Running a small business and being an entrepreneur can be challenging, particularly in the current climate due to COVID-19. Making sure you maximize your productivity is one crucial way to keep your business as profitable as possible. Our small business tips for success help those running a small business.
Here, you can learn about fantastic productivity tools and productivity software. You can also learn how to build an effective website with easy to use platforms such as the Boxmode website builder and discover unique apps for small businesses. All of these will make sure that your company is effective, productive, and can continue to go from strength to strength.
Read on to discover great advice for business owners that will keep you ahead of the competition, save on expenses, and ensure your team is functioning at its best.
13 Best Productivity Tips to Help Small Business Owners Succeed
Whether you are starting a consulting business, creating your own Etsy page, developing online courses, or selling your skills and services online, you need to consider how to make your business as productive as possible. Whatever industry you are operating in, productivity is vital.
#1 Work out your routines
If you want your business to run smoothly, you need to treat it like one. Working for yourself comes with many perks, but having self-discipline is imperative. Make sure that you set yourself a proper work routine and stick to it, just as you would if someone else employed you. Of course, being a business owner and self-employed means you can set up a schedule that works for you, but make sure you put in a full day’s work, five days a week. Figure out the times you are most productive, set up a proper workspace, minimize unnecessary distractions and commit to being focused throughout. It’s also just as important to make sure you stop and give yourself a break. If you burn out, your productivity will plummet.
#2 Scheduling and project management tools
Scheduling tools can be invaluable when setting up your new business. Use programs such as Google Calendar or Calendly to help you organize your appointments and deadlines. Programs such as Trello or Proofhub can also be great for organizing tasks, setting work for your team, and prioritizing what you have to do. Recurring tasks such as staff and client meetings can be input into the system, and you can set reminders so you never forget a task or appointment. Tools like Evernote can also be excellent for making sure you capture those little moments of innovation and inspiration, and any ideas you have around your business can be input here and explored further when you have space to do so.
#3 Work methodically
While multitasking can be useful in some instances, it’s often not the best route when trying to run a business effectively. Prioritizing your tasks, setting deadlines, and working through each job methodically until completion can be a more rewarding way to work. It will also ensure you’re being more productive and get to the end of the day having finished lots of tasks, rather than still having lots to do. This will make you feel calmer and more clear-headed, which will help boost your productivity too.
#4 Learn to delegate
When your business is your baby, it can feel challenging to relinquish any control. However, it’s vital to delegate tasks to other team members to free up your time and energy to do essential things like grow your business. Understanding where your team’s strengths lie and delegating accordingly will help you to allocate work to the best person and the one who can complete the task quickly and efficiently. You could also hire a personal assistant to take over functions that drain your time, such as arranging meetings and typing up notes.
#5 Communication is key
Whether you’ve got a team of people working for your business or you need to communicate with suppliers, clients, or customers, effective communication can save you buckets of time. Be open and transparent with customers and clients and the products and services you offer. Ensure your website is easy to navigate and has lots of information and FAQs to save people having to contact you directly. Make sure your team understands your vision and knows what their individual responsibilities are to make this vision a reality.
Project management software such as Asana or Google Drive can help make it easier to share files and keep all your documents in one place. Platforms such as Slack are also helpful for internal comms. You can quickly communicate and separate channels for particular topics rather than sending long email chains, which can easily become confusing and complicated.
#6 Automate where possible
When you can’t delegate, you could try to automate. Programs such as Hootsuite let you set up social media posts in advance, schedule them over time, and then they’ll automatically post for you. You can also set up auto-responses to customer queries or install a chatbot on your site to answer simple but frequently asked questions.
#7 Be aware of your stress
Being stressed, overworked, and burnt out is a productivity killer. If you want to ensure that you continue to work effectively, you need to look out for signs you might be affected by the stress of pressure that comes with a new business.
Some of the common signs of stress include:
- feeling restless
- feeling overwhelmed
- rapid heart rate
- feeling irritable
Adopting a stress relief routine will help keep stress under control. Know your triggers, take regular breaks, eat well, exercise, get fresh air, and plenty of sleep to keep you feeling healthy and able to work well. You should also learn to say no; you can’t do everything, after all.
#8 Help others help you
Asking for help when you need it is a great skill, but so is asking others how you might help them. In the world of business, making good contacts and understanding how best to streamline your processes, and offering to help your customers and clients, and others you work with can make you so much more productive. Small businesses rely on loyal customers, so by being willing to listen and learn and striving to be genuinely helpful and offer something of value, you are likely to be so much more successful.
#9 Log time
Knowing exactly what you and your team are doing will help you account for everyone’s time and, more importantly, where there are inefficiencies that need to be addressed. By having a detailed account of what your employees are spending their workday doing, you can see where you could save time or change your processes to become more productive. A program like Podio or Harvest can help make monitoring your team’s time much more straightforward.
#10 Weed out time wasters
Every six months, you should spend a day examining all your processes with your team and working out where you are wasting time. Take the approach that every action should be one that services your business. Everyday activities can build up and really damage productivity, so look at what you are doing and if it’s something that isn’t helping your business grow, get rid of it.
#11 Don’t avoid complex tasks
When we work for ourselves, we often have to wear many different hats. There will undoubtedly be some tasks you love doing and barely feel like work, and others that are a real drag. It can be tempting to keep putting off the tasks we dislike in favor of the ones we enjoy, but this will damage your productivity in the long run. Start the day with a job you don’t like and get it out of the way, and then you can work on the things you really love guilt-free for the rest of the day.
#12 Don’t ignore non-urgent tasks
Prioritizing your urgent tasks is essential, but make sure you leave time to complete one non-urgent task a day too. Small steps are important in helping you progress, and your non-urgent tasks will end up being urgent if you leave them for too long anyway.
#13 Make sure your website works for you
A website that is easy to navigate, moves customers along their shopping journey, answers questions, and is full of valuable information is vital. As a small business owner, your website will be an important part of your business. A good one will help make you more visible, outshine the competition, and bring in revenue. Taking the time to build an effective, SEO-optimized website to highlight your products and services is imperative.
All the Best Small Business Tips for Increased Productivity
As you can see from the advice above, you can do a lot to ensure that your small business is as productive as possible. Helping small businesses succeed has never been more critical. By implementing these helpful business productivity tips every day, you can feel assured you are doing everything you can to make your small business a fantastic success.