How to manage your time when you own a small business
Time is precious and we are all confronted with it. Mid-level employees or high level managers, big business owners or small, we all need a better management. In modern life people are maximalists and they endeavor frequently to pursue an organized sequence of actions. But how deal when you are your own boss and you juggle daily the new responsibilities. You have multiple tasks and you become logically the unique actor of all your assignments.
In big business, everything seems to be clearly defined. There are marketers, sales agents, administrative workers and managers. Small business instead manages by own its administration and accounting, develops new marketing plan and contact the customers.
You watch your task list growing just in a couple of weeks. Soon you realize that you will need to arrange that pile of work as you would arrange your own wardrobe.
Searching continuously new productive ways, I would highlight some strategies on how to manage better your time.
1 ․ Start by gathering your list and classify your work
Surely you have the long list of “to-dos” bulked on a corner. Create the list of your tasks and have a single view of all tasks. Once listed, follow your records and define the status for each assignment. Decide how long the work has been going. Follow your timescale and control the progress of your work. Categorize your work: include them under “imaginary departments” like accounting, marketing or sales. Be more creative, search a new management system and register your tasks. Task management systems allow us to control efficiently the projects, follow the deadline and supervise the staff.
2 ․ Set clear and real deadlines
Each work must have a term. We are more effective when we know our deadlines. It is very important to set up real terms. Follow the Parkinson’s Law and do not spend much more time on a job that requires less. Try to finish your job within the predefined terms. Get started to prioritize your work. Is that a primary or secondary job? If you have decided to look for a specialist, or set up the list of the prospects and more, to work on the content, first prioritize the task that impacts most your market demand. Keep as well this habit to start from the short-term assignments. They consume less time and save your efforts.
3 ․ Divide your day into sections
We are all productive at different hours; however most people work efficiently in the morning.
Divide your day to several sections. For example, I divide my day into 3–4 sections. Early morning, at coffee time, I deal basically with certain issues like administration or small accounting issues. Near 10:00 o’clock I am starting to work on one or two current problems related to the projects in process. In the afternoon, I focus on thinking or planning. I use the evening hours to create business-related content or post on social platforms.
I strictly divide my week days as well. Monday I am mostly planning what should I do. I always set up a small objective to finish during the week. Friday, when no much current jobs to finish, I am writing or creating content. Week-ends are dedicated to reading and personal growth.
4 ․ Organize your human resources
Very often the current work takes so many efforts from us that we are not able to deal with the profiles received during the time. We knew that we will not able do the whole job all the time. We will need a partner, a specialist a coworker. So keep the habit to reserve a time to review the CVs.
Usually I reserve my coffee time to watch the profiles of different people, their emails of cooperation or partnership. Do this review when you are relaxed or not in a hurry. While going through the lines, concentrate more on the description of experiences. Separate some profiles for phone calls. Phone meetings are useful to memorize the person and identify those details and qualities that are not relevant in the written form.
5. Establish quality procedures
Procedures are the most boring part of our business life. For certain, it is not a creative job. I am sincerely too lazy to create my business procedures, but they are extremely useful. Have you noticed how often you repeat the same work, action or description? Or you need sometimes a quality checklist to ensure that everything is done? All these are procedures and they need to be formulated. Once established, the procedures save your time and improve the services quality.
Another minus with plus — the procedures need updates. They lose their purpose if much outdated. Make them simple and update when needed. The procedures save time and shape your work. They are an internal circuit of your activity, but they influence on all external aspects of your business activity.
6. Assign and do your planning
To be sure of your service quality, you prefer to work yourself. Your responsibility is much higher in front of customers than your coworkers. Anyway, you need to get rid of routine overload. Through the time you should acquire a completely new skill for yourself. Learn to delegate; learn to assign. While delegating, be confident and trust your workers.
Delegation allows freeing up a space for business planning and development focusing. Start to plan your work as much as possible. Make both, short-term and long-term plans. You can make weekly, monthly or annual plans. For example, plan your target in the market — who are the customers you are going to work, plan your resources –how much resources do you you want to use, or plan your investments.
Remember — regular planning impact your business and there is no good business without planning.
Hope, you have noted few of these strategies. I’ve noticed that there are still some points that I do not follow at ease. A last one — follow what you note…that may change a lot.