Running a business often entails wearing several hats, as you’ll be dealing with the likes of administration, employee management, marketing, and a plethora of other activities, leaving little time to focus on what you’re best at!
As an entrepreneur, you must recognize that your most valuable commodity is your time. And, if you want to grow your business, then you need to make sure you have enough time to focus on the most important parts of your job and give your venture the best chance of succeeding.
In this article, I am going to share some tips that can help you find ways to manage your time more effectively as a business owner, so you and your company can continue to thrive even on the busiest of days.
Use a high-quality project management tool
It’s a good idea to use a project management program to track most areas of your business, as this will help you to stay on top of things. Project management tools offer numerous benefits to businesses. For example, they allow you to set deadlines on tasks and set reminders so you never forget to complete a job.
They also make it easier to collaborate with other team members and allow you to keep all the relevant documents and data required for a project in one place. This will make it much easier for you to find all of the information you need for each task you’re working on, saving you precious time.
For business owners like yourself, project management tools can make you feel more in control of your business, too, as they provide you with real-time data on the progress made by your team members.
Another great thing about project management tools is that they ensure that people are working on the right things at the right time. Plus, they make sure users can see all their tasks for the day at a glance, so there’s no chance of anyone forgetting what they need to do.
Choose your working environment wisely
The last year has turned most of our working lives upside down, and a lot of business owners will have had to adapt to working remotely or from home.
For business owners, the pandemic has opened up new working possibilities and, as a result, you might have to think carefully about where you’re the most productive.
To figure out the ideal working environment for you, think about where you tend to feel the most motivated. One way to find out is by closely monitoring how much work you typically get through at home, and then how much you cross off your to-do list in the office. You should also make a note of any distractions you face in each place, and whether there are little things that make your work time more enjoyable in a specific location.
You might even be able to find the perfect balance where you work from the office on some days, and from home on others. Right now, working from home might seem like a temporary fix during the coronavirus pandemic, but you could still build work from home days into your schedule going forward if you think it will help you to make the most of your time.
If you’re still unsure of what to do, My Canada Payday has a great guide on whether we should continue to work remotely once the pandemic is over. It outlines the benefits of continuing to work from home, what kinds of tasks are the easiest to complete from home, and how you can make the decision that’s best for you. It’s well worth a read if you’re torn on the subject.
Group similar tasks together to work through them quickly
Grouping similar tasks together can help you to work through them much more quickly. To ensure you aren’t getting distracted when doing these tasks, you need to be able to block your time and work through them in the most efficient way. Here are some tips for doing that.
- List out the various tasks for the day and group similar ones together
- Try to estimate the amount of time it will take you to complete similar tasks so you can manage everything effectively
- Close browser tabs that aren’t related to your current tasks to avoid distractions
- Try to batch similar tasks into the same day, rather than spreading them out through the week
There are different types of tasks you can group together to make it easier for you to concentrate on doing them. For example, you could dedicate one morning a week to monitoring and updating your finances, or you could sit down and bulk schedule a month’s worth of social media posts in a day. For instance, SocialPilot has a round-up of the best LinkedIn marketing tools that can help you to stay active on social media without spending too much time and energy on posting.
Outsource any tasks you aren’t the best at
When you’re running your own business, it’s easy to feel like you have to do everything yourself. And this can often leave you with little time to do what you’re good at. To avoid this, you should focus on hiring people you can trust, and giving them the tasks you don’t have time for, or aren’t the best at.
This will free up time for you to concentrate on the things that you excel at and that are most important to you. For example, if your business’s website is lacking in content or you wish you could update your social media accounts more frequently, you might wish to outsource your content creation.
Accounting is another aspect of running a business that you might not feel confident about. This is common among business owners, and hiring a professional or using specialist software can really help. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to ask for help in this area, FreshBooks has a great guide to whether you need to hire an accountant for your business, which will take you through all of the pros and cons.
To make sure you are delegating correctly, here are some tips that can help:
- Delegate, don’t abdicate: you should avoid delegating duties without properly preparing and educating your workers.
- Review candidates’ past work to see if they are a fit for your business
- Provide guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs) for new hires to go through
- Try to test your new hires by giving them small tasks first
- Always be communicative with your hires in case they have any questions
Use templates to make easy work of recurring tasks
If there are tasks you often do over and over again, it’s worth creating or sourcing templates that can help you do these quickly and more efficiently. You should also provide these for staff, and train them on how to get the most out of your templates to save precious time. But what kinds of templates will you and your employees find useful?
For instance, you probably send a lot of emails, and some of these might look quite similar. So, it might be worth creating certain email templates for when you and your staff are sending cold pitch emails, getting back to unhappy customers to ask for more information, or contacting a member of the press about a new product launch you have coming up.
You could also create content templates that your marketing team can use. Loganix actually has a wide range of SEO templates that can help you with everything from planning your content strategy to conducting keyword research. So, make sure you check them out if you would like to streamline these processes.
Invoicing is another time-consuming task that is often quite repetitive. So, put together some invoice templates that you and your staff can quickly fill out to request payment from those you work for. These should include spaces for a breakdown of your services, an invoice number, and the overall price you’re charging.
As they say, time is money. And as a business owner, the best way to increase your income is to consciously scrutinize how you’re spending your time, and then make adjustments to help you spend it better.
Understandably, it’s not always easy to delegate if you are used to juggling everything yourself. However, if you use high-quality project management tools, choose the best working environment, and group similar tasks together, you’ll get a head start on managing your time more effectively.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.