Whether you’re already back open for business or soon will be, Superfast Business Wales digital adviser John Mills shares his top tips and tools that will help keep you organised and on top of things.
- Delegate the small things, look at the big picture
Most small business owners struggle with delegation because they are used to doing everything themselves. Even if you do delegate (when you can!), the tendency is to micromanage the tasks, defeating the purpose of doing it in the first place.
In order to delegate in a way that effectively saves you time;
- Understand your employees and service suppliers' strengths and weaknesses
- Do it in a controlled manner so that when appropriate you can relax control and trust the results.
Delegation empowers staff and helps them realise their value to your business, which in turn makes them feel part of your success. Motivating employees in this way will also make your business more productive.
- Plan and automate business processes and workflows
When in business, it’s very easy to lose focus of your core operations because of repetitive tasks. Many of these could easily be automated, allowing critical resources, such as staff, to be redeployed elsewhere.
There are usually many areas of your business that could benefit from time-saving automation processes, from marketing to customer contact and retention. For example, there can be a clear path from potential customers contacting you via your website, to automatic replies to enquiries, leading to automated marketing emails, retargeting based on reactions and automated CRM entry and appointments for future contact. In such a business process model, the only manual step is creating the content for the website to attract the customer in the first place, all other activity is done automatically.
- Adapt and Adopt
Your business needs to be using every available technology and tool that can be adopted to enhance your chances of success in the modern business world. However, before selecting your tools, you need to first understand what will be the best fit and most useful for your business, to save you time.
So before implementing any new business infrastructure or changes it’s advisable to map out any existing business processes. Typically, you should look at IT processes (including websites, social media strategies etc.) and people processes and aims, to see how you can improve business performance. The aim is to work out how you can make your business run as efficiently as possible.
The outcomes of this business process mapping are essentially:
- Value for the customer
- Reduced costs for the business
- Increased profits
Once you have performed the initial steps of creating your plan, it is this information that will drive what you require as a business.
Here are some of the online tools available that can help you organise your time better:
Evernote works like an online filing cabinet. It’s designed for creating, organising and storing various pieces of media such as text documents, photos, videos, audio files or webpages
Trello is a collaboration tool that organises your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
Nozbe is a web-based task manager and to-do list software that will help your productivity - project management and time tracking. It allows you to manage and break tasks into categories and achievable parts. It works across all mobile platforms and syncs tasks quickly and reliably between them.
Asana is a cloud-based project management solution. It allows you to create everything from a simple task list to a complex project involving multiple deadlines and team members.
You can also find out more about online tools in the free Superfast Business Wales Software Essentials directory.
To find out more about how digital can help you save time and stay in control, speak to the Superfast Business Wales team today.