5 Ways to Streamline Your Business

January 24th, 2014   •   no comments   

No one likes to waste time, and for small-business owners, wasted time almost  always means wasted money.

Here are five ways to streamline and simplify your business — and save time and money in the process.

1. Get organized.

When it comes to organization and completing tasks in a logical order, many  small-business owners are their own worst enemies. They jump from task to task  and wonder why, at the end of the day, they haven’t finished a single one.

Being productive requires focus and concentration, which is why a sensible  to-do list is usually the best approach. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the  all things you could be doing. Instead, prioritize your list by pending  deadlines and by what’s most important. Focus on small, manageable goals  and be realistic about how much time is needed to check them off your list.

Donald Wetmore, a time-management expert at the Productivity  Institute, suggests dividing your days into 15- or 30-minute blocks and  keeping track of how you spend your time. You’ll soon be able to determine where  your time is going and what can be trimmed from your schedule or handed off to  someone else (see #2).

2. Delegate!

If you’ve hired the right people, you shouldn’t hesitate to delegate tasks  and responsibilities to them. This may be difficult at first — and often  involves some delicate trust issues — but the hard fact is you  can’t do everything yourself. Delegation frees up some of your valuable time  that’s better spent on big-picture issues, such as where you want your business  to be a year from now. It also enables you to take a break once in while, which  in turn can refresh and invigorate you.

3. Schedule fewer meetings.

How much time do you spend in meetings with your employees or engaging in  team-building activities? What if, instead, you used that time to send a  concise, informative email to everyone involved? You could keep people abreast  of the issues — and save time. Of course, some meetings are essential. When  necessary, keep them short and follow these  common-sense guidelines.

4. Go paperless.

Many business documents are unnecessary in printed form, yet we spend vast  quantities of time producing and managing paper. These days, virtually  all paperwork can be done online. Still using a fax machine? Fax-to-email  services allow you to send and receive faxed documents via  email. Need to send an invoice or accept a credit card payment?  Try GoPayment. You  can use your smartphone to take pictures of receipts, order forms, etc., and  upload them to your cloud-based  storage system — or email them as PDFs.

5. Relax.

Your business becomes a lot less complicated when you take better care of  yourself. How efficient are you when you’re sleep-deprived or  stressed-out? Carve out time  away from the business to do recreational things. Exercise. Read a book.  Hang out with your family. Personal time revitalizes you and lets you gain new  perspective on supposedly “urgent” business issues.


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