If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur you already understand the phrase “time is money.” For people trying to make it in business, using your time effectively can allow your company to thrive and mismanaging your time could be disastrous.
When you are first starting out, every minute is precious and could mean making a sale, building a network connection, or winning a contract. The work that you have to put in is immense, but the rewards are also grand.
Don’t waste time doing pointless things, here are 7 time-saving tools and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Workplace distractions can be huge time wasters. Think about this scenario: you’ve goofed off at work all day looking at social media and news websites and now it’s almost the close of business.
This is not a situation any aspiring entrepreneur wants to find themselves in. Workplace distractions can be surfing the internet, chatting with someone via text, or socializing with coworkers. When you are trying to start a business every minute counts. You’ll be establishing more business or finishing existing projects and distractions will never help you do that. Whether that means limiting your time at the computer or telling someone that a conversation will have to wait, make sure that you do not get distracted from what you need to do.
Try to resist the urge to look at websites online unless it has to do with your business, and develop meaningful to-do lists so you don’t find yourself wasting time on something that you don’t need to.
6. Develop a Schedule
Some industries don’t rely on tight deadlines and work online, and others only operate within regular business hours, typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evaluate your industry and make sure that your schedule is fitting within the confines of doing business. If you find that there’s no need for your business to keep a tight 9-5 and you work better at night, you can adjust those hours accordingly. Just make sure that you are staying consistent, and that your schedule is also conducive to making sales. By mapping out what you need to do in the upcoming week, you’ll have a rough idea if you’re time is being spent well, and if you’re on schedule for any given day of the week.
As an entrepreneur you should expect to do more work than others, so adding hours before or after your schedule is always a good idea to get extra work done.
Slack is a great online application that allows team members to quickly chat to one another. You can set up separate rooms that have passwords or different permissions, so you can compartmentalize internal communications. This is a great way to save time so your team doesn’t need to constantly be sending e-mails or making phone calls for company wide changes day-to-day. This is also an easy way to speak to employees without having to send out company wide memos.
Project management is a huge time waster for many people. Delegating tasks by contacting the person through traditional modes of communication are outdated. Big companies and corporations usually have internal software for queue systems, but for a small entrepreneur, those options may be too expensive.
Wrike is an awesome way to keep track of tasks, assign tasks, and delegate work out to your team members for a reasonable cost. It’s based online, making it accessible to people who are working outside of the office.
Social media management for many aspiring entrepreneurs means having a dedicated person that deals with your digital brand, If you’re a company with limited resources this means that you’ll likely be doing it whenever you have the time to.
The reason many people have a dedicated person is because digital branding and online awareness have become huge aspects of managing a successful business over the last decade. It’s went from something “extra to do” to something that’s critical in driving sales. Brand24 allows you to manage all of your social media in one place, and also gives detailed analytics on how well your initiatives are doing. This is a must-have and will save so much time if you are just doing it yourself.
2. Do Online Video Interviews
Building your team can take a lot of time. You want to be sure to screen and vet your candidates so you have the best possible people working for you, but that can also consume a ton of time in the form of in-person interviews. A great way to save time and money is to schedule video interviews. You can do them over Skype or another video conferencing software, but it will ultimately save you time with the on-boarding process and is still an accurate way to determine a candidate’s skill and personality.
1. Automate Operations
Some things require a human touch and personal interaction, but there are other things that just don’t need to be manually done. If you are wasting any time with things like data entry, sending thank you emails or receipts, or creating invoices, automate it. There are usually ways to make everything easier and quicker to do. Locate weak points in your business, or things that take an exorbitant amount of time and try to figure out solutions to how to accomplish them quicker.
Sometimes the solutions will not be apparent, so you need to consult with your team and try to leverage employee’s knowledge in order to come up with meaningful technologically-based solutions. While many of these tips and tools will help you get there, you really need to develop a strategic vision of your organization. Develop a game plan around where your business is lacking, what is inefficient, and the potential solutions that already exist on the market.