“There aren’t enough hours in the day!”
As a business owner, we’re sure this is a sentiment you have expressed more than once! When there’s too much to do and too little time, it becomes inevitable that eventually something will be missed, and your workforce will start to feel overworked and dissatisfied. With that in mind, it may be time to look into automating, or simplifying, your business processes.
1. You have to automate to accumulate (more time)
It’s likely that you find yourself carrying out the same tasks repeatedly. Save yourself some time by automating the repetitive tasks. This will enable you and your employees to shift their focus to other, more critical, tasks. A great example of this is setting up direct debits for payroll and payments to suppliers. After the initial set-up, it’s no longer a recurring task for you to tick off each month!
Genene Copley, one of our clients and owner of the Churchyard Tea Room, in Dartford comments, “Miguel and the team at Blue Rocket have been hugely helpful with offering business advice and tips. Before working with them it was taking hours each month to pay my suppliers manually. They pointed out that setting up direct debits would be more straightforward in the long term, enabling me to better spend that time focusing on actually running my business!”
2. Take control of your calendar
Walking into full day of staff meetings, client meetings and departmental catch ups, punctuated by questions, requests and email alerts may be an all-too-familiar picture. If so, it’s time to find a new way of working - never-ending interruptions are hugely disruptive to managing a healthy workload.
So, take control of your calendar. Carve out timeslots that you can dedicate to uninterrupted work. This means turning off email notifications and direct messages for a couple of hours. Yes. We said it. You can even take it a step further and try to schedule all your meetings on specific days.
Another great way to use a dedicated timeslot to work through your to-do list efficiently is to batch similar tasks together. Consider tasks you may have that you keep coming back to throughout the day and carve out a substantial timeslot to dedicate to them. By batching tasks together, you can focus more intensely, allowing less time for distractions and helping you to complete the workload more successfully.
Avoiding the ‘stop start’ cycle can help you make more headway with the time you are able to dedicate to a task.
3. Take advantage of business efficiency tools
Investing in technology that streamlines business efficiency may seem like an unnecessary outlay, or too time consuming to research initially, but will be hugely beneficial in the long run. So many tools designed to increase productivity are at your fingertips and have the capacity to solve a myriad of problems.
Some tools that we recommend to help you streamline your workload:
- Quickbooks – Using accounting software like Quickbooks can be a huge timesaver. It enables you to keep all your business finances in one place. You can utilise it to easily manage your company payroll, taxes, expenses and cashflow. Not to mention the benefits it can have when tax season rolls round!
- Asana – Asana is a productivity tool that’s perfect for organising a team. Set up as a comprehensive list with all tasks and projects in one place, it can help you assign responsibility and keep track of everyone’s workload.
- Calendly – If you find yourself going back and forth over email, trying to find a timeslot to schedule a meeting, Calendly may be the perfect time saver for you. It’s a web-based application that enables you to share a link showing your availability. Once a timeslot is picked, your calendar will automatically update to show the meeting.
- Slack – Slack is a messaging platform that is designed to help teams run more efficiently. It is particularly helpful for teams working remotely, as it’s organised into channels that are dedicated to specific clients or projects, meaning all the relevant information is kept in one place. It has features that allow you to pause notifications so you can avoid disruptions when focusing on other tasks.
4. Use one of your best resources – your team!
There are many benefits to discussing business efficiency with your team. It’s all well and good to try to streamline processes, but without bringing up the pain points with your employees you may be trying to solve the wrong problems. Remember they’re on the front line, so ask them what tasks seem to take up a disproportionate amount of time and see if they have thought of solutions that would be helpful to them.
By opening up a collaborative forum, not only will you gain a fresh perspective, but your employees will feel like they’re being listened to and that you’re working together to make everyone’s lives easier.
If you’re not sure where to start with streamlining your business, or if you need help or advice setting up or choosing the right software for your business, our Blue Rocket Client Advisors can help. Call us for a no obligation chat on 01322 555 442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.