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4 time-saving practices for small businesses

by on April 1, 2020 in Business, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Small Business, Startups

4 time-saving practices for small businesses

Small businesses owners typically know that time is money.

However, they may be desperately short on ideas on how to save time, much less do so in an effective manner. Here are 4 time saving practices for small businesses, no matter what your business does.

Prioritize

As a small business owner, the list of things you could do is always far more than you could do in a given day.

Whether you use Steve Covey’s quadrant system or some other system, have a clear set of priorities to determine what you must do in a given day, week, month or year.

Do those things first, before you work on things that are nice to do. Then you don’t fall behind on your tax filings because you were too busy mentoring new hires.

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Track work you get done as you do it and update your list as new things come up. And save yourself some stress by delegating as much as possible to others. Determine what each team member is best at and let them do it without being closely supervised by you or someone else.

Understand the Value of Your Time

Always consider the value of your time and that of your team. Don’t waste hours trying to learn how to do something you’ll only do once. And don’t waste your time trying to master something that can be done much more cheaply by an assistant.

Delegate or outsource tasks that are best done by someone else. This includes hiring an accountant or payroll service to handle payroll and tax filings and bringing in an attorney when you have legal questions.

Outsource Key Functions

One way you can save time and money is to outsource key functions. A common practice for ecommerce firms is to outsource the fulfillment of your most popular products.

For example, you might ship 500 of a particular SKU to Amazon, and they ship it as the ecommerce orders come in. Your only job is to refill their inventory before it runs out and pay them for the service. You could also hire fulfillment services on both coasts. Then customers get orders one to two days faster, and you only have to maintain inventory with two main suppliers.

Another option is mail management companies. They can deliver products and letters faster in the surrounding area. They can leverage their bulk discounts to lower your cost of sending bills, invoices and marketing material. They could receive orders, returned material and correspondence for you. They can sort this material so that each department gets just what they need to work with.

And you don’t have to worry about someone stealing checks or subscription requests, while your business doesn’t have to deal with as many deliveries to the main office.

Break Up Your Work Time

Multi-tasking hurts, not helps, your productivity. Break your day into chunks of time.

For example, spend an hour or two at the start of each day working on essential tasks.

Then you can practice management by walking around or check your messages. A side benefit of this practice is that you have limits on how long you can take breaks, though you can certainly schedule business lunches each day.

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