As a small business entrepreneur, knowing how to save time and grow your business is one of the biggest skills you’ll need to have.
This is because; for small business owners, sometimes, Time is the most valuable resources we crave.
Sometimes, some of us secretly wish we could extend our daily 24 hours, even by one hour to create more time. Unfortunately, this never happens.
Compared to a business run by more than one person, time management is usually more difficult for a one man business. But then, almost your entire success depends on it.
Imagine allocating time to build your brand, create content, find clients, deliver the job for client, keep your website freshly updated and still find time to help people here and there all by yourself.
It’s crazy. Most times it’s frustrating and unattainable. And bad enough, no one really cares about the fact that you don’t have enough time.
Everyone wants you to get the job done, as soon as possible. Not many people care about your excuse of not having adequate time.
That’s why, in order to save time and grow your business, you have to put certain things in place.
In this post I’m going to share with you, seven strategies on how to save time and grow your small business.
These time management strategies have been working for me. I hope they work for you too… The following are the strategies;
Set Clear (Expectations) Goals.
What do you really want to achieve today?
The first step towards saving time to boost your productivity is understanding clearly, the things you want to achieve, on each specific day.
Doing this gives you a daily direction and target to follow. And achieving that target gives you the inspiration to keep working.
It is very important you get your goals right. You can’t work without a clearly defined goal and still expect to achieve a lot for the particular day.
Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs are still starting and ending their days without clear business goals. It doesn’t work that way.
As a lone entrepreneur, there will always be so many things on your desk. And sometimes, you will forget the most important things if you don’t fix them as a specific goal you need to achieve within a specific period.
So, the first step towards saving time to grow your business is to set a specific goal and then work towards that with a clear plan.
Schedule your day
After fixing your goal, the next step to save time and achieve more is to schedule your day.
Having a decent schedule is very important to your effectiveness, whether as an individual or entrepreneur.
Start with fixing your important activities at specific intervals.
Decide how many hours or minutes you want to spend on a specific tasks and work on spending that particular length of hours on the tasks.
While setting your schedule, remember that an effective schedule must work hand in hand with your business goals.
For this reason, you have to understand your business goals clearly, divide the activities that will lead you to achieving these goals into tiny tasks then schedule them as part of your daily tasks.
There are a handful of free and paid productivity applications that can help you schedule some recurring activities like social media posts etc.
Work on engaging these apps as part of your work related apps.
Taking your daily schedule seriously will to a large extent determine whether you’ll achieve your business goals or not.
Prioritize your tasks.
According to the Pareto principle, only about 20% of the things we do are actually responsible for 80% of the result we create.
If this is the case (which is actually the case) then you have to find out the most critical activities that accounts for your most productive outcomes…
Prioritize these activities and allocate most of your time to them.
This is what prioritizing your tasks is all about.
Working on your daily activities in their order of priority is very important in helping you save time and achieve more as a small business, especially when it comes to spending more time on more important tasks.
Now, as a small business, in order to get your priorities right, you need to answer some crucial questions like; what’s the most important thing that could help me achieve my biggest goals right now?
As soon as this is sorted, you can now start with allocating adequate hours to these important tasks.
Allocate your most productive hours to these tasks and give it your best shot before attending to other things.
The more you successfully execute the most important tasks, the more you’ll get closer to achieving your business goals.
Start with the easiest tasks.
After prioritizing your daily activities, focus on starting these activities with the easiest of them all.
Pick them up, bits by bits and work on them, starting with the simplest parts.
If it’s content for instance, before you begin to create the main content, write out your title, get the main keyword, chunk up the idea into sub heads and start with that.
Practice this with other important tasks too… Before you know it, you’ll be surprised at what you’ve achieved and how much time you’ve saved.
The more you successfully execute the easy tasks, the more you’ll be inspired to push out the highly tasking activities.
In most cases, starting with a more demanding activity can make you feel overwhelmed or discouraged.
But, starting your daily activities with the simple and inspiring tasks gets you all warmed up and in the mood to work with more ease.
Outsourcing can become one of your biggest ways to save time and achieve a lot more with your business.
It has helped a lot of businesses in boosting their productivity and ability to achieve and earn a lot more than they would achieve on their own.
One reason most small businesses do not want to outsource is because they think outsourcing will make them spend a lot more on a project than they would earn from the project.
I have had this opinion at some point but I later realized that this is far from the truth. It is sheer ignorance.
Sometimes, outsourcing could save you more ample time than you can ever imagine.
Another good thing working for you as an entrepreneur is that since you’re already in the business, it will be easier to outsource to other businesses you know at a more affordable rate.
Imagine having a 100 USD Graphics Design work and outsourcing a major chunk of it to a freelancer on Fiverr at 40 USD.
At the end of the day, doing this saves you time and effort and you end up spending far less hours on the work while keeping the 60 USD change.
With outsourcing, you can also build a reliable team that can take some work off your hand so you have enough time to run your business.
Like outsourcing, collaborating with other businesses on a project can save you time, increase your productivity and expand your result.
Although in most cases you might have to share whatever income you earn from such collaborative efforts, at the end of the day, it gives you a better job done at a shorter time.
For instance, let’s say you’re a thought leader planning to host a conference… Instead of being the only one to speak at the conference you can get other expert thought leaders to share the platform with you.
This enriches the conference, adds a new perspective to the content while making the work far easier for you.
Same thing goes for major projects. Some projects will be achieved much faster via collaborative effort.
Instead of working on a single project for months and forgetting other parts of your business during that period, you can decide to collaborate with others, finish up the project at a shorter time and save more time to use on other parts of your business.
Evaluate your activities.
As a budding entrepreneur, evaluating yourself, your activities and time spent on each business task is very important to your overall success..
It gives you a good knowledge of where you’re lagging behind in time management, where you need to allocate more time and where you need to reduce your activities.
From time to time, you have to commit yourself to assessing what really is happening with your business.
Evaluate how much time you’re spending on each aspect of it and how much result this effort is generating. This is very important.
As a creative, consider your time as one currency you can’t get back for any reason and get committed to spending it well.
Now, part of evaluating yourself involves accountability. You should be able to account for what you’re doing with your time and how much this is affecting your business.
It is sad that a lot of entrepreneurs do not sit down to account for their time.
Most entrepreneurs believe being busy is part of the joy of being an entrepreneur…
But the truth is, even when you’re very busy, if the “busyness” is not yielding the right outcome then you’re wasting your time.
This is why evaluating your activities and outcomes from time to time is very important to your effectiveness in time management.
Now, you know the most important things you could do to save time and achieve more with your business.
Besides these, other tips you can also use to save your time and achieve more with your business includes; automating your business, timing yourself as you work on each tasks, reducing multi-tasking, cutting off some urgent and unnecessary activities and assigning yourself realistic deadlines you’ll stick with.
So, which of these tips are most important to you?