Owning a small business is both the most rewarding and most exhausting thing a person can do with their lives.
You’re expected to play a lot of roles in your company, from CEO to janitorial, and so much effort can really take a toll. Instead of losing your mind and risking burnout, it’s time to figure out how to better leverage your time.
Leveraging Your Time Means Taking a Big Step Back
Improving your time utilization with your small business requires more than just empty platitudes, you’ve really got to take a big step back and look over your company from top to bottom.
Rooting out waste and improving processes will help tighten up your time-clock, here are some ways to do that:
- Employ Big Data. Admittedly, it may take a bit more of your time to initially identify the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track and monitor what information really matters to your company. But once that data is in hand and you’ve determined which metrics have the most influence on your day-to-day operations, you can take this data and use it with all sorts of time-saving tools!
- Automate everything possible. No one wants to be greeted by an automated voice when they enter a store or receive a sales call from a machine, but there are lots of places where you can let a computer handle the heavy lifting.From number-crunching to processing invoices, responding to simple emails or sending out newsletters and welcome packages, your desktop can do more than you might think. Automate what doesn’t really need a personal touch and be honest with yourself when you make those calls.
Often, a program can be given multiple responses for different situations, or a chatbot can be employed for basic customer service on your website to help reduce email volume.
- Weed out what’s not working. With all that data you’ve got on your business, you can probably point to areas that are very obviously not working in a very empirical way. That might be areas of the warehousing system that need to be tightened up, jobs that simply are redundant or tasks that are not returning a value at all. It’s ok to let some things go entirely, especially if they’re not bringing in income, or worse, are costing you in added time and effort.
- Outsourcing some tasks to the pros. Sometimes, jobs still need to get done, but you don’t necessarily need to be the one to do them. There are pros for that, for example, answering services with virtual receptionists or call centers to help manage your call load.Instead of having to juggle the phone and other jobs in your company, you can hand that one off. You trust your accountant to do your books, you can trust other professionals to handle jobs in their areas of competency. It’ll free up considerable time for you and your employees.
Leveraging your time as a small business owner gives you more room to improvise and innovate for your client base, as well as develop branding with real personality. These are actually the kinds of things that will make you a household name.