Smart Productivity tips for Small Business Owners and Freelancers

You’ve put in so much effort to build your business. The least you should get in return is an improved result but right now you’re wondering, are there specific productivity tips for small business owners that I need to know to improve my business?

The reason you’re asking this question is because you don’t get as much as you put into your business. You work so hard but the results don’t seem to be quite exciting. And you’re truly ready to change your outcome this time around.

Does this sound familiar? Welcome on board.

First of all, I feel sad to inform you that you’re not the only one onboard this ship. Like you, a lot of other small business owners are also experiencing this same difficulty but after today, you will have all it takes to cross over to the other side of improved productivity and more successful business operations.

That said, in the following paragraphs, I will be sharing with you the important productivity tips you can use to move your business up the ladder and start getting as much satisfaction as you deserve.

Evaluate your current outcomes

One of the first productivity tips you need to know before taking any other step is the need to evaluate your current outcomes.

Before proceeding to find a solution to your predicament, you want to analyze the current situation. Find out, how bad it is. And to do this successfully, you need to ask the following questions:

  • Are there things I haven’t been doing right?
  • Is it that the results I’m getting for my effort are not good enough or there’s no positive result at all?
  • Have I actually made effort to get some improvements and if yes, what was the results like?

The moment you take out time to evaluate the situation using this question, you’ll be thoroughly equipped with ideas on what to do or where to focus your energy at improving your productivity.

Identify your Goals

Now, that you’ve evaluated your current situation the next productivity tips you need is to identify your goals and objectives.

This could be anything you had in mind to achieve within a certain set period. Now is the time to figure them out clearly.

A lot of the times, entrepreneurs put in too much effort into the wrong activities, leaving behind important aspects of work that could really have benefitted their business because these things were not clearly identified from the onset.

You don’t want this to happen to you. So, start with writing down the things you want to achieve clearly and how they will benefit your business, including the steps you’re going to use to achieve them.

To make it even better, write out these things, in their order of importance and make reference to it as you apportion your time to all individual activities.

Create a schedule or to do List

Creating a working schedule for your business is probably one of the biggest productivity tips you’ll get out there. Coaches and experts are big on this and a lot of entrepreneurs aspire to have better schedules.

But one thing you have to remember as an entrepreneur is that it is not always about the schedules alone. Beyond creating schedules, you have to create a realistic schedule and then stick to it consistently if you really want to improve your productivity as a small business owner.

Before you create a schedule, go back to your overall goal and start right there. Divide your goals into achievable tasks spread over a period of time.

It could be yearly, quarterly or even monthly. Whatever the duration it spans, be sure you break down the goal up to the daily or weekly steps that will get you to achieve it.

What this does for you is that it chunks down your goals into what’s actually achievable. And when this happens, you’re able to focus your energy on the little daily aspects of activities that will lead you to achieve the overall goal realistically.

Start with the most basic

Start with the most basic or most urgent part of your work. This is one of the most controversial productivity tips you’ll get out there.

Some people prefer to start with the hardest part of their work. The excuse is that getting the hardest things out of the way makes it easier to get on to the less difficult tasks.

Personally, this doesn’t work for me. And realistically, starting with the most basic aspects of your work, the buildup of energy you get from achieving those tiny little tasks gets you all prepped up to do the hardest tasks.

On the other hand, starting with the hardest parts of your tasks can get things feeling really daunting. So to get the burst of energy that will drive your effort, you need to take on tasks that can be started without you feeling so overwhelmed.

Cut off distractions

Cutting off distractions is one of the silent productivity tips that will improve your productivity especially where you’re self-employed or working with a lot of tech gadgets.

Too many times these distractions could come in the form of innocent work related activities like checking emails, replying to WhatsApp chats or attending to clients comments on social media. And you may not even notice that they are eating into your productive time.

You don’t want to go to work and then spend the whole day on social media and emails while thinking that you’re working so, you have to cut this off immediately, by allocating time for these other activities.

Doing this declutters your working space so that when you’re working, you know you’re actually working.

Automate your work

One other productivity tips that can improve your outcome is automation.

As a small business owner, it’s most likely you do not have enough staff strength to carry out all the work so you may be running yourself thin at some intervals.

Instead of allowing this to continue unabated, automate some aspects of your work so you can get some part of the work off your hands.

Thankfully, from social media management, CRM, Emails etc, there are a lot of automation tools that can help you to automate your work while you focus on other things.

Decide to push off as much as you can to the automation tools while working on other important task that needs you to be available.

Ventureharbour has put together a list of automation tools you can start with right here.

Outsource your work

Outsourcing involves getting some aspects of your job to a third party to carry out the task on your behalf, in exchange for a fee.

Outsourcing your work is one of the important productivity tips that can boost your productivity by over 30 percent.

What happens is that the moment you decide to outsource your work to a third party, you get that part of the job off your list of tasks.

The good thing about outsourcing is that depending on the tasks involved or the capacity of the freelancer you’re outsourcing to, you can actually outsource as much as possible.

Done well, outsourcing can get a lot of responsibility off your shoulders freeing up enough time for you to focus on other important aspects of your work.

And you can get a headstart with outsourcing by checking out platforms like,, etc.

Final Words

In conclusion, when it comes to improving your productivity, accountability is very important but unfortunately, a lot of small businesses are struggling with this.

You can take all the steps we listed out here but the moment you refuse to hold yourself accountable for your own improved productivity, you may not achieve anything.

Forget about the fact that as a small business owner you may not be answerable to anybody but yourself instead, focus on holding yourself down to do all the things you’re supposed to do and at the right time, day in day out. This is how to create consistent growth.

As I round off, I do not just want you to aspire to or take these steps for taking sake. To really drive your productivity and create real change, I want you to commit yourself to creating the kind of results you want to achieve. This is very important.

Furthermore, take out time to evaluate your outcomes at certain intervals so you can understand the effectiveness of the strategies you’re using alongside your output. Doing this will shed more light on the effectiveness of your approach.

That said, we are committed to helping small businesses to find their paths and change the world. So, feel free to contact us here, if you have more questions on what you can do to boost your productivity.

Now, it’s over to you. When it comes to creating improved productivity for your business, what’s your biggest challenge?

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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