Productivity is about how you manage your time and how you control your mind. It is a frequently discussed topic amongst entrepreneurs but the way towards achieving efficiency and productivity is difficult. As opposed to renowned entrepreneurs, small business owners need to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. So how can they make sure that they are utilizing their time in the right way?
Here are 8 tips for your small business to stay productive that will answer this question-:
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1. Be flexible to the current situation
Small businesses have to be versatile and flexible towards changing situations and recent trends of the market. For instance, most companies are working from home right now. So, you can therefore ask your employees to connect with you via Skype or Slack to get timely updates on progress. Instead of restricting yourself to one area of expertise, try to meet the various needs of your clients. Learn from every experience and then master in a particular field.
2. Prioritize and delegate tasks
Small businesses must master the art of prioritizing and delegating work to team members. These two skills will help them to learn time management. Begin by making a list of priorities. Always put complex, urgent and time-consuming tasks at the top while listing the priorities and complete them first. Divide the tasks into two halves, take the tasks that require your attention and delegate the others to team members. Let your employees perform tasks that they are experts at while you focus on urgent tasks.
3. Opt for an online appointment scheduling software
Client and team meetings are crucial for small businesses. But it is daunting to manually schedule meetings and send reminders to clients. Instead, you can use free online appointment scheduling software like Picktime, which will allow you to schedule appointments with your clients and sends automated reminders to them via SMS and email. Your clients can make instant payments through credit cards or payment processors like PayPal, Stripe and Square. You can also generate service invoices and email them to your clients along with a feedback form. Sync an external calendar such as Google/Outlook/Apple calendar with Picktime to demarcate dates for personal commitments. Monitor your staff working from multiple office locations and add their working hours and break time. Generate, download, export and print your business reports from your Picktime dashboard to evaluate performance.
4. Restrict email communication
Writing emails to employees to assign work can be time-taking. You will need to save time in every way possible. Try limiting email communication to clients only. Fix proper time slots for checking emails and ask employees to send important communication via Skype or call if it’s urgent. Also, if you are planning to send email marketing campaigns, ensure that you do not frustrate leads with too many emails. You may send around 4 to 6 email marketing campaigns per month.
5. Store documents in the cloud
Small businesses have piles of client data, proposals, presentations and other necessary information. But some small businesses also have various people working in different shifts. Also, some people commute to the office for work, while others work from home. Therefore, writing, editing and saving documents in a cloud-based app like Google Docs and MS Office 365 is prudent. Share the files with editor rights. That will permit your employees to access, read, and edit those documents at any time from anywhere.
6. Eliminate distracting activities
Small businesses are constantly under pressure due to limited resources and fewer employees. They will need to complete heaps of work in the least amount of time. Yet unnecessary chitchat with colleagues can hamper their productivity. On the other hand, pools of notifications flooding your smartphone during work hours can be equally distracting. Using social media or playing games is also detrimental to maintaining productivity. Therefore, you must avoid using your smartphone while working. However, you can ask employees to use phones in the event of an emergency.
7. Keep your employees happy
Employees are the backbone of a company and they should be treated fairly. Make the working environment healthy and comfortable to keep your employees happy. Plan out short trips with employees once in a while. Reward them with discount coupons for shopping and food. You can also send them boxes of sweets and chocolates during festivities with a personalized greeting card. Encourage your employees to participate in meetings and present their ideas. Listen to their suggestions and help them to accomplish goals. Address health concerns of employees and provide them adequate breaks for rest.
8. Automate tasks to save time
One of the best strategies for small businesses to stay productive is to automate basic jobs as much as possible. Instead of staring at the clock and waiting for the perfect time to post on social media, use apps like Hootsuite and Tweet Deck to schedule your tweets. Schedule Facebook and Instagram posts through Creator Studio at once instead of logging in and out and switching between tabs. These apps will automatically post your social media updates on time. Additionally, you can use a chatbot on your website to answer the queries of customers.
Follow these tips to increase efficiency but also remember to take breaks and get enough sleep. Plan for shared meals with employees, organize sports and games at the office and encourage your employees to practice yoga and meditation. Don’t forget to put basic amenities inside your offices such as water purifiers and vending machines. You can also keep indoor plants to spread positivity.