Small business owners know that "time is money" isn't just a saying, it's a reality. Time management is vital because bungling this can lead to lost revenue. If you're running up against the clock operating your business, read these five key time management tips for small business owners.
These five tips should help you take control of your calendar. Of course, we're always interested in hearing your suggestions in the comments below.
Email has had a profound positive effect on businesses large and small. But when relied on to the extreme, it can detract time from tasks that affect your bottom-line and make you a less efficient business owner. Do you have an inbox addiction? Start by moving some email conversations to other collaborative platforms like internal wikis, chat rooms, forums or telephone calls. When you must check emails, aim to check them at pre-determined intervals that don't eat into your work or personal time.
The fallacy that the more meetings you have, the more productive you will be can be costly if followed in a real-world business setting. Reserve meetings for activities bolstered by person-to-person interaction. Getting together for a productive meeting can include brainstorming, decision making or consensus building. Skip formal meetings when a simple email suffices. And when you do call or attend a meeting, keep it as short as possible to formalize plans and then move on to implementing them.
Many business owners perform cost-benefit analyses to determine the cost of a given business action versus the benefit it will provide. A similar time-benefit analysis can be used to determine which of the tasks you have to complete today should be done first. Write down or mentally review your tasks and consider the time required to complete each versus the benefit it will provide to your business. Prioritize tasks that provide the greatest benefit to your business in the least time. Then, complete the rest of the tasks on your list in descending priority.
A strong leader knows when to entrust others and when to complete a task solo. Hence, delegation is one of the most crucial time management tips for small business owners. Can't find time to make critical business decisions because of your involvement in other everyday tasks? Start delegating tasks, whether marketing or administration, to a capable team member. Not only will you gain extra time but your team will know you trust in their abilities to get the job done.
Not all business owners have the luxury of working from home, a coffee shop or a shared workspace close by. If you can't shorten your commute, make the most of it. Take the time to reflect on your day or evening plans. Or, drive to work with family, friends or colleagues to help these relationships thrive. While you rack up the miles, your wallet doesn't have to take a hit. Many types of business mileage are tax deductible. With the help of mileage-tracking apps like MileIQ, you can claim a sizable mileage deduction come tax time3