Running a business is time consuming and to make sure that a business is successful it is essential to manage your time effectively. It is important to spend time on the core tasks. Too much effort spent in the wrong areas will not only affect productivity but will also lead to stress and anxiety – a recipe for failure.
Prioritize the tasks for the day and then for the week. Make sure that the plan optimizes the times of the day when people are most productive – that will depend on the individual. Set out a plan which will help to achieve all the key areas of work and identify what could be given to someone else to do.
Not everything can be done by one person – identify areas of work that can be given to someone else. For instance, get a book keeper or accountant to do the accounts rather than spending valuable time on something that is not the main area of work for the business. Finances are key to success and should not take a backseat – if not delegated this could easily happen.
The same is to be said for marketing – leave it to the experts rather than spending time learning how to do it.
Outsourcing will be a learning curve, start by setting a deadline so that there is no need to keep checking back as to whether or not the work is being done. Feel in control – it’s not letting go of the reins, it’s using the best resources. For instance, with an online dating website, you may wish to focus on the actual service being delivered, whilst others focus on tasks like online marketing.
Divide work into batches, it will help gather momentum. For instance, if there are telesales to be undertaken then set a morning aside to do it. Dipping in and out of tasks is not productive and will lead to wasted time. Put aside the actions resulting from the task in hand and focus, this work can be done later. It will be more productive as a result.
Also consider whether it will be more productive to produce things in bulk, for instance the time spent setting up the production of a hundred leaflets will take the same amount of time as producing a thousand, plus there will be discounts for larger runs.
Make sure that meetings are kept brief and productive. Keep a check on how many hours are being spent in meetings and what is achieved. A team meeting can be useful to delegate work to others to achieve the overall goal but keep focused and ensure that people report back – again set deadlines.
Being organized is probably one of the most important areas for business success. A great deal of time and energy can be wasted if things are not organized – time wasted on finding passwords is not productive; losing track of work carried out can lead to losses. Organize as much as possible at the outset of a task, it will save time and money in the long run.
When setting up my own business, I found that the key was to understand the importance of relative value. We all have a finite amount of time in which we need to have tasks completed and this makes it imperative that time is used wisely. At first I tried to do everything myself to save external costs but as I found, it’s simply impossible to do everything yourself under a relative timescale and this is when you must decide which tasks you should complete and which should be delegated elsewhere.
This is where value comes into play, through bringing other people on board. You can free up more of your own time and allow others to take care of certain aspects. By hiring people from other countries, you can take advantage of a favourable exchange rate or cost of living to create value. I had particular success outsourcing menial tasks to reliable companies in India and this is something that all entrepreneurs should look into.
Time management and organisation is the key to success.
Sarah Fanning has worked alongside several entrepreneurs and enjoys the hustle and bustle of a business in its infancy. She understands the difficulties entrepreneurs can face when setting up their own business and it is important that you remain motivated and determined to succeed with your idea. She currently works for Lovestruck.
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