3 Time Management Tips to Save Your Business Money
Small business owners tend to be a special combination of both dreamers and doers. They have big and groundbreaking ideas and are also tasked with putting pen to paper and making them happen. In order to be successful, business owners must be the visionaries and the executors, and everything in between.
That’s certainly true in regards to managing your time. You know the age-old adage, “Time is money”? It’s stuck around for so long because it’s true! As a business owner, time is a very precious resource. It’s extremely limited and there’s simply never enough of it. When it comes to time management, however, some are better than others.
You may be inclined to think that’s okay; we all have our strengths and weaknesses, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. There’s no way around it; in order to be a successful business owner, you must learn to be adept at managing your time.
If you could use a bit of help when it comes to time management, we’re here with just the assistance you’re looking for. Read on to learn 3 time management tips that will help you use your time more wisely, and save you big bucks!
Set a Goal, Then Work Backwards
One of the things that can be most difficult of a business owner is learning how to prioritize and structure your time. There are simply so many things that business owners want to accomplish, and such little time to do them. If you’re a small business owner with too much on your plate, your time tends to be spread too thin. Rather than accomplishing everything, you’ve probably found that you never accomplish anything. It’s a vicious trap.
Instead of tackling everything at once, learn to prioritize your many projects. The best way to do so is to start by setting a goal. What do you want to accomplish this month? For the best results possible, set a SMART goal. Make sure your goal is:
- Specific: Clearly define your goal.
- Measurable: What does success look like? Make sure you assign a measurable result to your goal, rather than one that is vague and impossible to quantify.
- Achievable: Ensure that the goal is actually possible to accomplish, rather than impossible to achieve.
- Realistic: Is it possible for you to accomplish this goal, given your time, experience, skills, and resources?
- Timely: Define a clear timeline for accomplishment—in this case, a month.
Next, it’s time to take a look at your projects. Which fit into this goal? Which will help you achieve it? Which are irrelevant or unrelated? Figure out the various steps you must complete in order to achieve this goal. It may be helpful to work backwards from your goal. What does the step before achieving your goal look like? The one before that? Continue working your way backwards until you’ve arrived at your current position.
Explore Professional Tools
For every industry, there is a tool that will streamline your work. Our philosophy is this: why should you build something from scratch when a tool will do it for you? Any business owner knows that the most time consuming part of work is in the details. It’s the formatting of pages, fighting with word processors, and dragging and dropping elements till they look exactly correct.
One of the best ways to manage your time is to find a tool to do this for you. Professional tools, like HR softwares, email automation tools, and professional tax softwares, may cost a bit upfront. However, in most cases, the tools pay for themselves in time saved. Time is money, and money saved is money earned, right?
Track Your Time
If you’re like many business owners, it may be a mystery to you where your time goes in a day. You start your daily tasks, and before you know it the day is done. You’re left wondering, “What happened?”
If this scenario is familiar to you, it may be time to start tracking your time. Time tracking is exactly what it sounds like. Every time you start a task, start a timer. When you’re ready to transition to a new task, pause that timer and start another. By the end of the day, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you’ve spent your time on, and how much.
Time tracking is effective for so many different reasons. For one, it can help you see which of your daily tasks are the biggest time sucks. These tend to be projects that take up a large amount of time, but offer little reward. That will give you the opportunity to explore how you may be able to streamline or optimize these tasks to take up the least amount of your time possible.
For example, let’s say pulling reports is your biggest time suck. It’s an extremely simple task; all you need to do is log into your platform, set the date range, and export the report. But since you’ve implemented time tracking, you’ve discovered it’s a significant portion of your day. Now, you can explore ways to automate reports and free up an hour each day. That gives you back 262 hours each year!
Time tracking can also help you ensure that you’re billing clients accurately. Many practitioners bill based on the number of hours worked. Without a time tracking tool, billing is simply a guess. After implementing a time tracking tool in your day-to-day, you may find that you’ve been undercharging and can scale up to reflect your actual hours worked.
In order to be a successful business owner, you must learn to be a successful time manager. Learning to manage your time wisely is a habit you must build over time. In the end, however, it’s one that’s always worth it. With these 3 tips, you’ll be on your way to better time management in no time.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.