Growing Your Business: 5 Productivity Tips to Accelerate Growth
The only way a small business owner can continue to grow his company is to be consistently productive. Maximizing productivity boils down to a combination of discipline and know-how. With that said, here are five tips for small business owners to increase productivity.
1. Set up systems
As your business grows, you may need to employ people to handle certain tasks. If you have systems in place for handling these tasks, you can easily show your employees what needs to be done.
If you have no systems in place, it’s going to take longer for you to train your employees. It’s also likely they will commit unnecessary errors (when they’re not busy bugging you for answers to problems that arise).
Systems are not only helpful for training employees; they will also make you a more efficient (and therefore, more productive) worker. Systems should ideally be created at the very beginning of your business operations, but it’s never too late to set them up.
2. Create a schedule with task time limits
Creating a schedule might sound like common sense, but there are many small business owners that don’t bother to do it. Many of the ones that do make a schedule fail to actually stick to it.
The first step to creating a schedule is to identify times when you feel your best mentally. Activities like writing or designing should be reserved for these times, and activities that are less mentally challenging should be done at other times.
The next step is to assign time limits for all activities. This step is important because it will help eliminate procrastination. It gives you an extra sense of urgency to concentrate and complete tasks on time.
3. Get rid of distractions
One of the most important things you can do to increase productivity is to eliminate distractions. This is harder than ever to do, and technology is one reason why. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but in some ways, it has made it more difficult.
Mobile devices can be very distracting; they can alert us whenever we receive emails,
activity on our social accounts, etc. If a significant portion of your work is done on a computer, it’s easy to lose time browsing your favorite websites, watching YouTube videos, answering emails, or updating your Facebook page.
During work time, silence those mobile alerts if they’re too hard for you to ignore. Schedule specific break times for non-work activities like reading and responding to personal emails and web surfing.
LeechBlock is a Firefox add-on that allows you to block certain websites for specific periods of time. This can be an incredibly useful tool.
If you work from home, eliminate environmental distractions that interfere with your productivity. When others are in the house while you’re working, politely tell them they shouldn’t bother you (unless there is an emergency) during work time.
4. Whenever possible, automate
There are many tools that can help you automate a variety of tasks. The more tasks you can automate, the better. Automation allows you to put your focus on important tasks that must be done manually.
One example of an automation tool is HootSuite, a service that allows you to post to multiple social media accounts at once. You won’t have to post to Facebook, then Twitter, then Google Plus, etc. HootSuite also allows you to schedule content to be posted at later dates and times.
Auto-responders can be used to respond to customer emails or orders. Take a close look at all the tasks you do on a regular basis; see if some of them can be automated.
As your business grows, there will be more and more tasks that need to be handled. There will be some tasks that you don’t want to do and some you’re not skilled enough to do.
Outsourcing is one of the best things a small business owner can do because, when done correctly, it can rapidly increase growth. Start outsourcing when you can afford to do so, but only after you have systems in place.
Of course, you don’t need to wait until your business explodes to start outsourcing. You can start any time. Almost anything can be outsourced – content writing, customer inquiry responses, social media marketing, etc.
Hopefully you will implement these strategies in your business. You should also continuously look for ways to do things with more speed and efficiency. Your business’ growth depends on it.