As exciting as running your very own small business is, it comes with many ups and downs. One of which is having to juggle numerous different tasks, which is why many small business owners often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
In this post, we will look at our top 10 tips that will help your run your business smoother and more organized:
1. Identify Your Productivity Patterns
Before making changes to your current organization strategy, it is important that you reflect on your work habits and observe the patterns.
For instance, when are you most productive? Early morning or later in the evening? Do you find to-do lists helpful, or are you able to accomplish more tasks when working intuitively? Look back at your habits to identify times that you found yourself to be most productive. Additionally, make a list of all the tasks that you are good at and tasks that you find challenging and need more time for.
Having a clear understanding of your work habits makes your new organization strategy much more practical and effective.
2. Organize Your Calendar
If looking at your calendar stresses you out, it is time to change up how you manage your calendar events. Your calendar is also a blueprint for managing your time, which makes it even more crucial for you to organize your calendar delicately.
When saving calendar events, try to add some notes and reminders which will help you prepare for your meetings. Adding these details will help you quickly organize your thoughts before each event.
If you are managing multiple businesses or other obligations, try adding multiple calendars and colour coding each calendar to differentiate between tasks.
Keep in mind that as a small business owner, your personal life often impacts your work and vice-versa. So make sure you make adjustments to reflect personal commitments on your work calendar and vice versa, so you don't overbook yourself and end up with overlapping events.
Avoid procrastinating when it comes to managing your calendar events. Although you might think you will remember to update your calendar later, chances are you wont. Get comfortable with using digital devices such as your phone to organize your calendar so you can make adjustments on the go and before you forget.
3. Leave Room for The Unexpected
Booking back-to-back meetings without leaving any room in your schedule to even fill up your coffee will lead to you feeling burnt out and unmotivated in no time. Instead, allocate some wiggle room for situations like when your meeting doesn't end on time or you're stuck in traffic. Having extra time is always better than having to push your schedule for an entire week because of an unexpected change in your day.
We recommend you always round up the time you need for travelling between meetings or similar situations. For example, if driving between your first meeting location and second location usually takes 30minutes, try clearing your calendar for 45 minutes instead. In case you end up with some extra time on your hands, you can always work on smaller tasks such as responding to emails and customer messages as you wait.
This way, not only will you be more punctual and always on time, but you will also have the chance to catch up on minor tasks that are usually neglected while handling less stress.
4. Use Project Management Software
Project management systems are excellent for helping organize your business tasks, especially if you work on different projects or have other people on your team. You can break down and divide each project into smaller tasks and assign each task as you see fit. Also, tracking progress becomes easier when using a project management software program.
There are many different project management solutions out there that are user-friendly and can help keep track of your tasks. Do your research and pick one that you find most convenient and easy to use and that matches your business goals and operations the best.
5. Leverage Cloud Services
If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you needed a file on your computer while you didn't have access to your computer, you will definitely appreciate the convenience of cloud storage.
Using cloud-based storage gives you the freedom of accessing your business files everywhere and anytime while minimizing the risk of losing your files for reasons such as hardware failure. Additionally, if you work with a team, using cloud storage will make sharing files and collaborating easier and quicker. You can simply organize your business files and control who has access to them without interfering with your personal files and documents on your system.
6. Plan Your Social Media Content in Advance
Content creation for social media is an important part of every business's digital marketing efforts. However, to see great results and gain traffic, you need to ensure that you are consistently posting content online. Although this is easier said than done, the key is to have your social media content prepared and scheduled in advance so if you get super busy, you do not have to worry about content creation.
We recommend you prepare your posts a month at a time and use social media management tools such as Hootsuite to schedule your content across all platforms. You can use a content calendar template or design your very own to keep track of your content ideas and what to post on social media.
7. Focus on Clear Communication
If you work with a team, it is crucial that you understand the significance of having clear communication. Make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone has a solid understanding as to what needs to be done and what the goals and expectations are. Encourage collaboration through shared spaces where people can work simultaneously. Be available and open to your team to get in touch with you to resolve any uncertainties or ambiguity. Yes, effective communication takes effort but saves you time in the long run and reduces mistakes that could have been prevented in the first place through interactive discussion.
8. Design A Deliberate Routine
As much as running a small business can be exciting and full of amazing experiences, there are tasks such as responding to emails and customers' enquiries and bookkeeping that we don't always look forward to doing. Still, they need to get done. Try setting aside time in your day, particularly to focus on these kinds of tasks and get them out of your way. Depending on your own productivity habits and style, this time can be before starting your day or after finishing more important tasks. The truth is that in this case, procrastinating will only increase your workload and can potentially harm your business. Try making it a habit and a routine that you repeat without even thinking twice.
9. Create A Productive Workspace
The space that you spend your time working in can directly affect your productivity and motivation. Having space that you feel comfortable in is important but also try to customize your setting to meet your needs. Sometimes, our options are limited when it comes to the environment that we work in but try your best to keep the space around you organized and add your own personal touch to it as well.
10. Reflect on Your Organization Strategy
We recommend you reflect on your business operations and strategies, at minimum, every 6-12 months, depending on the nature of your business. Conduct an internal audit and see what areas of your organization strategy have been successful and identify whether there are any changes that need to be implemented.
Staying organized when running a business is vital, without a doubt. Although it might be overwhelming at first, take the time to explore different styles and techniques to help you stay on top of your game. Ultimately, your business's needs are unique, and you need to find strategies that are aligned with your business and support your goals and values. If you would like to have an expert opinion, don't hesitate to get in touch and have a chat with our team.