As a small business owner, your greatest asset is you, your time, and your sanity. Your time management and productivity skills can be your greatest enemy or your best friend. According to the Small Business Administration, one of the top reasons for small business failure is under-capitalization, and this includes not budgeting enough time.
If you cannot do a job, then you will need to hire someone that can. Sometimes this is for the best. Other times it is an unforeseen expenditure. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to manage your business more effectively, making the most out of your precious time.
Make A Business Plan
Before you purchase special software for your business or get training in leadership skills, create a full and comprehensive business plan. This will be your guiding document and the foundation of everything you do. Like building a house, changing the foundation of your business is hard to do after you get it built. Dwight D. Eisenhower said that the plan is useless, but it is the planning that’s important.
An article in Entrepreneur explains that planning is critical because it forces you to establish goals and outline the steps needed to achieve those goals. The article suggests being concrete and specific with dates and deadlines in your plan. However, do not obsess over every detail. Be concise and ready to act on the plan. This process will ultimately save you time and money.
Get Productive Anywhere
Productivity software is the rescuer of the modern small business owner. Where your business plan holds the guiding principles of your business, your productivity programs are the workers of the company. The best part is that they can all fit into your tablet or laptop.
The cloud is a large part of productivity and new business models. Cloud systems provide secure platforms to share documents, spreadsheets, and whatever else you might need with everyone in your company. This allows you to create, edit, and share documents from home or at your favorite coffee house on your own schedule.
You can have your documents in your employee’s or client’s inbox in the morning, then they can look over the docs, make changes, and return them any time of the day or night. Your nine to five days just changed to an anytime business model.
There is a lot of oscillation between the intellectual aspects and the practice of running a business. Research in the journal Systems tells us that business managers have difficulty thinking in terms of systems and procedures.
Systems allow business owners and managers to view the whole picture of their business in order to create procedures and training for themselves and their staff. Trying to run a business without these procedures can really hurt you in the long run as well as be a time-sucker until any problems are fixed.
After creating the business plan and putting it into practice, be sure to analyze your process and day-to-day functions to be able to see the big picture of how your business is doing and running. This will help you create new solutions to problems as well as keep doing what you are doing well.