If you have ever operated a business, you have likely found the truth in the old adage, “Time is money.” A business that is running efficiently is capable of processing more orders, reaching more customers and increasing profits. Saving time can directly help your business become more profitable. It can also cut down on the amount of stress that comes along with operating a business. You will be able to get more done throughout the course of the day and leave the office satisfied.
According to a survey by the research company ePass, the two biggest concerns of small business owners and managers are not having enough time to complete everything and having to cover multiple roles. Fortunately, by employing time-saving practices, both of these concerns can be alleviated. Time can be accurately tracked and having to cover multiple roles becomes simpler with prioritization skills. Not only will saving time help increase profits, it will eliminate these two common concerns.
Three Time-Saving Practices
Learning how to save time in your business operations is worth the effort. It will minimize customer complaints, optimize your workforce and increase revenue. Below are three practices that every small business should employ:
1. Use Time Management Software – It’s difficult to determine how to save time, if you are unsure how time is being spent. Fortunately, there are dozens of programs that can be used to help track and manage how time is spent. Many programs allow employees to track how much time is spent on a certain task, allowing them switch timers between each different duty. Using this software can help employees understand where their time is going. It can also help managers track which processes are time consuming and warrant further investigation. Additional types of time management software enable the creation of reminders for important meetings and events, ensuring that time is focused on work instead of scheduling.
2. Train Employees on Prioritization – According to The Huffington Post, prioritizing job duties is one of the most impactful ways to save time. Prioritizing tasks is a crucial skill that every member of your business must learn. Train employees how to assess their day and create a prioritized list. Teach them which tasks and processes are more important for business operations and which ones can be done later in the day. Allow employees 20 to 30 minutes at the beginning of the day to assess their current workload, responsibilities and duties. Initially, supervise them in creating a prioritized list that will optimize their workday. Using software that allows employees to easily create and edit task lists will enhance this practice.
3. Create Routines for Processes – Every business has common processes that are dealt with every day, sometimes several times throughout the day’s duration. Each business also has processes that are rarely encountered. Creating formal routines for every process your business will encounter, as a result, will greatly increase time management. It will help new employees learn how to handle each process they encounter and ensure seasoned employees are uniformly handling situations. Additionally, when you are creating routines, rigidly examine each step. You will likely identify steps that are redundant and can be safely eliminated.
For example, imagine a small business that regularly ships products to customers. Having a defined shipping routine is essential; one has likely naturally evolved throughout the course of the business’ operations. If this business rigidly examines their shipping procedures, they may find they can save a large portion of time by switching to an online postage system instead of regularly having to purchase stamps.
Save Time, Earn Money
Implementing each of these practices may take time at the beginning. They must be understood, employees must be trained and software must be purchased for them to be integrated into your businesses operating procedures. However, they will quickly prove themselves a worthy addition to your procedures. You will be easily able to identify time wasting activities and eliminate or optimize them. Process can be refined, routines can be created and profits will be increased.
George Ward is a contributing writer and small business owner. He found that by managing his time, he was capable of processing a higher volume of orders and eventually opened additional locations. Now, George advises other small business owners how they can properly manage their time, too.