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How to Make Space on Your Plate as a Business Owner

Business Owner
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Every successful business tries to balance creativity and everyday operations. As a business owner, you need to keep in mind your track record, current product lineup, as well as future projections. If you struggle with keeping your customers, vendors, and employees happy, you may have no time to focus on what makes you happy. Multi-tasking may get the work done, but it might hinder your creativity, which can negatively impact productivity.

While it may seem overwhelming at times, everything can be worked out if you manage your time well. List down your routine tasks and try to place them into one of three categories: automate, delegate, and eliminate. Time is money, so there’s no shame in investing money to save time, either through your team or technology. Make sure your resources are utilized appropriately, so you make the most of what you have.

The first step is to critically review your operations to see where you can save time. Micromanagement won’t get you anywhere. The key is to hire a strong team, give them adequate resources, and trust them to do the job well. Here are some tips to achieve this objective and make your business more effective and efficient for the future.

1. Automate

payment solution
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Technology has changed the way business-owners think. Save time and energy for business innovations and let the software handle the rest. Research different tools to find one that suits your needs. For instance, if your time is spent going back and forth with invoices, consider opting for small business payment solutions. You’ll be saving both your time and that of your customers.

Repetitive tasks like billing, payroll, or data entry can also be automated, with faster turnaround times and fewer errors. This can also free up employees time to brainstorm ideas for improvement. As a team, stay updated with national and international industry trends to learn from others. Many global organizations have gone paperless, saving money, time, and the planet.

To identify problems, you must know the ground reality as well as your employees do. Use communication tools to make it easier for your team to give you updates. Project management software can also help streamline your operations. This way you monitor productivity without being a micromanager. The transparency helps employees collaborate better with each other, taking the team closer to the finish line.

2. Delegate

delegate to emplyee
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A smart business owner understands that they are only as good as their team. Take your time in finding the right employee for each position. Recruitment, onboarding, and training are time-consuming tasks, so make sure you hire candidates who will stick around. Once your qualified and motivated team is ready, listen to them to build trust and ownership within the workforce.

Delegating tasks empowers employees and makes them feel like part of the company. Assign tasks to staff by matching skills and capacity and be clear about your expectations. Give your employees room for experimentation as long as they meet deadlines. Another helpful strategy is to think about succession planning earlier on and avoid chaos in the future.

As your employees grow comfortable in their positions, you’ll discover their strengths and weaknesses. If your accountant is an extrovert with good communication skills, suggest a role in contract negotiations with suppliers. If they’re interested, you can also train them for additional responsibilities. Such cases of cross training, help both the employee in enhancing their skill set and employer in strengthening their team.

3. Eliminate

eliminate
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As your team broadens its scope, they’ll discover newer and faster ways of completing tasks. This can be done by eliminating redundancy or the overutilization of resources. You may think that having extra inventory “just-in-case” is a smart move, but it may not be. Extra inventory may need extra money to fund and more storage space. Try to estimate how much you need and order accordingly.

The same rule applies to time. Observe how much time is needed to complete a task and identify any bottlenecks in the process. For example, if employees have to wait in line for printouts, get another printer to speed up the workflow. Sometimes, even changing the layout of the workspace to group related tasks together can help staff work more efficiently.

Another way to improve efficiency of work is visual management. Employees may forget your instructions when you say them out verbally, but visual cues can refresh their memory. Use signs, labels, and flowcharts so staff know the standard operating procedures well and you don’t have to repeat yourself. It’s a one-time task that saves everyone time.

Eventually, all time management hacks boil down to prioritization and reduction of waste. Use your own time to focus on what drives your business toward achieving your mission and vision. When milestones are reached, you must celebrate with your team, no matter how busy you are. Just some pizza and drinks may be enough to recharge their batteries and propel them forward with more enthusiasm. If you land a major client, then perhaps take everyone out for a fancy dinner.

Keep in mind, overworking doesn’t equate to productivity. It may, in fact, lead to burnout. Well-rested minds can do more in less time, so nurture a work-life balance for yourself and your team. Reshape your systems to work more efficiently and you’ll be rewarded with more time and energy. At the end of the day, just remember that while time is finite, your ability to manage it is not.

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