5 Tips you should know
Running a small business can feel like you're wearing 10 different hats, juggling five different balls, and trying to spin plates—all at the same time. There's a lot of responsibility. However, you don't need to feel overwhelmed all the time. If you put some of these small business tips into use, you'll get more done and have an easier time keeping all those plates in the air.
- Schedule Times for Communication
Email and texting make communication easier in some ways, but also make it easy to get distracted by communication. You're in the middle of ordering products, you get an email, and next thing you know, you've spent 30 minutes scrolling through email and your products have not been ordered.
Try setting aside certain blocks during the day to respond to emails, texts, and calls. You could schedule 30 minutes in the morning, another 30 mid-day, and a final 30 at the end of the day. This allows you to stay focused on what you're doing throughout the day, but also ensures it's not too long before you get back to anyone.
- Only Have Meetings When Necessary
So many small businesses have weekly staff meetings as a way to keep everyone on the same page. But in the Internet age, it's worth asking whether these meetings are necessary, or whether they tend to just be social hours. You may be able to eliminate your weekly meetings and just schedule meetings sparingly, as needed, when things can't be addressed via email.
- Group Tasks Together by Type
Rather than jumping randomly from task to task, consider grouping "like" tasks together. For instance, you can place all of your orders at once. You can then send out all of your invoices at once. Then, you can create all of your social media posts for the week.
Most people tend to get more done when they group tasks in this way. You'll already be in the mindset to, say, write Twitter posts, and so you don't have to spend as much time getting into that mindset again. It's also a stress-reliever to be able to cross a whole group of small, related tasks off the list and know you don't need to do that type of task again for a while.
- Set a Timer
Do you have trouble staying focused on the task at hand? A good way to keep yourself on-task is to set a timer. When you sit down to do a task, estimate how long you think it will take. Set a timer, and challenge yourself to get the task done before the timer rings. This will help keep you from scrolling through social media or engaging in other distractions.
What are the business tasks that you're not good at? What tasks take you too long because you're simply not skilled in that area? Consider outsourcing these tasks. You'll save yourself a lot of time that you can spend on tasks you are better able to handle on your own. For instance, a lot of small businesses outsource their accounting and their social media. Paying for these services will feel worth it when your to-do list is no longer a mile long.
It's not always easy to stay productive as a small business owner, but with the small business tips above, you can start crossing items off the list left and right. Above all else, remember to stay focused, ask for help when you need it, and outsource things you're less capable of doing yourself.