Posted: Thu 8th Jun 2023
You have a business because you love doing what you do. But how much time are you spending on admin tasks? Research shows more than half of small business owners in the UK spend one day a week managing processes and a third spend two days.
How about you? Keen to solve those productivity issues you've identified? Want to learn more about the many productivity tools you can benefit from? Impact facilitator and coach Justina Markeviciene shares her best business productivity tips to get you started.
The first step to becoming more productive is noticing when you're not. Research shows you can receive as many as 85 phone notifications a day and the average person checks their phone 221 times a day!
You might also be distracted by notifications on your computer, by your work environment being noisy or cluttered, or simply because you're tired or overwhelmed. If you manage at least a portion of these distractions, imagine how much extra time you'd have to spend on your business?
Automate taking payments
Whether you're a product-, service- or subscription-based business, you should be able to expect prompt payment. Getting paid should not be a time-consuming process!
Forget composing invoices manually and sending them by email. There are a lot of tools that can help you and your customers exchange money with only a few clicks and avoid the pitfall of late payments.
Save time and money with digital software
With so many great accounting software solutions on the market now, there's just no excuse. Forget piles of receipts and manual data entry, and let machines do the work for you.
Seeing the state of your finances in real time and saving yourself time and hassle are the key benefits of using online accounting software.
Lead the way with purposeful collaboration
If you have employees, taking good care of them will make the entire team happier and more productive. Help create a positive company culture and maintain employee productivity by:
having a clear system for managing teamwork
making sure you take care of admin
looking after your team's mental health, physical health and wellbeing (especially important if you have remote employees)
taking advantage of collaboration software and online tools, such as Slack, Trello and Asana
Happy employees equals happy customers!
Use a CRM system to keep the sales cycle moving
It's challenging to keep track of your leads and clients if you don't have a system to do the tracking for you. That's where a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes in. It helps you:
organise your customer data
better understand your customer base
improve your customer service
track and schedule tasks more efficiently
Block out time for thinking and getting stuff done
Do you feel like you're bouncing from one activity to another throughout the day and don't progress the most important work? When you're working on big goals, it's important to dedicate enough time for thinking and creating.
Many business leaders are at their most creative either first thing in the morning or late at night. However you like to work, make the most of your time by protecting your creative hours from meetings and distractions.
Use online messaging and calls
Do you mainly communicate via emails, messages or on the phone? The average speaking speed is 150 words per minute, typing speed on a computer keyboard is 40 words per minute and texting on the phone is even lower.
You can save a lot of time by jumping on a quick call or at least choosing quick messages over lengthy emails. This is a particularly useful approach if you have a fully or predominantly remote team.
Answer emails in chunks
It's tempting to always open emails when they come in. But it can make you less productive overall, as switching between tasks drains energy and time. It's easier on the brain if you 'chunk' similar daily tasks and do them together.
You could, for example, check your inbox every couple of hours and deal with a few in one go. To be on top of your inbox, always take one of these actions when you read it:
Delete if it's not important
Delegate if you can
Defer by scheduling it if you need to do something later
Deal with it right away if it's urgent
Use analytics to see what works
You may be doing a lot of marketing online but do you know where your website visitors come from, who they are and what they do on your website?
It's incredible how much an analytics tool can tell you about your audience, and that information is helpful if you want to focus your resources on the most effective marketing strategies rather than guessing what works.
Concentrate on what you do best
It can be overwhelming to feel that you're on your own as a business owner, but there are a lot of people around the world who can help you with routine tasks that don't require your skillset or decision-making.
Look for the small daily tasks that you can hire other people to do and dedicate your time to activities that add most value to your business.