Posted: Mon 24th Jul 2023
As a small business owner, your time is precious. You need to make the most of every minute to ensure you're working as productively and efficiently as you can.
But it's easy to fall into the trap of working long hours without accomplishing much. Many small business owners struggle to find the balance between working hard and working smart.
Working smarter as a small business is all about optimising your time and resources to achieve better results with less effort.
By implementing some of the strategies, tips and techniques set out below, you can streamline your operations, increase productivity, and ultimately grow your business.
What does it mean to work smarter?
Working smarter means being as productive as possible while expending the least effort. It involves finding ways to use energy and time more efficiently, ultimately leading to increased productivity.
One of the main benefits of working smarter is being able to save energy. Instead of pushing through long hours and burning out, you can identify the times when you're at your most energetic, then concentrate on doing your most important tasks during those periods. This makes sure you're focusing your energy and using it effectively.
Working smarter also helps with motivation. When you can see that your efforts are yielding results and paying off, you're more likely to stay engaged and productive. This creates a positive feedback loop, where increased motivation leads to even better outcomes.
Ways to work smarter as a small business owner
Manage your time effectively
Start by tracking your time to identify patterns and times when your energy is at its peak. Structure your day accordingly, tackling the most challenging and important tasks during those periods.
Break down big projects into smaller, manageable tasks and set realistic deadlines. Avoid multitasking, as it can reduce focus and productivity. Instead, devote your full attention to one task at a time.
Watch this webinar for practical time-management tips and techniques that will benefit your business:
Start each day by identifying the most critical and time-sensitive tasks. Create a to-do list with clearly defined priorities and deadlines. Focus on completing these high-priority tasks first, making sure you're directing your time and energy towards what truly matters.
In this Lunch and Learn, personal development coach Tammy Whalen Blake tells you how to make time for the business tasks that matter most:
Tools like project management software and virtual team platforms can streamline workflows, foster teamwork, and increase productivity.
In this webinar, Deborah Hayes from Samsung UK discusses how to make the most of collaboration tools for your business:
Invest in software
Look towards digital tools, software and apps that can automate manual tasks and streamline processes as a way to work more productively.
Accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) tools and productivity suites can help your small business manage its finances, track leads, and streamline its day-to-day operations. By automating repetitive tasks, you can free up time for more valuable activities.
Watch this business.connected workshop and find out which digital tools can help you work more efficiently and productively:
Outsource non-essential work
As a small business owner, it's essential to recognise that you can't do everything yourself. Delegate tasks that don't require your expertise or that service providers or independent contractors outside the business can handle efficiently. Outsourcing non-essential work frees up your time to focus on core business activities.
In this Lunch and Learn, Caroline Marshall, founder of virtual assistant agency Upsource, explains where to start with outsourcing:
Embrace flexibility and agility
Small businesses need to be nimble and adaptable to thrive in a fast-paced market. Embrace flexible working arrangements, such as remote working or flexible schedules, to boost employees' morale and allow for a better work-life balance.
Adopting an agile mindset can help your business quickly respond to market changes and customer needs, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition.
Watch this business.connected webinar to hear why having a straightforward and agile approach is critical for any business:
Move to the cloud
Cloud-based technology offers numerous benefits for small businesses. Cloud storage and file-sharing platforms give you easy access to documents and data from anywhere, and allows for seamless collaboration among employees, even when working remotely.
Cloud-based software solutions also eliminate the need for costly hardware and constant software updates, which all helps to lower your IT-related costs.
Take advantage of new AI technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason, as they can greatly improve efficiency and productivity in various business tasks.
By leveraging these AI tools, your business can streamline its operations, make decisions based on good, accurate data, and stay ahead of your competition. From customer service chatbots to machine-learning algorithms, AI tools offer endless possibilities for businesses to automate certain tasks and achieve better results.
In this business.connected webinar, find out which AI tools can help you streamline your business and work smarter not harder.
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