Owning your own small business is hard work, and any small business owner knows that getting off the ground will take blood, sweat and tears- but the rewards of your own successful business are worth it!
And, according to a new MYOB report published in August 2015– over 40% of New Zealand small business owners are working over time, and 57% of owners only spend less than two hours per week actually working on the business. It is extremely easy to get caught up in the daily running of the business, which can lead to these long overtime hours. So often, we spend time in the operation side of the company, rather than working on the business to find new systems that save time.
So here are some strategies every owner of a SME (small to medium enterprise) can use to not only cut down on the hours working every week – but also to help to find more time each week to work on the business rather than in it..
1: Try to set aside time each week to work ON the business – this means setting out in your planner at least an afternoon per week where there are no client meetings, hours in store, or otherwise customer related activities. Use this time each week to catch up on the things you wish you had time for in your own business. Look at how your business is performing during this time, read up on new strategies you could put in place to help save time, or spend the time educating yourself on new sales or marketing strategies. Whatever you use the time for, ensure it is productive time spent benefiting your business.
2: Segment your time – each day before you start work, segment and prioritise your day. A great way to help you get through tasks quickly, is to get the ‘must do’ tasks done in the morning, before you open your emails. Then spend the rest of the day working down the tasks in order from ‘urgent’ to ‘must be done today’, finishing with those that could wait until tomorrow. That way you free up the rest of your day, and you can relax once the hard tasks are out of the way. This also means that you can use the rest of the afternoon to spend on activities that are “nice to do’s” such as working on your business.
3: Evaluate your time – as the business owner, it is important that you spend as much time as possible on activities which make money and actively work to grow the company. Try to take some time to look at what sort of activities you do in an average day – are the majority of them growing the business? Think about it this way -would you be happy if one of your staff members was doing what you are doing on a daily basis? It’s so important as the business owner to hold yourself accountable for your time and continually ask yourself “is this money making activity, is this helping to grow the business?”
4: Online services – there are so many software options out there today that can save you time in your business, and help you get back to actively growing your company. Using services such as online virtual assistants, online accounting software and automated marketing can save you hours each week and month, giving back more time to work on your company. Sometimes it’s better to leave it to the experts so you can get back to business…
5: Outsource – according to the same study by MYOB, 25% of all SME owners (and 34% of female SME owners) also wished that they could outsource general household chores. Outsourcing tasks around the home are a great way to find more time for yourself and your family, especially if the business is taking away some of your home time. This same thinking could be applied in the business as well. If doing something like taxes or GST will take you twice or even three times the amount of time as an expert – it often makes more sense to outsource it, giving you back those precious hours to use on money-making activity! As a small business owner, having a network around you to support you is crucial, use the people around you to help you, so you can spend the time doing what you do best.
Making small changes can help to create more time as a business owner, so that you can start to get back into working on the business rather than in it!
If you are thinking of making some changes in your business, or are ready to quit the overtime hours – give us a call or an email NOW to see how our savvy strategies can help you and your business – 09 476 9407 – OR – [email protected]