Top 4 Time Management Tips for Business Growth
New business owners, entrepreneurs just starting out, rightfully are concerned about getting through the first couple of years without failing. This is valid as many new small businesses do fail in that time frame. But, as the business begins to gain traction, concerns turn to growth. There is often a balancing act between going it alone or taking on employees, independent contractors, or third party support functions.
Effective time management is crucial, and it requires planning and an understanding of where your time and skills are most effective in growing the business. Some tips for effective time management include:
- Know your priorities and plan accordingly.
Examine not only your business, but your personal life as well, to see where you spend your time. Set priorities on both the personal and business sides that will keep both on an even keel while growing the business successfully. Once you define your priorities, develop a plan as to how to allot your time to them from the top down to get everything done.
- Know the difference between Urgent and Important and act accordingly.
The business owner who is growing their business aggressively will be bombarded with information, requests, and task deadlines daily. Many will be “urgent,” meaning they seem to be requiring immediate attention. But urgent does not mean “important.”
Often very trivial tasks take on an urgency simply because they have a deadline attached. It is also true that these deadlines become urgent simply due to deferring them unnecessarily. Simply handling those that deserve attention when they first pop up and setting up a system to get that done can do away with constant urgent task demands.
The Internet has created some urgency in many business owners when it comes to email. While the business owner used to be able to let a pile of mail that comes in only once a day sit for a while, email streams into view in real time. It is admirable to respond to customer emails quickly, but it is rarely necessary or critical to do so. Set aside specific time periods to handle email and stick to the schedule.
- Leverage through outsourcing.
What has come to be known as the “gig economy” is a boon for the small business owner, especially those just starting up. Never have so many individuals left employee status to become independent contractors offering niche services in their areas of expertise.
Look at every area of your business from marketing to accounting and other overhead functions. How much time do you spend working on a website, scripts for marketing, or text and images for print ads? In what areas can you take on short term project freelancers with expertise that you do not have. You can get better results while allowing you to spend that time on areas of your business in which you are the expert.
- Use technology to automate and allow mobility.
Technology just keeps getting more powerful and less expensive. From computers to smart phones to online SAAS (Software as a Service), the small business owner can automate much of their back office and communications. When combining tech with outsourcing, the small business owner can create a streamlined flow of information to their accounting professionals and others.
Tying together processes to allow the owner to be mobile if necessary for the business will make more efficient use of their time.
The small amount of time it will require to consider these time management planning tips can deliver many times the investment in efficiency and profitability. Work with accounting professionals when considering outsourcing and other activities that have an impact on taxes.