Small business owners know that a nine-to-five job is just an illusion if they want to grow their business. That is why it is essential to cut down on time wasters that eat away precious productive minutes during the work day. Because small business owners are required to manage a wide spectrum of tasks in their companies, managing their time is critical. If you seem to always be running out of time in your business, consider the following time wasters:
Too Many Unscheduled Meetings
With the availability of texting, FaceTime, and Skype, it’s easy to have continual unscheduled meetings. These meetings interrupt valuable concentration time for productive projects. In order to balance meeting time with project time, schedule your meetings in advance and include time on your daily schedule for closed door time when you can’t be interrupted.
Refusing to Delegate
Entrepreneurs are used to doing everything themselves. When their companies first get off the ground, they may be the only person working for the company. However, as a company grows, it is no longer necessary for the owner to have their fingers in every piece of the pie. It is much more productive to hire competent workers, train them well and then let them take charge of their part of the business. For instance, paperwork such as invoices can be handled by a bookkeeper who is trained in an accounting program such as Quickbooks, so that you can use your time on tasks that require your expertise.
Most business owners get hundreds of emails each day, and it is easy to get bogged down in answering them. Unfortunately, the majority of these emails are time wasters that will not lead to future income for your company. A smart practice is to schedule time to review your emails daily, and send routine inquiries to subordinates, personally answering only the emails that need your attention. Another solution is to set up a program that will filter your email into folders, allowing you to focus your attention on the ones you need to answer immediately.
While it is true that some people thrive on a cluttered environment for creative thinking, that is no excuse for a cluttered office setting. If you are wasting time constantly searching for documents, it’s time to get some expert help organizing your office and your files. Removing clutter and being able to put your hands on crucial documents in minutes will improve your confidence, reduce time in preparation for meetings, and make you look good in the eyes of your clients. There are many consultants that can be hired on an hourly basis to help you initially improve your organization, and then pitch in to maintain it afterwards.
Small business owners can save time by improving communication with their employees. Often miscommunication leads to wasted time and disappointment both for managers and workers. Time used to correct mistakes can cost a company money that could have been used for other resources. If you find that miscommunication is a problem in your business, daily morning meetings or emailed communication for your staff can clarify and correct issues before they waste productive time.
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