As a small business owner, your most valuable asset is time.
Unfortunately, when running a business, there’s never enough of it. Building a new business from scratch means you’re often wearing all the hats. An one-person marketing, finance and sales team all rolled into one. With so much to do and with so little resources to do it, time management is crucial. Here are some of the time management challenges small business face, and how they can overcome them:
1.Not planning out your day
Setting aside 5 minutes at the beginning of each work day is an important strategy and crucial habit to save you time and help organise your day. As a business owner, you’re under pressure to make difficult decisions, meet impending deadlines and handle anything else thrown your way. If you don’t plan out your goals for the day, you’ll spend more time putting out fires than doing actual work.
2.Failing to prioritise activities
A key part of planning your day is to prioritise your workload. It’s easy for us to want to complete the simpler and more mundane tasks as they require less effort and brain power. Problem is these tasks usually add the least value to your business. The difficult tasks that require more strategic thinking are the ones that contribute most to business growth. It’s worth getting familiar with the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Keep this in mind when you prioritise your goals for the day.
If you’re lucky enough to have employees, make sure you’re utilising them effectively. It can be hard for a business owner to delegate responsibilities, as they must let go of some control of their business operations. However if you want to reduce your workload, stress and get more done – delegation is critical. Have faith in your employees and let them lift the heavy burden from your shoulders. If they’re properly trained and capable of doing the work you provide, you’ll have more time to focus on higher value tasks.
4.Shiny object syndrome
It’s easy to get distracted in the workplace. Email, phone, customers, vendors – there are so many ways we can get pulled away from what we’re doing. If you have a crucial deadline, lock yourself in a room and turn off your email and phone, you’ll be amazed at how much you get done!
Effective time management is not easy, and something you’ll need to continuously work on. Be wary of the above challenges and look to make small improvements each day. You’ll quickly see the difference it makes to your business and personal-life.