5 Effective Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Sarath CP
Sarath CP
Sep 12, 2018 · 6 min read

If you are setting up a new venture, you may feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done especially when you’re wearing a lot of different hats and taking on many different roles to run your startup. Your state of mind must be entailed with many personal and professional traits. Between launching the company, executing, scaling, growing, clearing client deadlines, payments to keep track of, customers to please and much-related activities, it can feel like your to-do list never gets any smaller.

As a result, small business owners have to schedule their calls with clients, jump between tasks, attend special events, and be extra careful with every decision for their business endeavor. You must have heard the proverb that ‘Time is Money’ and as a small business owner no other phrase proves your situation while scaling your business better than this statement.

Image Credits: Unsplash

To achieve your business aspirations, managing employees, balancing responsibilities, maintaining your web presence, administration activities, you need to develop the skill of time management. Being a small business owner, you couldn’t afford to compromise on any of the processes, because it might have a profound impact on the growth of your venture. If you’re always asking yourself, “Where has the day gone? In that case, you need to consider the various ways of improving your productivity at work.

Well, the best way to increase your productivity on the limited resources is that you need to implement some time management tactics until you can confidently hand over the heavy lifting to experts. Even the successful businessmen will tell you the same, but in two words: time management. So, are you ready to start your business? Well, you don’t need to worry about the time-management tactics, because it’s a skill which you can learn more efficiently and since it’s not an exact science, you can find the tricks and habits that work best for you.

Here are five tips that can help you in staying on the track and manage your time smartly and effectively without any hassle.

#1 - Maintain Your Finances

As a small business owner, the first and foremost step for effective time management is the need of maintaining the finances of your business entity. Finances have the potential to be a significant stressor and therefore take up an unnecessary amount of time to handle. So, if you want to stay organized, start by building up a picture of where and how your time is currently spent so that you can identify where your process has bottlenecks.

Maintain a bookkeeping system listed with all the vital business tasks that need to be carried out and how much time should be spent on each. You can also create meaningful categories for your business such as marketing activities, client meetings, sales calls, product delivery, invoicing and much-related activities. As a matter of the fact, being a small business owner, financing or keeping track of all the money coming in and going out can be difficult, but software can help you in making it more manageable.

For example- You can use MineralTree that allows you to keep track of accounts payable, helps you in monitoring the invoice approval to the final payment. Or you can work with QuickBooks, which is compatible with MineralTree, offers a ton of functions to simplify your accounting.

#2 - Goal Setting

One of the critical time management skills that every small business owners must possess is goal setting and stick with it. Without the goal, you can’t define your scalable business plans and cannot emphasis on the particular aspect of your business that you want to focus on. So, start creating a plan detailing where you’re going and how to get there, and how you are accomplishing things. Make them detailed and thorough, then begin achieving one a day.

This strategy will help you in making measurable progress towards large initiatives. Well, setting a goal and scheduling it is the most important strategy for effective time management. Below shared are some of the ways that you should know in order to create a productive schedule for your business entity.

  • Set designated times to handle interruptions, employee conferences, and other matters.
  • Keep a tablet, phone, diary or daily planner handy to record appointments, deadlines, and ideas.
  • Put a checkmark beside tasks that only you can do.
  • Prioritize tasks in order of importance and urgency.
  • Ignore phone calls and emails until the time you’ve set aside to deal with them.
  • Plan to spend the more time on activities that produce the most excellent business benefits.

#3 - Understand The Art of Delegation

When you are just starting a new small business, it’s natural to take on everything to do with your company. Because in the growing period of your business, you’re more accustomed to learn various part of the job and to pick up skills that you didn’t even know existed. But when your time becomes more and more precious, it’s essential to learn to delegate in order to complete all the tasks of the company within the deadlines. No matter whether you are outsourcing some of your projects or handing off your responsibilities to your employees, it’s all about giving yourself the freedom to not do these duties so that you can pack as much productivity into the time you have for your prosperous business.

A delegated task is only successful if it gets done, so hire carefully, and make sure to implement and enforce deadlines. Well, an excellent way to start with delegation is by determining what tasks are crucial, but not necessarily necessary for you to do yourself. Then, it’s just a matter of finding the right employees or subcontractors and creating a team built on trust, respect and shared goals.

#4 - Avoid Distractions

Once you understood the art of delegation for your business entity, the next step is to learn the ways of eliminating distractions for your company. As a matter of fact, any means of disturbance could be harmful to the growth of your business, as the work you do is very different compared to those of your employees. Keeping your work life separate from your business life is all you need.

If you’re a solopreneur, the biggest struggle you may face in the competitive business world is staying productive without a team and complete all the deadlines. Turn your phone on silent, use an app such as SelfControl to block those websites you mindlessly browse, and make sure you are mentally and physically present during work hours.

On the flip side, if you are operating a business with your employees and colleagues, then there are a lot of choices when you get distracted from your work. Let’s suppose it can be a phone call, social media updates, and employees bursting into your office, so all you need is to turn off your phone, lock your door, and hunker down. Take steps to identify the significant time-wasters and keep them at bay. You can also pinpoint and address your distractions while preparing a schedule for your working hours which will automatically help you in reducing time.

Well, there may be little you can to do make that to-do list go away, but the more efficiently you use every hour you have, the more successful you’ll be at managing those hectic days.

#5 - Streamline Operations With The Right Applications

In terms of time management, there’s one word to live by that is automation in the competitive business world. So make a list of the things that are taking up a ton of your time, and see where you can put those on your small business tools. Well, there are endless apps out there designed to help you take charge of your schedule and workflow. If traditional paper to-do lists aren’t cutting it, you can use various apps that allow you to prioritize tasks, set reminders, share your to-do list with others and allowing you to track tasks from beginning to completion.

The best part about the technology apps or tools is that it’s accessible from Apple watches, smartphones, and laptops, so you can stay on top of your tasks no matter where you are. As a matter of the fact that these tools will certainly be required by the business owner to automate certain aspects of their business because they offer numerous opportunities and streamline things to make it easier for the business owner to manage time for other activities.

Conclusion

Understating the importance of time management is hard especially for the small business owners. Because as a small business owner, one of the greatest assets you can invest and reap results from is time. You can have a loose hand on the money. You can even lose business and get it back. So, the only thing that you may need to implement is some time management tactics for your business.

Strong time management skills can do wonders for your personal health and that of your business. Hence, master these time management tricks, and you may even find yourself with some much-needed free time.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

Sarath CP

Written by

Sarath CP

Digital Strategist and Growth Hacking Specialist worked for both startups & big brands, helped them to build a strong brand presence and achieve growth.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

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