As a small business owner, there are a ton of things on your plate at any given time. Customer management, marketing, sales, supplier issues – the list goes on and on. Your to-do list is never-ending and it’s always a challenge to find the time to get things done.
By using proven productivity tips, you can increase the amount you get done, while decreasing your overall stress. We’ve laid out the 10 best productivity techniques below to help you get started.
Why Is Improving Productivity So Important for Small Businesses?
With a limited amount of time each day, it’s easy for small business owners to get sidetracked and distracted, which affects overall growth. By improving your productivity you can better prioritize your tasks, find ways to reduce your workload, and focus on the bigger picture. After all, you want to work smarter, not harder.
10 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Create SMART goals
Setting goals is a great way to keep your business on track and focused on long-term success. In order to make the most of your goal setting, you should employ the SMART method. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Bound. These can help motivate you and your team to get the day-to-day work accomplished.
2. Prioritize Your Day
Create a to-do list every day and prioritize your tasks based on importance and urgency. This will help you focus on what's most important and what’s just nice to have. Make time to complete the most vital tasks first – ideally first thing in the morning. Once those are complete, you’ll have more brain capacity to tackle less pressing matters, if there is time.
3. Work in Chunks
Despite how hard we try, we can only concentrate for so long without needing a break. The best way to plan for this is to schedule chunks of time to work throughout the day, with small breaks in between.
One popular method for this is called the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. While this works for some, others find that longer chunks of around 90 minutes are ideal. It’s best to try a few options to see what works for you.
4. Embrace Automation, Where Possible
Finding ways to automate smaller or repetitive tasks helps clear your schedule to focus on big picture items. While these smaller tasks are often crucial to the business, they are also a distraction. Luckily, there are a ton of softwares that exist to make your life easier and more streamlined.
Use automation tools to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, social media posting, or email follow-ups. This will save you time and reduce the risk of errors.
5. Delegate Tasks
As a small business owner, delegation is crucial for success. Not only does this free up your time, it also means you can hand off these tasks to those with specialized knowledge or interests.
If you are a solo entrepreneur, consider hiring a virtual assistant or freelancers to help with these tasks. While they are an added expense, it's important to recognize the value of your own time by focusing on what you do best.
6. Break Your Projects Into Manageable Tasks
Big projects can often feel overwhelming to accomplish. When you break them down into smaller tasks, though, they feel much more manageable. This also helps you see where you may be able to delegate tasks or work collaboratively with others.
There are a ton of project management apps like Trello, Asana, or Monday that can help you break down projects into smaller steps. These allow you to set deadlines, assign team members to a task, and track your progress in one simple workflow.
7. Take Time for Yourself
Setting clear boundaries between work and relaxation is extremely important for productivity. Don't neglect your physical and mental well-being – eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Taking care of yourself will help you stay energized and focused throughout the day, which can boost productivity.
While it may seem counterintuitive, taking time away from your work can actually lead to increased focus when you’re back at it. It allows you to see problems in a new light and come back refreshed, ready to tackle any challenge the business throws at you.
8. Remove Distractions
Distractions come in many forms, from personal messages and social apps to meetings or employee discussions. To maintain productivity, minimize these distractions as best as possible. That may mean finding a quiet space to work, locking your phone away in a drawer, or blocking out meeting-free time in your calendar to allow for uninterrupted work.
9. Prepare for the Week Ahead
Nothing is worse than the wasted time on Monday mornings trying to orient yourself to the work week ahead. Instead, take some time – even just 10-15 minutes – on a Friday afternoon or Sunday evening to look at the week ahead. That way, when Monday rolls around you’re already ready to face the week.
10. Monitor and Adjust Your Goals
Increasing productivity is a way for you to reach your business goals faster and more efficiently. As such, it’s important to measure your progress and monitor your goals on a regular basis. This allows you to step back and figure out weak points in your processes and find ways to improve them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for input from your team, if you have one. They may offer solutions you haven’t considered or have ways of working that help them achieve more. Try new techniques and set more goals to continue to grow in your business.
The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider
Pay.com offers a comprehensive, flexible payment infrastructure that allows you to easily accept a variety of different payment methods. With a simple sign up and easy onboarding process, you’ll quickly get access to a host of user-friendly features. There are many benefits to using Pay.com including:
- The ability to choose from an array of popular payment methods including credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and more.
- Your choice between no-code solutions and advanced APIs to create a custom checkout experience, depending on your level or expertise.
- Website checkout and direct payment options, depending on your business needs
- Robust security features including Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and 3D Secure 2.0 authentication for card transactions.
The Bottom Line
Improving your productivity won’t happen overnight, but if you apply some of these tips, you should see a difference. Finding ways to increase your output can help you grow your business without adding undue stress. Track your progress and adjust as necessary – don’t be afraid to ditch what isn’t working and try something new.