When you’re a small business owner, you don’t have any time to waste. There’s a million things to do, a million things on your mind, and simply not enough hours in the day. But implementing these time management techniques will help you relieve some of that pressure, increase efficiency, and maybe even get a few minutes to yourself every once in a while.
1. Implement project management software. Every business, big or small, needs project management software if they want to improve their time management practices. This software, in essence, helps you stay organized: you (and your team) will have a hub for important information, a calendar for upcoming tasks, a place to communicate and share files with multiple people, a list of goals/milestones and progress markers, and more.
2. Use customer relationship management (CRM) software. This software helps you manage customer interactions and gain important insights about your customer base by streamlining operations like sales, marketing, and analytics. Take some time to evaluate which type of CRM software best suits your business needs.
3. Bracket out specific blocks of time for emails. You know how it is: the second your smartphone buzzes to notify you of an incoming email, you get distracted from whatever you’re doing. “Just a few minutes to reply to this email” turns into an hour as you get into a back-and-forth conversation with the client. Don’t fall into that trap! Set aside some time in the morning and afternoon dedicated to answering emails–and ignore them the rest of the day.
4. Schedule everything, big and small. If you often find yourself asking “Where did the day go??” then you need a better schedule. Don’t just make a vague to-do list: get specific. Client meeting 10-12, lunch 12-1, emails 1-1:30, inventory check 1:30-3, etc.
5. Streamline your cash flow. Many businesses find themselves without reliable cash flow: business is booming one week and dead the next. But even in slow weeks, you have employees and overhead to pay! Look into crowdsourcing or alternative lending to get the capital you need to cover expenses and grow. This has the added benefit of helping your time management, because it saves you time worrying about how you’ll scrounge up enough funds on payday.
You might think you have time management down–but there’s always more you can do to increase efficiency and save time. Try these to begin with, and enjoy the extra hours!