One of the most common issues that small business owners face is the problem of time management. Owners often end up carrying out time-consuming tasks that could easily be managed elsewhere, or spending too long on jobs that, with the right tools, could take half the time. There are a number of regular tasks that fall into these categories – eliminate time wasters and watch your days become more focused and your business more successful.
Time wasters and energy suckers
Chances are, you’ll recognise most if not all of the following daily chores that seem to create a time vortex in your business. You might not be able to avoid all of them, but by organising things more efficiently, pulling in help when you need it, and developing time management skills, you’ll give yourself more time to concentrate on the most important things in your business.
- Emails – always dropping into your inbox, reading and answering emails is an easy way to get distracted. That’s especially true if you are a business owner who not only receives emails from clients, staff and suppliers, but also from people who want to sell you their product or service. When you get into the office, allocate a set amount of time to clear your morning emails, and then don’t go back to them until later in the day. In fact, if you’re in the office for the day, turn your email off for a while so you’re not distracted. People can usually wait for a reply, and you will get some focused time to work on your business.
- Social media – the same problem occurs with social media as with emails. Small businesses that make good use of platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can build great relationships with customers and generate profile and business. But, like our personal social media, these can be incredible time-wasters if you let them. You could save a significant amount of time by outsourcing to a social media marketing assistant, or you can use a scheduling tool such as Buffer or HootSuite to make sure your posts go out regularly, but without you having to spend all day online.
- Meetings – productive meetings are useful and a good use of your time. Badly managed, un-focused meetings are not. In fact, they can be the best of time wasters. Whilst it may be important to have regular meetings with clients, suppliers and professional advisers, it makes sense to ensure that you’re making the meeting as time-efficient for you as possible. This might mean making it an online or phone meeting rather than face-to-face. It may mean having a clear agenda and a finishing time that everyone agrees to. It may mean – as many companies do – holding your meeting standing up so that no-one gets too comfortable! Whatever your strategy, reduce meetings to the absolute minimum and make them as focused as possible.
- HR and legal issues – surveys show that small businesses are more at risk from fines for non-compliance with HR and legal issues than any other business type. That’s because these businesses often can’t afford an in-house resource and yet don’t have the time to keep on top of all the legislative requirements placed on them. So, golden rules for time management include getting the experts in when you need them. They will advise, recommend and help you put policies in place, so that you don’t have to think about it.
- Diary management – managing your diary and workload efficiently are key to handling common management time wasters. Planning in set times for certain tasks, along with organising regular and repeat meetings where necessary will help to make your days more organised. If you need to, get help with this by buying some virtual assistant time, which gives you someone reliable to manage your diary so that you don’t have to.
- IT issues – unless you’re an expert, don’t even think about spending time trying to sort out IT issues. There are businesses who will support your IT for a reasonable monthly fee, and include vital things like backups and on-site service in your contract. That means that, if something goes wrong, all you need to do is pick up the phone.
If you are ready to eliminate time wasters and watch your business take off, now is the time to take action. You can manage some or all of these issues yourself, or you can work with a virtual assistant on a pay-as-you-go basis, giving you the extra hours to concentrate on your business in the confidence that all these jobs are being handled efficiently:
- Time management virtual assistant services – help across all areas of your business that take up your valuable time on a daily basis.
- Virtual administrative services – a cost-effective way to make sure all your admin tasks are kept up-to-date without having to do them yourself.
- Business finance support services – bookkeeping and other finance-related tasks that keep your business functioning.
- Virtual assistant marketing support services – social media, PR, marketing strategies and campaigns, all handled by experienced assistants so you don’t have to hire expensive full-time employees.
- Sales support services – appointment making, tele-sales, presentations and follow-ups. All the support you need to make your sales process efficient and appealing.
- Event and travel planning services – from flights and hotels for business meetings to full client or staff events, save time and money by using a virtual assistant to help with planning.
If you’re short on time and need help with time management strategies for increasing business or would like to know more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.