Time-Saving Hacks for Small Business Owners

by Dustin Gresen

If you’re a small business owner, you understand you often have to wear many hats to keep your business in gear. Some days you might be president, other days cashier or billing clerk. And some days you might be all of them at once. So, what is the hack to saving yourself from the whiplash of all these roles? It all comes down to time-saving measures. 

Productive or Efficient?

While these words are often used interchangeably they actually mean quite different things when it comes to your business. Productivity is focused on volume. How many units of my product or service can I produce or sell? Whereas efficiency takes into account not just volume, but also cost or the energy used to deliver upon your products and services. 

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get fixated on the numbers and want to sell the highest number of units possible. But don’t discount the importance of quality and customer experience. You’re bound to stay in business longer if you focus on efficiency over productivity. 

Ways to Be More Efficient

  • Just Say No to Multitasking

There’s truly no such thing as multitasking—we cannot do two things at once. If you consider yourself a multitasker, you’re actually most likely a switch-tasker. Meaning you switch back and forth between more than one task often. And that in-between time, while nearly imperceptible, wastes a lot of time.

  • Set Your Space Up for Success 

When you’re ready to get down to business it’s essential that your space allows you to actually get down to business. Is your desk clear of clutter? Do you have the pens, paper, or supplies you actually use to get the job done? Are there notifications popping up on your computer or cell phone? Set your computer notifications to “do not disturb” and put your phone in a drawer or in another room completely. You’re much more likely to get through your tasks when you set your environment up to serve your needs.  

  • Clear That Plate

Have way too much on your plate? It might be time you delegate. While it can be hard for some people to let others take the reins, it’s one of the greatest efficiency gifts you can give yourself. Decide which trusted people in your life and business can handle the tasks you wish to pass along and clear your plate confidently!

  • It’s a Plan

It’s time to get down to work. Where to start? Take a good hard look at your calendar and decide what your week ahead should look like. First, prioritize tasks that have looming deadlines. Then, group the rest of your tasks by type so you’re not jumping from one thing to another. One day might be spent in your office crunching numbers whereas one might be spent at your storefront creating a “fix it” list, cleaning, and helping customers. And don’t forget to add a little buffer time in between. If there’s one guarantee, it’s that you will get interrupted or distracted throughout your day. Building in an hour or so of buffer time can make all the difference. 

These time-saving changes, while small, can make quite the difference for your small business. Here’s to efficiency!