Four Ways Small Business Owners Can Streamline Everyday Tasks
As a small business owner, you probably feel like your daily to-do list is longer than the Magna Carta. While you enjoy running your own company, you admit there are days when you feel overwhelmed by all that you have to accomplish. Fortunately, there are some products, tricks and tips that will help you to streamline the day-to-day grind of small business ownership, and will allow you to feel more on top of things. Check out the following suggestions:
Switch to One Smartphone
If you have one smartphone for business calls and one for personal use, you might feel like some crazy sitcom character when one of the phones rings and you have to pull both of them out of your pocket to see which one you should answer. In addition, if you have a business landline, you may feel like you spend most of your days juggling phones. If this sounds all-too familiar, you might want to consider investing in the Galaxy Note8 and using T-Mobile’s DIGITS service, which allows you to use one phone for multiple phone numbers. With DIGITS, you can access up to five numbers on one device, so you can use just the Galaxy Note8 to take all of your personal and business calls, and reduce some of the phone-related craziness of your days.
Look for Redundancies
You are probably so busy as a small business owner, you and/or members of your team might inadvertently be doing the same tasks twice. Take some time to evaluate your current work process to look for any obvious duplications. For example, if you are routinely doing a quality check on your finished product and your manager is doing the same thing, you might be able to safely do away with one of those checks and save time.
Set up Automatic Delivery of Needed Items
Does this sound familiar? You have a stack of invoices and orders to print out, but when you click on “print” you get that annoying message that your printer is out of ink or toner. You have to drop what you are doing, head to the office supply store and spend the next hour or two buying the ink, driving it back to your company and loading it into the printer. In order to save time and your sanity, you may want to look into setting up automatic deliveries of the products you use (and run out of) at your company all of the time. For example, Staples has a Smart Ordering option that will actually allow your printer to automatically sense when it is running low on ink, and then the machine itself will place the order with Staples for a new cartridge. Staples also offers automated reordering on a number of products; instead of waiting for the copy paper to run out before buying more, set up recurring shipments for paper, pens, paper towels and coffee filters for the break room, and the myriad of other products your company uses.
Set Certain Times for “Time Sucking” Tasks
Certain daily tasks, like answering emails, can take up a ton of time. If you constantly monitor your inbox and answer each email as it comes in, you will end up getting nothing else done. To get a handle on your “time sucking” tasks like email, set up three specific times a day when you will tackle your inbox with a keen focus, striving to answer all emails at that time. It may take awhile to get used to only checking email a few times a day, but once you get used to it, it will free up so much more time and allow you to really focus your energy on other tasks and be even more productive.
The last thing you want is to end up burning out as a small business owner. By finding ways to streamline your busy workday and eliminating, automating and setting up new systems to handle your work, you should start to feel like you are in control of your daily to do list, and not the other way around.