour that you pay for an employee outsourced. Your time is valuable and you can grow your business while improving your quality of living.

We are a team of professionals with each having two decades of experience in start-ups, sales, marketing, finance, HR, large scale project and profit centre management and running mature cross functional operations. At we are big believers that knowledge transfer is critical to our industry’s evolution. We love to share our experiences and learnings through our online resources.

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