As a small business owner, chances are that you are working non-stop to try to grow your business and every second counts. Fortunately, not every day needs to be a 12-hour workday and there are methods that can help improve your efficiency. With the right tools and business services at your disposal, you can reduce the amount of time you spend managing your business and use more of it to enjoy your success.
Here are a few best practices for streamlining your small business:
Use time-saving application and software solutions
Have you heard popular phase “there’s an app for that?” In today’s modern technological world there is an app for almost anything, especially when it comes to running a business. There are project management apps, invoicing apps, organizational apps, and communication apps that all designed to streamline standard business practices. These programs usually come with pre-made templates and easy to use forms, so most of the work is already done for you.
Outsource when it makes financial sense
Many small business owners feel this need to do it all on their own. They manage their company’s marketing, finances, sales, legal concerns, product development etc., regardless of their personal expertise. They figure they have the internet as a resource if they get stuck and that they are saving the money they would have spent on someone else. They neglect to consider the fact that their time could be better spent on something they are skilled at doing and that even their best effort may not be good enough. Sometimes you need a professional’s guidance, especially when there is money involved. If you are not confident in your own abilities, it should be outsourced to a professional.
Use email to reduce paper costs
If you don’t need to print it, don’t. If you are not required to send it by registered mail, don’t. Thanks to the convenience and traceability of email, there is no need to print a copy of your correspondence with vendors or customers. Everything can be saved in a folder within your inbox, which will be easily accessible anytime you need to reference it.
Know when to delegate your workload
If your small business consists of only you, it will be difficult to delegate when the workload becomes too heavy for you to manage. You will need to either prioritize and push through it, or hire outside help. However, if you have a few employees that are available, make sure you use them. Any aspect of your role that is not critical to your business’ success can be delegated to someone else who has more available free time. There is nothing worse than the boss working non-stop through their lunch, while his or her employees are taking an extended lunch because they don’t have enough work to keep them busy.
Streamlining your business can be as simple as taking advantage of technology, outsourcing when needed, using emailing for communication, and learning how to delegate. Spending a little time on improving your company’s efficiency now, can save you significant time in the long run.