Many small business owners find there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Without a huge budget to spend on hiring teams or outsourcing work, small business owners often have to do things for themselves. From marketing to sales, social media management to accounting, there can be a lot to get done on your own. As your business grows, you may be able to hire extra help with some tasks. However, to get to that point you need to put the effort, and hours, in. While there isn’t yet an app to add a few hours to your day, there are some great ways to simplify your processes, which can help make running your small business easier and more manageable.
Use the Cloud
There are many options when it comes to saving files in the cloud. You can use iCloud if you are working between Apple devices. Or OneDrive and Dropbox if you’re a Windows user or work between different platforms. Saving your work and files to online storage means you can access them on the go, on any device. It also gives your staff, partners and associates the chance to view, or work on, the same files and documents. Be sure to back up any work, and password protect anything you don’t want the rest of your network seeing.
Speed up Payments
Waiting for payments is something that hinders small businesses. Often, with smaller budgets you can’t work until you receive payments. Using a free printable purchase order template, is a great way to ensure you get paid when you need it. It totally streamlines the payment process, without any extra work on your part. Sending invoices electronically means you don’t need to wait for the post. It also gives your clients the chance to pay instantly via credit card, making the whole process much faster.
Get a Great Website
Having a fantastic website doesn’t need to take too much work. Use a great template, then work on adding worthwhile content. Once it’s up and running, it’s surprisingly simple to maintain. Adding a comprehensive FAQ section can save you time on answering client queries alone.
Social media plays a huge part in growing any small business. But, it can be time-consuming. The best way to grow your social media profiles is to be an active user. But, replying, sharing other people’s content, posting your own, and maintaining a presence can take up a lot of your time. Fortunately, an awful lot of this can be automated using an app.
Turn off Notifications
Between your website, social media profiles, emails and messages, your phone is sure to be beeping non-stop. This can be incredibly distracting. So, turn off non-essential notifications. Set aside some time each day to check your social media accounts, so you won’t miss anything.
When you work for yourself, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to work. Having a schedule, and to do lists, can make life a lot easier.
Sit down at the beginning of each week and prioritize your tasks. Then, take 15 minutes every morning to make sure this still suits your needs. If something comes in that can be done in 2 minutes, do it straight away. If not, leave it, and add it to your schedule.
Meetings with clients, associates, colleagues or suppliers, while necessary, can be exceptionally time consuming. Only have a meeting when you need them. Only invite those who need to attend. And try to keep each meeting to 30 minutes, cutting anything that isn’t important.
Get yourself into good habits from the very start. Don’t waste time. Keep on top of things like accounting, training and reviews. Set aside some time each week for administration duties. Then, make sure you stick to it. You should also get into the great habit of finishing work for the day at a set time, and allowing yourself time off. This will help reduce your stress levels and make running your business much easier.
Once you’ve got your business started, don’t rush to make it huge. Concentrate instead on doing things right. Take your time and enjoy the process. Build a strong support network, and a loyal, trusting customer base.
Starting your own small business comes with a huge learning curve, and one of the tricks to success is to never stop learning. Try these tips. Some will work for you, others might not. Keep what works. Keep learning, keep taking risks and trying new things, and you’re sure to be successful.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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