Small businesses make the world go ‘round. You offer unique products and you help build a sense of community on each street where you set up shop. But when you’re running around frantically because you’ve packed your day with unnecessary tasks, you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice.
There are countless things that businesses should simply stop doing and in this blog post we’ll go over the top seven things you don’t have to do. That way you can get back to your customers and enjoy less stressful days as well.
1. Don’t Forget to Lead by Example
Your managers might have access to your calendar and schedule meetings from time to time. Or maybe a few vendors have been taking up much more of your time than usual by phone and over email. While both of these things are important, improving employee performance to boost customer satisfaction should be your main goals. When you can devote more time to your customers and training your employees, you can improve your business significantly. Your emails will be there when you come back.
2. Don’t Put too Much on Your Plate
This goes hand in hand with the previous time saving tip. When every minute of your day is scheduled, there’s no room for emergencies. They happen, so plan for them. Keep at least an hour of your day free in case you need to rush order a product that randomly started flying off your shelves or menu. When you give yourself some extra time just in case, you will feel like you have much more time on those days when things run smoothly.
Plan for yourself too, if you’re always running around like a chicken with its head cut off, put a nice lunch on your calendar or slot in a time to take a walk in the closest park to clear your head. Your schedule can help you run your business more efficiently, but it can also make your experience as a business owner more pleasant when you schedule time for yourself.
3. Don’t Try to Do it on Your Own
Delegation is key. If you have a mountain of invoices taking over your desk, ask your Managers to help with some of your daily tasks. Train your salespeople to do a wide range of tasks and gain a good understanding of what they’re good at. That way, when you’re swamped you know who you can call on to take over some of the duties you won’t be able to perform that day. Remember that you aren’t alone and your business will run smoother if everyone works together.
4. Don’t Micromanage Employees
Your employees are the life of your business. If you hired them based on their skills and experience, you should be able to trust them. All employees need to be trained on the specifics of your business, even if they just came from a similar position. But beyond initial training, check ins, and ongoing training, you should let them do their job. There are some things that you should be picky about, such as how employees speak to customers and how they deal with a packed house, but knowing when to step back and let your business run itself is one of the small business tips that owners might forget. When you remember that you hired your employees for a reason and that they too are invested in the shop’s success, you can sleep easier and get on to more pressing tasks.
5. Don’t Forget to Move on
Maybe you just got a one star review on Yelp because it was really busy and a customer had a bad experience. Address the customer’s concern and do your best to correct it, then move on. Showing that you are attentive will speak volumes to potential customers researching you online and once you adequately remedy the issue the disgruntled customer had with you, they just might go out and sing your praises. This time saving tip centers on the idea that negative things will always arise in your business, but being swift and decisive about how to fix them is key. The next part of the equation is getting back to business as usual to help things continue to move in the right direction. Accidents happen and that’s ok. Your reaction to them determines who you are as a business owner.
6. Don’t Get Stuck in the Past
Automation is here and it’s your friend. If you want to save time, there are many tools and solutions you could put into place. For example, you could swap out your old school cash register for a more modern point of sale system. Same with your payroll provider. Assess which tasks are taking up a bit too much time each week and find a corresponding solution. With the explosion of software and even hardware on the market that aim to solve chronic small business problems, you’re sure to find something that will save you time and headaches.
7. Don’t Let Administrative Tasks Take Over Your Day
Creating a schedule that meets your business needs, yet also takes into account the days employees requested off and their preferred schedule doesn’t have to take an entire day every two weeks. Instead, you can automate the scheduling process, which is the ultimate time saving tip. With scheduling software you’ll be able to collect availability, time off requests, and monitor clock ins and clock outs right from your mobile device or computer. Any day with less time sitting at your computer and more time growing your business is a good day indeed.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of time saving tips, but it is certainly a good start. If you have any tips to add that have helped your small business thrive, feel free to comment with your time saving tip.
Want to save time on scheduling each week? Sign up for Homebase for free here.