Taking small tasks and improving your systems will help you make your business more productive and will streamline your processes. Do you want to be more effective? I do. Did you know that there was a recent study that said “57% of small business owners work six days a week”?
That’s no surprise to me and all the small business owners I know. We are workhorses and enjoy doing it most of the time.
But do we need to be working this hard? This week, we are sharing twenty ways to make your business more productive while reducing the time wasted and unwanted cost spent.
20 Simple Tips to Make your Business More Streamlined
Below are the tips to help you and your business.
Limit work conversations through texting. It is distracting, and it is hard to manage the responses. Send emails instead. There is more space to write a more detailed email. It is also easier to search if you need to reference a message.
Make a “to-do” list at the end of the day for the next day and stick to it. Move uncompleted tasks over to the next day. Get some more tips in our post: 8 Productivity Tips to Master Your Business Day.
Add 15 minutes to the end time of the appointment just in case you go over. If you need to drive from one meeting to another, add 15 minutes extra time for traffic. If you need help with tracking your time, check out this post which shows you how to improve your project time estimation.
Separate your home papers from your business paper on your desk. Even better, have two desks if you deal with lots of paper for your business. Read more on how to permanently clear the clutter from your desk post.
Use 15 minutes of your day for quiet reflection about your life and business. This tip is my favorite tip. By taking the time to reflect, you will be able to see the big picture for each project and be able to see where your business is going in the long run. Jot down the specific steps that come clear in your mind.
Find apps that will automate tasks at work that you would usually do manually. Check out this post I found recently about 21 Best Small Business Apps.
Make a list of tasks that need to be done when you are waiting to do something else. Refer back to this list when you have future downtime. For example: when you are waiting for your car; when you are waiting for your daughter’s ballet class to finish.
Develop a system for each of your tasks, especially the ones that are more complicated. Writing down all the steps in a particular process helps with this. Visit our post to figure out how to do this: How to create a checklist or procedure lists to improve productivity in your business.
Have a comfortable chair at your desk. If you don’t have a comfy chair, you are less likely to want to work at your desk. Below are some examples from Amazon (affiliate).
Set up a short-term filing system. Using an “in-bin” for this purpose works nicely. If you need more than one, that is ok. Below are some examples that are sold on Amazon (affiliate).
Set up a long-term filing system. Make sure you label the files so you can retrieve them as needed. Below are some filing cabinets you can buy on Amazon (affiliate).
List on a piece of paper all the different zones in your office so you and others will be able to find information quickly. Creating an office map will help new employees and seasonal employees find items easily.
Turn off your phone. Assign some quiet time in your day to get tasks that involve thought done. You can block it off in your online calendar if you are usually on calls with clients and associates.
Have a message board area for everyone to write messages and notes on it. A large marker board works nicely. Below are some examples from Amazon.com (affiliate).
Use a spreadsheet chart (like this one below) for all your bills for the month to make sure you paid everything. If you use Quicken or QuickBooks you can create a “to pay bills” section and list recurring bills there so you can remember every bill that is due.
Make it a rule to remove any unnecessary items from your desk before you leave for the day. Excess papers can accumulate so getting rid of the unwanted items at the end of the day and starting fresh the next day will help you clear your head first thing in the morning.
Keep your most used items at arms reach. Stapler, calculator, planner, pens, “in-bin” are just some of these things.
Have one area for office supplies complete with a customized list of items to reorder as needed. All you need to do is check the things that are needed off the list.
Schedule time a few times a week to check out your website. Review your analytics, and any advertising you may do will help you see who is looking at your site and what they are looking for. Make a note of the audience’s favorite things to do for future reference.
If you work from home and have an office, set up your home office the way you would set up your office space outside your house. Having the systems the same will make it easier for you to transition between areas and help you find things quickly.
Doing all these tasks at once is not necessary. Pick one or two and do it each month. By the next year, you will have streamlined your small business and have made your business more productive.
Now it’s your turn. What goals are you taking on for your small business this year? I would love to hear from you.