When running a small business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of the entire operation. From training staff to providing an excellent product, keeping customers happy, bookkeeping and balancing healthy family life, it can all get to be quite overwhelming. An essential part of running a successful business is your ability to manage time effectively while also enjoying what you do. Regardless of where you are in your business, it’s always smart to keep a few time-management tips in mind!

Log Time

When it comes to time management, the best place to begin is logging your time. Open up a spreadsheet, or a piece of paper if you prefer a physical copy, and track every single minute of your day. The time you track should start from the moment you wake up in the morning to the time your head hits the pillow at night. In order for this method to be useful, you must track absolutely everything you do each day. Once this information is laid out in front of you, it may give you a clearer vision of what you actually spend your time doing. In turn, it will give you a clearer insight into what you’re wasting time doing. 

If you have employees, you may want to have them do the same. It is equally as important for them to see where their time is being allocated to ensure your business is running as smoothly and as effectively as possible. After you’ve logged time in a spreadsheet or by hand and re-allocating based on the needs of your business, you might want to invest in a time tracking software to utilize throughout your organization. This will keep everyone on track and ensure there are no wasted moments within the workday. 

Open a Business Bank Account

Odds are you began your business out of passion, something you enjoy and love doing every day. It’s likely that you soon found out that tracking expenses and doing your own bookkeeping are a required part of that. Traditional banks aren’t always the best for small businesses, from fees to unfriendly hours, small business owners should opt for mobile-friendly online banking. Between syncing your activity to your Quickbooks account, or linking your online stores Shopify transactions, having one platform for all things banking is sure to save you time.

When running your own business, you know time is the most important asset you have. The ability to have your bank in your pocket at all times will save you trips to and from the bank, and more time focusing on what matters.

Utilize Marketing

As you know, your business relies on new customers buying your product or service to grow. Even after all the work of opening, or regardless of how many “regulars” you have, advertising your brand should never stop. If you’re a one-person shop or just a few people, it may not make sense to hire an outside marketing agency or bring in a full-time employee to handle your marketing.

Luckily, services such as  Later or Hootsuite can help you build a content calendar to automatically post to your businesses social media pages at optimal times. Scheduling posts in advance and not having to think about them can help you save time or better still plan out an upcoming promotion. Planning your business social media presence in advance helps customers stay connected and engaged, even when you’re busier than ever.

Keep a Running To-Do List

It should go without saying, but each day, week, and month you should have a general idea of what you need to accomplish. Setting goals or milestones first, then planning how to achieve them will help you complete tasks in a timely manner and not lose track of the big picture. Building a to-do list, and using it as your roadmap to success can keep you and your staff working toward a common goal on the same page at all times!

Whether you have a new product development schedule or plan on opening a new location, creating small tasks and sticking to deadlines will help you stay on track and reach your desired outcome. 

Delegate Tasks

As the owner of your small business, it’s likely you’ll want to do it all. You feel a strong sense of responsibility as this is a representation of your blood, sweat, and tears. At some point, you must be realistic with yourself and come to terms with the fact that you can’t be everywhere at once. This is why delegating tasks is a crucial component of running your business. 

Relying on others to help you get all the work done doesn’t mean you’ll be totally out of the loop, but instead, assigning tasks to others lends you more time to focus on the day-to-day workings of your business.

If you’re a one-person operation, you may want to seek help from friends or consider looking into an errand-running service. This may seem like an added expense, but it will actually save you money in the long run as you’ll have more time to spend working! 

Avoid Distractions

This tip may be easier said than done and if you’re a small business owner, you know that for certain! It’s likely that you are wearing various hats when it comes to your business. Its also likely that you’re wearing as many, if not more, in your personal life. We are not saying tune out your personal life, but allowing distractions to infiltrate can send you into a tailspin. This can completely knock you off track. 

Keeping your personal life separate, or as separate as you can, from your business will also help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. This allows you, and those in your life, more enjoyment, and a better system to spend your time appropriately. 

Running a small business is a lot of work. You’re constantly working and thinking of ways to improve the business far beyond the regular hours. This often leaves you feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day. Take a step back and look at everything big picture.,  areas where you can save time, such as banking and to-do lists, will help you complete more tasks and provide you with extra time to enjoy your life outside of work. What are some of our favorite time-management practices?