If you own a small business, then you probably feel that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Prioritising tasks when it comes to cashflow, marketing, admin, tax and dealing with customers isn’t easy. Making the most of the time that is available to you, means being as productive as possible.
Fortunately, there are ways in which you can increase productivity across every area of your operations.
Use productivity apps
If you don’t keep track of the various tasks and projects you’re working on, you won’t get much done. Today, there are many productivity apps designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to help you organise your workload and your time.
Use bespoke apps such as Evernote to create To-do lists for short, medium and long term goals. Work through them methodically, delegating where you can. Give tasks a due date and a value, in terms of how easy they will be to complete. Work on the most difficult ones early in the day. If you start your day by completing the most difficult task, then that day has already been a success. Review your To-do lists daily to keep them up-to-date, removing tasks that are no longer relevant.
Automate your business
The technology is now available to automate many business tasks and processes, such as payroll, invoicing, CRM and even social media. Make use of it. Research the best solutions for your venture’s needs, as well as any services that can make your job easier. The more you can automate, the less you have to do and the more time you have to focus on core business projects.
Continually review what’s out there that can help. For instance, at KoalaPays, we’re always looking at new ways to automate tasks for our clients through our platform and add new services that make it easier for you to run your business.
Likewise, if you find that you’re constantly sending the same emails to customers, suppliers or business partners, create templates for them. That way, they become much quicker to deal with.
By using a payment solution provider such as KoalaPays, you’re already outsourcing tasks that used to be done in-house or via a bank. You can’t do everything yourself, so consider outsourcing other functions, such as marketing, payroll, or another specialised area to free up more of your time. You’ll also get the expertise you need to run these functions more efficiently. You might even save money.
Another way to freeing up more of your time through outsourcing is to hire a virtual assistant. This can be done very inexpensively through a freelancing platform, as long as you take the time to find the right person with the best skillset for your needs.
The Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule states that in any project 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. You can use this rule to decide which tasks you take on, or which to prioritise. This means reviewing every project that comes your way and investing your time on those which will deliver the most results for the least effort.
Done right, this can massively boost your productivity. For instance, is there a marketing channel that takes up a lot of your time and isn’t delivering solid returns? If so, cut it out and focus your energies on another channel that is delivering more sales for the business.
Look after you
The longer you work, the less productive you become. Take time out to recharge your batteries. Make sure you eat healthily, get enough sleep and exercise. That way, when you are at work you know that you’re operating at optimal effectiveness. Spend time on hobbies and with loved ones. This can give added perspective, focus and clarity to why you do what you do in the first place.
While all of these things can help you be more productive with your time. It’s important to realise that there are certain non-essential tasks that need attention too. Spend a little time, perhaps just fifteen minutes at the end of the day, to focus on non-urgent tasks, such as looking at what your competitors are doing, carrying out market research or simply catching up on industry news. Because these tasks aren’t seen as urgent, or essential, small business owners often neglect them. But, while they may not deliver much in terms of immediate rewards, they can result in unexpected insights or opportunities that benefit the business in the long term.