Running a small business is no simple task. It requires time, dedication, and energy to build a business from the ground up. Generally, small business owners have limited budget resources and spend much of their time in operations, leaving little time for larger goals and company growth. And you know what? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of small businesses fail in the first five years of business. This is why it’s so important to increase productivity.
8 Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Small Business
Owning a small business does not have to be an uphill battle, and these productive hacks can help to bring order and growth to the overwhelmed business owner.
From Facebook updates to LinkedIn alarms, phone notifications have become a common disruptor to getting things done. Muting the notifications on your phone during work time can help you remain focused on the tasks you need to be completing.
Pressing the mute button or using airplane mode can help you to avoid mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, and wasting precious time that could be spent in building your business.
The top way to increase productivity? Put down your phone! 😉
2) Hire an Answering Service
Answering calls and responding to customers can take up a good chunk of each day. And if you, as a small business owner, are still answering customer calls, it may be time to look at outsourcing this task. Automating this task by hiring a small business answering service will free up time for you to focus on other vital areas for growing your small business.
It will also allow you to grow your business into the next arena, providing a professional response to customer questions and concerns in real-time.
3) Focus On Time Management
There are so many tips and tricks out there on how to best manage your time, and it honestly doesn’t matter which one you choose. The key is to have a set system.
- Some people like to make to-do lists.
- Others work better off a google calendar that gives them a reminder of larger buckets of work that need to be addressed.
- Other successful business owners swear by the “if the task takes less than five minutes, just do it right away” approach.
Your personality and temperament will dictate what works for you. Finding what works for you in time management is key, as consistent time management will keep your business growing.
Related: Time Management is Money Management
While many have been conditioned to think that multi-tasking is a positive attribute. Research shows that it can actually hinder your productivity and ability to get things done efficiently.
Try to block the same time each week to do the specific repeatable tasks that are your responsibility, and stick to your schedule. Multi-tasking can lead to many more mistakes, and mistakes can be costly to your bottom line.
Related: Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work
5) Invest In Processes
When running a small business, it is key to realize that the smoother the process, the easier your small business will run.
- If shipping is difficult, research the different shipping apps or options available to you.
- Perhaps your small business is struggling to follow up on client leads. If so it might be worth investing in independent contractors to assist you in client relationships.
- Maybe having an overview of where your business sits is the difficult piece. There are apps and technologies that might be a good investment if you need to stay more on top of key pieces of your small business.
6) Stand Up To Work
Research shows that standing desks and standing meetings increase productivity and overall health/well-being of employees.
Standing at work is certainly a new trend, but research shows that when standing, the body and mind can remain more engaged with the information needing to be processed, leading to more efficient work and productive gatherings.
While easier said than done, what you eat has a drastic effect on your productivity at work.
- If you are one to hit the drive-through line because of convenience, then it’s time to rethink the way you organize your workspace and life.
- Keep your office break room stocked with healthy snacks like fruit and nuts, and avoid having candy bowls out around the office.
- Take time on the weekends to prepare easy lunches to grab on your way out the door each day; what you eat affects your energy levels which then affects your work.
8) Set SMART Goals
Set SMART goals for your business that spell out exactly where you hope your business will go.
Do you hope to grow your business revenue by 50% in the next year? Set a goal for that, but not just any goal, make it a SMART goal.
Smart goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. It may even be worth investing in a business coach to help you set goals for each area of your company if you struggle with long-term visioning.
Are You Ready to Increase Productivity at Your Small Business?
While it can be overwhelming to run a small business, there are small things that can be done daily to increase efficiency and productivity. These small investments and habits built into the infrastructure of small business ownership will allow business growth to happen quickly and organically.
Are you committed to increase productivity this year?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.