Time management tips for small business owners

Posted by Mords1944 on April 23rd, 2020

Most business owners probably already know that 20 percent of their product comprises 80 percent of their sales. Save time in the long run by discovering exactly what products or services are driving the business. Focus most of your energy on the important things and cut the time you spend on the other 80 percent.

Learn to prioritize. Just as 20 percent of your product powers your business, some of your activities are more productive than others. It's an old but good time management tip to tackle your most important projects first. Teach this strategy to your employees so that everyone finds the time to complete important projects. Once you rank your activities in order of importance, give yourself a set time to complete them. For example, give yourself a time limit to return phone calls and answer emails, and try not to go over it. Sticking to some kind of schedule will help you focus on important projects rather than getting lost in day-to-day activities that don't really drive your business.

Make a "to-do list" every day. You may think you don't have time to write a list every morning. However, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks that small business owners face every day. Last minute interruptions and distractions can make the more focused business owner forget to finish a task. A carefully prepared short "to-do list" will remind you of what to do that day. This will prevent you from forgetting to call your important customer again. Don't go beyond the day's work when writing the list, and set reasonable goals. Moving forward is great, but you can work on it when the list is done.

There comes a point in every business when the owner must learn to say "no". Whether you're dealing with a needy employee or a difficult customer, separating too far isn't good for your business. Yes, you must make customers happy, but sometimes they will ask for the near impossible. Consider whether or not doing something is good for your business before saying yes, and learn how to delegate.

It is tempting for small business owners to waste time micromanaging every aspect of their business. However, there are tasks that do not require the presence of the owner. Teach employees to take action and make decisions within the limits of their positions. This is extremely difficult for the micromanager, but it gives him time and energy to focus on other activities that are more important, such as attracting more clients. Should an employee call you to buy equipment? Yes. Should an employee call you because someone was two minutes late for work? Probably not. Creating parameters that define the scope of each employee's decision-making authority will prevent a small business owner from having to put out minor fires. Having clear limits will also increase employee morale. In all honesty, people generally hate being micromanaged. You hired your employees for their talent, so why not put it to good use?

Communicate with your employees and know the deadlines of your company. Small business owners are still in charge and should contact their employees to make sure they are on the same page. Discuss deadlines with them every week and make sure they contact you with any news. Stay connected with your clients and try to avoid any miscommunication that affects projects at the end of the game.

Be sure to take time for yourself. This feels counterproductive. Many business executives and small business owners are guilty of mistaking busy for productive. However, humans need time to rest and decompress. Numerous studies have shown that taking short contracts  breaks actually improves overall productivity. The brain is not connected to work nonstop. People who take breaks make fewer mistakes and work faster. A study by Dr. Coker explains that people who take short breaks online are nine percent more productive than their overly stressed colleagues. So relax for a minute for the good of the company.

Stay focused on your goals. What do you want from your business? Take some time each month to examine your goals and how you're getting there. See which strategies are propelling you forward and identify which are dragging you backward. This may sound easy, but many small business owners are so focused on day-to-day activities that they regularly postpone examining their goals.

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