Time Management Skills for Small Business Owners

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Time management is something we hear a lot about but never seem to get an understanding of what we need to do about it. In this article, you’ll get 4 time management skills for small business owners. You may not like them, but they work.

1) Log your time
Take a day or a week. (A week is preferable) Log all the time you spend doing all your activities. You can grab a sheet or use a spreadsheet depending on how analytical you are. Start from the moment you wake up and end when you go to sleep. Track every single thing you do in a day and the number of minutes it takes you to do it.

2) Go over the log and identify your big time wasters.
Categorize your activities. Figure out how much total time you spent on each activity. Determine the percentage of time you took to do each activity category. You want to find areas where you’re spending too much time like meetings, email, phone calls, etc.

3) Apply the 80/20 rule to your time.
The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results come from about 20% of your activities. You need to figure out those activities that give you the best results and increase the amount of time you spend on them. You’ll need to keep analyzing this and keep increasing the time on the activities that only get you results. The rest is not important.

4) Delegate your time. 
If you spend a bunch of time on your email, find an assistant to handle your email responses and send you only the most important ones. Email is usually a big time suck. Give away those activities that don’t get results. Give them to an employee who can handle them for you and train that employee to do them for you. Then, trust that employee to do the job you’ve trained them to do and move along doing the things you need get you the best results.

I hope these tips have helped you with your time management. If you’ve got questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Deciding Where to Focus in Your Business

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I’ll never forget the one, gut-wrenching moment when a business mentor called me out on everything great we were doing at our firm. “Valerie, you keep telling me all the things you guys are but what I’m not hearing is who are you not?” It hit me like a bullet between the eyes! He was right! In fact, he was so right that there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since where his words haven’t echoed like a freight train in my mind. We had grown an amazing business but were wondering why we couldn’t get to the next level and it had to do with one simple thing…we were focused but not focused enough!

Until that day, I thought I fully understood the power of focus, – in marketing, in strategy, in client service, in virtually every area of our business. For me, focus always came instinctively and, as a business owner, my nature has always been to question whether every action we take will lead to a nice return on investment (ROI).

Return-on-investment usually boils down to money; what will give us the best return for a given investment of resources. I believe you can only pay yourself in two ways: 1) by making more money, or 2) by finding more time to do the things you love. I think we often forget to focus on what parts of our business we find satisfying and fun because we’re too busy focusing on what the market looks like or on what types of customers we can reach.

So, for us, the question, “who are we not?” led us to the answer we’d been searching for all along. It redirected our focus to the opportunities we saw in the marketplace and away from the parts of the business we didn’t enjoy. Today, the payback has been exceptional, and I owe it to a perceptive, bold coach who was willing to risk telling me something I may not want to hear.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you could use some advice on keeping your business goals in focus.