Do you feel like there are never enough hours to get everything done in your business? Running a small business can often feel like a thankless task, with long work hours and the constant pressure to achieve profitability.
But, if you’re like most small business owners, you’ve chosen this career option because you’re passionate about what you do and you have no intention of going back to being an employee.
Don’t let feeling constantly behind get in the way of your small business goals. Instead try making a few simple changes to the way you work so you can improve your efficiency.
Inefficiency is costing your business money
Poor productivity can cost your business money and can lead to missed opportunities or lost revenue. If you're spending too much time on administrative tasks or not delivering your products or services in a timely manner, you could lose customers or miss out on new business.
Inefficiency can also lead to increased costs, such as wasted materials, excessive overtime pay, or high energy bills. In some cases, it may even result in legal or regulatory fines. In short, being inefficient can eat away at your profits and hinder your business's growth. That's why it's essential to identify areas where you can improve your efficiency and take action to make your business more streamlined and productive.
How run your business more efficiently
When you're running a small business, time is your most valuable asset. You want to make sure you're using it wisely. Here are 8 ways to save time and maximise your output.
- Automate mundane tasks
You’d be surprised how much automation can save time on low-level tasks that don’t require your direct attention. Invest in a task management system, or use software like Zapier to connect all of your business tools and eliminate manual labour.
- Streamline communication channels
With multiple communication platforms for both internal and external communications, it can become hard to keep up with all of them at once. Try consolidating some of these systems to make managing them easier or investigate an automated messaging platform that can respond in real-time on behalf of the business.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
Whatever you can’t automate, delegate instead. If you have staff, train them up to take on tasks that are bogging you down. Or look at hiring an assistant to take over simple administrative duties. It can save you money and ultimately make your workdays more efficient.
Whatever you can’t delegate - outsource. Outsourcing more complex or specialist tasks to freelancers or other businesses is another great way to save time and energy on tedious projects that don’t require your direct attention. Outsource tasks you don’t want to do, or that someone else can do faster, cheaper or better.
- Prioritise - regularly
Figure out what your most important jobs are and do them first. If they are big projects, break them up into daily activities so you don’t feel overwhelmed. And make sure you always leave room in your calendar to work on your own business admin, like your BAS or payroll (if you haven’t outsourced or delegated these tasks).
- Invest in the right tools
The right software, hardware and apps can make managing your business a lot easier. Do your research to find out which ones are best suited for your type of business. If you’re a service provider, there are plenty of online booking systems to use so you don’t have to manually book in your clients. Most even take automatic payments or link to invoicing software to help automate your payment processing.
- Cut out unnecessary tasks
Take a look at all of the current tasks that you do on a daily basis and ask yourself if they are really necessary or if there is another more efficient way to tackle them. This will help free up some of your time by streamlining processes and cutting down on superfluous activities.
- Take regular breaks
Don’t burn yourself out. Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help keep you refreshed and focused. This means you’ll be less stressed, and more productive when you get back to work. As a business owner it can feel like you’re married to your job, but you need to make sure you have a good work-life balance. As well as taking breaks throughout the day, try to make sure you’re not working 7 days a week. Give yourself regular days off from work.
When you’ve got the hang of being organised, managing your time effectively, and prioritising tasks you’ll soon see how much you have maximised your output.
This goes a long way forwards improving the quality of your products or services, increasing customer satisfaction, and ultimately growing your business.