How To Save Time In Your Business
by PM Today / 1/22/2019 8:56:19 AM
If you’re a business owner, there are a few things that you will have a good understanding of, and one of them is that the well-known phrase ‘time is money’ couldn’t hold more truth. Given that you’re paying your employees for their time, you’re paying for the tools and systems that they are using, and you’re paying to even open your doors each morning, it can be catastrophic if something goes wrong, especially if it’s taking up more time than you would like.
Think about how much money you lose if your IT system is down for even half an hour, or your staff aren’t prepared to give their all; it is enough to give even the most thick-skinned of people a shiver down their spines. However, there are some ways to save yourself time (and subsequently money) as a business owner, and we’ve listed them here for those looking to utilise all of those hours in the office.
Make sure that you motivate and inspire your team
Lost time in your office could be down to the fact that your employees simply don’t want to be at work. Whilst you may think that you’re doing all that you can to motivate them (as all bosses would like to think) the fact of the matter is that they may just be bored. If they know what they are going to face every Monday morning, and there is no element of excitement to it, then they won’t exactly be rushing in to make the most of the time that they have.
You can keep your team on the ball by ensuring that you change up the day-to-day running of your business regularly (and to reflect the needs and opinions of your team) and also by encouraging your team to get vocal. Don’t uphold the usual business hierarchy (I talk, you listen) but instead draw from the expertise of your employees. The chances are that they will see things from a different perspective, and will be more productive if they feel like they are really contributing.
Use the latest software
There is nothing that eats up the time of a business quite like the software (and the general technology) leaving a lot to be desired. If it crashes for even a short period of time, you could find that your team have a) lost where they are in their work, and as such waste time getting back into it when the problem is fixed, and b) had no other choice but to sit around waiting for it to come back on. This is not their fault, as it is your role to give them the best tools possible.
You can do this in many ways, and it will help you to save time, too. For example, you can use software to help you with your payroll (long gone are the days of sitting down with pen and paper doing this) so have a read of articles like The 10 Best Time Card Calculators For Managers | GetSling for some inspiration. When it comes to the software that you’re using in general, make sure you’re keeping an eye on what comes out onto the market, and you invest in these things accordingly!
Outsource what you can’t do yourself
Sometimes, you just need to acknowledge that there are some things that you can’t do in-house. Not only are they time consuming if you try to do them yourself, but it could cost you a lot of money if you’re employing members of staff to do these jobs. Paying out the cost of an extra yearly salary is a lot of money to spend if you could save yourself this expense, by paying around half of the cost to outsource the job instead.
There are many things that you can outsource, from your IT services to your HR department, so don’t underestimate how much further these things have come on in the past few years. In fact, you can even outsource your phone calls if they are taking up a lot of your company time, so look into this if you want to save yourself a lot of extra hours. Not only this, but these companies specialise in these areas, so they know the most up-to-date developments and improvements.
Plan everything that you can
The reason that you may be losing time in your business is because you’re not planning things in as much detail as you should be. If you’re stumbling through the day without any real plan, then the confusion that this causes will take up a lot of time that you don’t really have to waste. Plan out how you’re going to spend your days, and make sure that you stick to it roughly. If you have no plan, you’ll forget things, too, and this could lead your image of professionalism to be damaged.
When you do your plan for the day, make sure that you think strategically about it. For example, you should put your worst jobs first, and then ease into the afternoon by responding to phone calls and emails, before doing the less stressful tasks that you have lined up. If you leave the most stressful things until last, you’ll be dreading them all day, and you won’t be truly focused on what you’re doing. Plan all that you can, and make sure that you plan well.
Be clever about meetings
You may also be spending a lot of your business time in meetings, and of course, you need to have these discussions with your clients and the members of your team. However, do you know how much this time is really costing you? Not only does it take up a lot of your time - and the time of your entire team - but you may also be paying out for some kind of catering, you may be hiring the meeting room, and there may be further costs involved when it comes to transportation.
As a business owner, you need to ask yourself: am I having meetings that I don’t necessarily need to have? If so, you probably need to rethink all of the time and expenses that they are consuming. You can do a lot of things about this, from cutting down your meeting times and keeping correspondence to email if you can, or alternatively, discuss any issues that you have over video platforms like Skype. There are so many ways to get in touch with people using modern technology, that you don’t need to have so many physical meetings.
Know your limits
Another thing that is taking up a lot of your time will be the fact that you’re taking on too much. You may have planned everything down to the last detail, you’ve outsourced all that you can, and you’ve got all of the great technology in place, but you still feel like you can’t control things at work, and that you’re always spending time at one meeting or another. And these are meetings that you just can’t get out of, because your clients want to know the score.
Your issue, then, is that you’re just taking on way too much work; work that you simply cannot handle and fit into your day. Sure, you have staff to give you a hand, but you could actually ruin your business by taking on too much, and letting people down. You need to be able to know your limits, so that you can spend your time on worthwhile endeavours, without running from meeting to meeting, and trying to balance things with too many people. It just won’t work!
Turn off the phones
The issue that many businesses have in 2019, and perhaps have had for the last few years, is that people are more interested in social media, and the WhatsApp messages that they’ve received, than the job that they’re supposed to be doing. Of course, your employees aren’t robots, and they can’t concentrate for eight hours a day non-stop, but they also shouldn’t be spending hours a day on their phones, so try to cut this out where you can.
As a business owner, you do have the authority to do something about this. You can tell people that you don’t want to see their phones out on their desks all of the time, and that they should only be used in emergencies. Sure, this sounds pretty condescending (and your team members aren’t at school) but if they get too comfortable with spending a lot of time on social media at work, it will cost you time and money that you don’t have to be wasting. Make sure that you nip this in the bud.
If you’re a business owner who wants to save time (and subsequently money) then why not try out these simple tips? Some of them may seem like small changes to make, but they will really help you to regain control over the hours that are being wasted in the working day. Good luck making your business as time-savvy as possible, and upping your success as a result!