7 Ways to Work Smarter in Your Small Business

May 19, 2021 | 358 views

7 Ways to Work Smarter in Your Small Business
7 Ways to Work Smarter in Your Small Business

Imagine the perfect day at work:  no distractions, lots of customers, balanced tills, productive employees, no overtime. We want our small businesses to run smoothly, but very few days are perfect. Yet, we do have some control over our productivity and progress. But with so much to do, is working more hours a good idea? In fact, it is not—productivity decreases as the workday and workweek grow longer. But do not despair. Here are seven  to work smarter in your business.

  1. Prioritize. Everything you put on a list of action items might add value to your business, but not everything has the same value. Prioritize what is most important with task management software, or use the ol’ A-B-C categories. Whatever method you use, review your tasks regularly. Then, each day, choose 3-4 high-value tasks that you can reasonably accomplish before you shut down for the night. This keeps you focused on projects that will do the most good for your business.
  2. Track Progress. For each project, especially long ones, keep track of completed steps. When the end seems far away, it is rewarding to see the progress that you made. Feeling accomplished sometimes comes in steps and not only from the final results. Each day, check off what you completed, and review the next day’s priorities for a feeling of progress toward a larger goal.
  3. Delegate. Accept that you are not good at everything and that someone else can shoulder some tasks. Whether it’s an employee or an outside contractor, utilize others’ talents. For higher production levels, everyone should be used to their highest ability. Whether it is payroll or fleet maintenance issues, maybe someone else would contribute faster and better work than you. Use them to free up your time for your areas of expertise.
  4. Remove Decisions. It might sound silly to suggest not making decisions, but having fewer small decisions frees your brain up for the big ones. Establish routines that streamline the work of planning and deciding. When you consistently schedule your day, there are fewer decisions to make so your mind can focus on those high-priority tasks. Maybe you decide that all sales calls must be in the afternoon, or you pick up the same lunch each day. By making some decisions automatic, you’ll be less fatigued and make smarter choices when you need to make an important decision.
  5. Use Technology. Apps will streamline repetitive tasks so you can focus on the harder ones. From task management software to employee scheduling software, the more you can automate, the fewer the errors you will make, and the more time you will save. Many programs are free for small businesses, and others are often part of your suite of office-related software. Take advantage of the many choices that suit your needs.
  6. Communicate Clearly. Communication challenges exist in every organization, but if you increase your skills, you will reduce misunderstandings. Plus, the more collaborative you are, the less time you will spend overcoming avoidable mistakes. The better the communication, the smarter your interactions among your team.
  7. Relax and Unplug. Your operations will seep into every moment of your life, so make relaxing an important task, too. Your relaxing activity must be scheduled just like any other smart and productivity-enhancing task. Listen to music, enjoy yoga, or go for a swim, but make it an automatic, routine part of your days. You will stress less and work more efficiently.

From sun-up to sun-down, focus on what makes your business operation run smoothly. By working smarter, you will accomplish more, feel less stressed, and be freer to grow your successful operation.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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