Use these time-saving tips to get the most out of your business every day

5 Time-Saving Tips for Fast-Growing Businesses

When you own a business, the responsibility can be all-consuming. You’re powered by your vision of what the company should be and how you want it to grow. But then all the related responsibilities start filling up your day. Some, like assuring customers are well-served and happy, can pull you into the details of your operations and take time away from equally important but longer-term tasks. Other obligations, like legal or financial matters, simply can’t be ignored.

This is why business owners often put in brutal hours. And, as good as it might feel when you finish the day with a job well done, longer hours are rarely a formula for long-term success. At some point, your business may start to suffer, or your personal relationships, or even your health. The sooner you master time management, the happier you’ll be. And the more likely your business will succeed.

Common Time Management Challenges for Businesses

As mentioned above, the chief demand of any business is keeping customers happy. You probably have high standards for the work you do and may even feel that no one can do it as well as you. Even if that’s true, you can’t do it all and still hope to grow your business. This probably means you will have to bring on partners and/or hire staff.

In both cases, now you have several other responsibilities. If you bring on a partner, you have to deal with legal and financial matters, and devote time to coordinating your activities. That still doesn’t solve the thousand tiny tasks that can fill up your day. If you’re hiring employees, you have even more legal details to address that will require regular attention. The thousand tiny details of business-as-usual can multiply with every additional employee.

As important as these responsibilities might seem at the time, they can obscure one of the most debilitating demands on your time. This has been called “the switching costs” of constantly shifting gears, from big issues to small ones, from operational challenges to regulatory or technical ones. The time lost getting up to speed on one problem only to have to pivot to another can eat up a day and sap your strength, mentally and physically. 

Fortunately, these issues are well known. And so are many of the cures.

How to Save Time in Business? 5 Useful Tips and Strategies

Just as you invested time and resources in getting your business started, you need to invest time in getting your schedule and operations under control. Putting in the effort upfront will pay off in less time and energy wasted on any given day moving forward.

Prioritize Tasks 

A good guide to your priorities is bottom-line impact. Put big things first; those that drive revenue and profitability. This works at the macro and the micro level in how you schedule your year, each month, and every day. What annual tasks must get done? Block that time. Monthly responsibilities? Schedule time accordingly. Every day should be planned out. That doesn’t mean every minute should be full. Try to carve out blocks of “open” time for business development and deeper customer engagement.

To the extent possible, automate routine processes. If there are tasks your vendors – like your bank — or your suppliers can handle, have them do those. Be sure to schedule a regular check-in to make sure that function is going according to plan. If some technology will cost-effectively automate a routine task, implement that technology as soon as possible. (More on this later.)

If you have employees, schedule time to train them. Go beyond job skills. Teach them how to recognize customer needs and how to address those. Make sure they know what is unique about your company and how to deliver that to customers. Time spent training and orienting employees can pay off a hundred times over in company growth and personal wellbeing while saving you time in the long-run.

In this way, your employees can make the biggest positive impact on your bottom line. If your employees have little tasks for you to perform so they can keep up with their work, do those tasks first. Don’t become a bottleneck. This maximizes productive time for your entire company.

Outsource and Delegate Effectively for Growth

Now that you have your routines on cruise control and a staff that knows how to take care of customers, you can really put your free time to use. Spend some of it planning how to maximize the profitability of your current operations and grow the company. Once you have a plan, invest some time with every partner, vendor, and employee to  get them on the program.

Delegate all the regular tasks you can. If some of those are not core to your business, consider outsourcing them, especially if an outside vendor can handle them more efficiently. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has grown up to serve exactly this need. Rather than staffing, training, and managing specialty roles, savvy entrepreneurs engage a BPO for those jobs. These can include HR, bookkeeping, remote customer service, IT services, technical support, and more. BPOs are located across the U.S.. You also have highly reliable and surprisingly cost-effective nearshore options in companies like Solvo.

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Automate Repetitive Tasks

Automation can take a couple of forms, and technology can help with both.

Tasking employees with routine or repetitive tasks is an obvious way to get that kind of work off your calendar. If those involve a couple of skillsets or individuals – like managing and tracking projects– workflow management and scheduling software can ensure that the work gets accomplished smoothly and efficiently. Because multiple employees are engaged, they can cross-check on the quality and completion of those tasks. In effect, your people can manage those tasks themselves with little or no oversight from you.  

Depending on the nature of your business, some tasks can be mostly or entirely handled by technology. Consider business health metrics dashboards fed by your accounting and email marketing software and by the workflow management software mentioned above. This will allow you to check on your business without running custom reports (or taking employees away from paying work to create them).

An easy rule of thumb is to look for any task that is currently being done by hand on a spreadsheet. There is probably a piece of software that will do it faster and perhaps even more accurately. Find out what that software costs and do the math to know if it’s right for your business.

Batch Similar Tasks and Fight Distractions

In terms of your own task list, look for opportunities to knock out related tasks in one push. This can avoid the “switching costs” mentioned above. Once you get in the flow, it’s easy to accomplish a lot more in less time. If you have these kinds of tasks daily, schedule a block to handle them all at once. If such tasks are scattered throughout the week or month, try to schedule them as a single project. This will help you spend less time on any one of them, and it will avoid having them disrupt the rest of your schedule.

With the right mindset, this technique can also improve the quality of your work. The necessary mindset is a clear focus on each simple step. If that means turning off the phone or email notifications, do it. You can get back to those things sooner if you concentrate on your immediate tasks now.  

Schedule Breaks and Recharge

With your own task list out of the way, automation handling recurring responsibilities, and your employees making sure the business is performing up to your standards, you should have some time for yourself. Take it. If all you can afford is an hour a day, take that.

End your day at a reasonable hour and give some time back to yourself. Spend time with family and friends and non-work activities and take care of yourself, especially so you can take better care of your business when you’re back on duty.

Save Time to Focus on Growing Your Business

While a business of your own is every entrepreneur’s dream, the reality can often be a harsh one. The demands of running a company – beyond the profession or business model you’re pursuing – place all kinds of additional demands on your time. Time management and time-savings are as critical to your success as the quality of your work or the amount of effort you put to it.

At some point, you will probably need help. It may be from third parties who supply you with skills you don’t have. It may be from employees who can supplement and amplify the skills you do have. The help you need may be from some combination of these. When that time comes, consider what you can outsource.

The world of business process outsourcing has evolved dramatically in recent years. Network technology and advanced communications have opened nearshore options outside the U.S. that can function much like remote employees anywhere and even like onsite personnel. The best of these includes technologies to automate repetitive tasks and assure seamless workflows.

Whatever you must do to take control of your time, do it. It’s important for your health and your life outside of work. Even your customers will appreciate it.  

About Solvo:
Solvo drives business growth by connecting North American companies with exceptional remote workers and AI-powered tools. Our unique nearshoring model ensures efficient collaboration in the same time zone, reducing turnover, and driving cost efficiencies. With a focus on fostering a great work environment, Solvo is dedicated to attracting top talent, ensuring our partners never have to choose between cost and quality.

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