Small business owners are notoriously short on time.

Running a small business means having your fingers in all the pots – from marketing to finance, business development to accounting. I’m sure many of the small business owners out there wish that there were more hours in the day to get everything done. With a few quick tweaks to how you work, your business will run smoother and you’ll have more time to work on what’s actually important.

6 ways to work smarter, not harder

Automate

With so many demands on your time, the more things a small business owner can automate the better. These days, technology is an entrepreneur’s best friend because it means less time spent on repetitive tasks. When you know that important aspects of your business are running smoothly in the background, you’re free to focus on the things that matter most.

Consider automating:

  • Social media
  • Email outreach
  • Client follow-ups

Outsource

Many business owners are reluctant to outsource work they believe they can do themselves. What’s more, entrepreneurs are more likely to want control over all aspects of the business they built. Letting go of control, however, can be freeing knowing someone else is taking care of it. Outsourcing can also save money by allowing a professional to complete tasks in a shorter timeframe.

Consider outsourcing:

  • Payroll
  • Marketing
  • Administrative Support
  • IT

Formalize

Many small businesses run without any formalized policies and procedures to govern day-to-day and high-level operations. A lack of process can be detrimental to running a business smoothly. When you and your employees know what the next step is, or what they are expected to do, you’ll spend less time answering questions or resolving disputes and more time actually working.

Consider formalizing:

  • An employee handbook
  • Operating hours
  • Important procedures

Concentrate

Because they are working in so many different areas at once, it is not uncommon for business owners to jump from task to task many times during the day. This reactivity often disrupts their workflow and interrupts the train of thought. When you allow yourself to focus on the task at hand, you can delve deeper and produce higher quality work than when your day consists of putting out fires.

Consider concentrating on:

  • Business development
  • Talent management
  • Your most important clients

Disconnect

Email can be one of the biggest time wasters for anyone who works in an office environment, entrepreneurs included. In fact, a study showed that the average worker spends over 28% of their workday managing their email. Disconnecting from your email periodically will allow you to win back some of that time.

Consider disconnecting by:

  • Setting times to check email
  • Unsubscribing from newsletters
  • Using a filing system to find important messages quickly

Curate

For many small businesses, important information is usually stored in the brain of the owner. Time is lost when employees look for information that is not readily available. Curating a central data repository will save time by making it easy to find customer information, important documents or templates and position-specific expertise.

Consider curating:

  • Important position-specific information
  • Client details
  • Company forms and templates

With these methods in place, you should find that managing your small business becomes just a little bit easier!

Do you have any tips for increasing small business productivity? Share them in the comments!

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