Running your own business is rewarding, but it’s also a busy job. While you have the freedom to choose how and when you work, you also have the responsibility of making sure everything gets done, from sales and marketing to finance and stock control.
That pressure can often be stressful to deal with. When you’re rushing from one job to the next, it’s hard to find a moment to reflect and plan your business’s next steps, or just to take a break.
That makes effective time management a valuable skill for any small business owner. The more efficiently you can arrange your tasks, the more time you can free up to spend on the things that matter to you.
Here are a few of our tips for saving time in a small business.
Plan your day
Sitting down and writing out a to-do list can feel like an extra task to complete, but done the right way, it can make your workload much more manageable.
Start by setting out a list of achievable goals, breaking down any large pieces of work into smaller steps.
From there, you can order them by priority – you might find the best approach is to complete your most important task first, or to tackle the trickiest one so you feel motivated to work on the rest.
Work out what’s valuable
If you still find you’ve got more on your to-do list than you can manage, you may need to evaluate whether certain tasks are worth the time you put into them.
Measure how much time you spend on different types of work, looking at what brings the most value to your business, and what’s more of a drain on your time.
If you employ staff, it might help to think about which tasks you could delegate. Alternatively, you could look at ways of automating work or handing it over to someone outside of your business.
Make use of technology
There’s plenty of software designed to take time-consuming tasks off your hands, and it doesn’t have to be complicated to set up.
Research from Sage suggests small businesses in the UK spend an average of 71 days in a year on administrative tasks like accounting and paperwork – tasks that could be made much easier with digital tools.
We recommend cloud accounting software to many of our clients. This allows you to automate many of the accounting tasks that might otherwise eat into your time, as well as producing helpful insights into your business’s performance.
Plus, you can link your accounting software up to apps for expenses, invoicing, online payment and more.
Outsource when you need to
Some jobs can’t be handled by software, and in many cases it makes more sense to outsource them.
Handing over certain tasks to a specialist also means you can be confident they’ll be completed efficiently and to a high standard.
At Knight & Co, we offer a full range of accountancy and advisory services to help small business owners save time and achieve their goals.
Talk to us to find out how we can help your business.