When people think of small business efficiency, the saying “work smarter, not harder” always comes to mind. Most of us want to have an ideal work/life balance that allows for us to spend some (but certainly not all) of our time working in a career we love. That’s part of the reason so many of us are entrepreneurs.
One way to spend less time working and more time enjoying life is to streamline some of your business processes. This allows for more free time, and more time to enjoy what you love about the business you decided to go into. Here are some examples of what you can do to make your business more efficient.
- Systemize your Bills. Accounting can become a huge task for business owners and can lead to many hours of work. Streamline the process by signing up for paperless billing and automatic payments to reduce the work involved in tracking down invoices and expenses. In addition, if a company offers bundling, they usually offer a discount along with it. This will all save you time and money.
- Create Templates. When it comes to responding to emails, posting to social media, scheduling meetings, and sending out invoices, you are often saying the same things. Create template emails to choose from when responding to inquiries on your site. Keep the answers in a document and copy and paste it when answering questions. Just customize a few details in the emails that need it, and you will find you have much more time to focus on other tasks. For social media, keep a list of hashtags that you like to use for different types of posts so that you can just copy and paste it to your posts.
- Check Email Less. To add to the last point, don’t check your email all day long. Make it a point to only check emails 2-3 times a day, so you don’t get distracted with smaller problems that could probably wait until tomorrow (or else someone would be calling you and not emailing).
- Use Cloud-Based Software and Storage. Using storage and software that exists online allows you to do your work from anywhere. If you need to check accounts, you can do it from your home or on the road without having to make the drive into the office just for that. Bills can still be paid while you’re on a business trip, and you can still access important documents without having to worry that you left them at the office or at home.
- Automate Your Billing. A Set up recurring invoices for clients that are sent bills in the same amount on a monthly basis. This way the invoices will go out without you having to set it up each month. Allow your customers the option to sign up for automatic drafting from their bank account to yours to save time from having to deposit checks.
- Outsource Small Tasks. As the owner of your business, your job is to focus on the big ideas, so if you don’t have time to worry about booking flights to conferences or updating the calendar, then find someone who can do it for you. Make a list of tasks that you complete daily, and especially make note of the tasks you don’t like to have to take care of as much, and consider hiring an assistant or contractor who specializes in those tasks. This gives you the opportunity to worry less about the small things and use your time to network and build your business instead.
Use these tips to help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Spending just a little time up front setting up automatic invoicing, bill pay, and emailing will pay off in the long run, leaving you more time to help your business grow even more.