If you have a small business, you know the challenges of fitting everything you need to do into the day, the week, or the month. It can seem like there is never enough time, and finding the most efficient way to operate is crucial to getting ahead. While running a small business means being dedicated, hard-working, and innovative, it doesn’t have to mean never having enough time. There are many changes you can make to take back lost time and streamline your business processes. Read on to learn more about how you can find ways to be more efficient, save time, and grow your business!

Have Email Hours

You have office hours, set appointments, and wouldn’t drop your kids off at school 2 hours early. So why do you let your email interrupt any and every task you are doing? Email can have hours as well, and if you set a time to read and answer emails you won’t be constantly distracted all day long. Continually answering emails and responding to inquiries (that often get sorted out by themselves) wastes your time and makes you less focused and productive. Unsubscribe from anything that is not completely essential—you don’t need to be reading about discount Alaskan cruises while you are trying to work. Email is a great tool, but it can also become a huge distraction. And, when you are looking at emails all day long, it can actually make it easy to forget to answer one because you are always going to “get to it later.” Deal with emails just once; respond to questions, forward information, file necessary emails, and delete things you don’t need to see again. Email, like physical paper, can accumulate and cause clutter in your inbox and your mental space. Set email hours and you will be more focused, both in replies and other work, and you won’t be constantly sidetracked during your busy work day.

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Make a List

Lists might seem outdated, but they continue to prove their worth when it comes to staying organized, getting tasks done, and staying motivated. Lists don’t have to be in paper form, and there are many cloud-based solutions available today that can help you prioritize and get things done. With all of the list-making apps available, you can easily bring your tasks with you, wherever you go, and always stay on top of your work. A to-do list helps you prioritize, and lets you easily see where tasks could be combined and time can be saved. Lists allow you to see what work is continually carrying over, and what tasks are being neglected. Another key objective in having a list is to tackle the most important work first, and not get sidetracked with easier, but less needed, tasks. Start the most important work in the morning, when you are rested and energized—you’ll be set up for a more productive day.

Don’t Micromanage

If you are running a business, it is natural to want to have your hands in every single procedure, but as you grow this will become unsustainable. If you refuse to relinquish control over tasks, you will eventually become stretched too thin and won’t perform well in any area. Hire quality employees from the start, and train them well, so that they can work independently. Invest in your employees, make your work culture a priority, and you will see returns on your bottom line. Give your employees the motivation they need to take ownership of their work, and do that work well. This can include allowing employees to brainstorm ideas that you really put into action, giving employees’ autonomy to hire their own teams, and reducing the amount of employees that work on a specific project. When you can trust your workers to accomplish tasks you once did yourself, it opens up more time for you to tackle other projects. If you are spending your time looking over your employees’ shoulders, fixing their mistakes, or reviewing every completed project, you are wasting your time. Hire better employees that don’t require micromanaging, and you will reap the rewards.

Have Goals

Do you want to be efficient, productive, and continue to perform better each month? Have tangible goals that your employees can work towards, and they will structure their days to waste less time, and get more done. When there is no clear end to a task, it is easy to continually push it off to another day. Even ongoing tasks should have hard deadlines to make sure that work is continually getting done. Do you want to ensure that your employees are getting enough done during the day? Set goals for them that can be tracked, reported, and celebrated when they are achieved. Time can easily slip away during the workday, but tangible goals can focus your employees to finish more than they would without a deadline.

Take Credit Cards

If you are not taking credit card payments, and yes, there are still a lot of businesses that don’t, you are missing out on a way to streamline, save time, and grow. When your business is very small, it is easy to think you don’t need to bother with credit cards, but virtually every business can benefit from accepting payment this way. Your customers will be happier with the convenience of using their credit cards, you will have funds more readily available (compared to ACH or a check), and your business is protected in the event of a payment dispute. Even businesses that are mobile can take advantage of payment methods that can process through a phone or a tablet. The convenience of credit cards makes it easy for customers to pay you, and every sale is important when growing your small business.

Use Time Tracking Software

Are you still manually reconciling payroll at the end of the month, or are your employees still using (gasp) paper punch cards? If so, precious time is being wasted that could be better used in other areas to grow your business. Time tracking software that can be accessed from anywhere online, allows even remote workers to track their hours. Don’t spend the end of the month trying to reconcile your timesheets, get employees to log hours, or remember what hours were worked. Using an automated, online employee time clock will streamline your attendance and payroll, and make your business successful. Timeco offers exceptional timekeeping solutions for your business, and our software allows you to do lunch calculations, shift differentials, rounding, pay approvals, leave requests, and more! Stop wasting time at your business, and use our tips to be more productive, efficient, and profitable! Timeco is ready to help—get a free demo today!