Time Management: Best Practices for a Successful Business Venture
Updated: Oct 19, 2018
If you're like most small business owners and entrepreneurs, you have a laundry list of things to get done on a daily and weekly basis. Lets face it, you could work yourself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and burn out like a candle in the wind. We both know that's not wise, right? So how do you prioritize and manage your day so you not only feel accomplished but you are also making the right progress toward working on your company and not in it? Continue reading to learn more.
A day and the life of a small business ownerThe daily responsibilities of a business owner vary based on the size of your company as well as the industry of the business. If you are 'bootstrapping' your business through self funding, you are a one person show. That can present a problem in itself as you can't possibly do everything yourself.
This is where tip #1 comes into play: Recruit team members who share the same vision and want to help you succeed. That's right, you are going to create one or more job postings, solicit prospective employees and/or interns, interview and hire them!
Unfortunately, most small businesses are reluctant to follow this advice for a couple reasons: 1) they don't have the working capital needed to pay the new employee(s) and 2) they want to be in control of the business operation in its early years of operation. Many adopt the mindset of, "if it's going to be, it's up to me." mentality. What they fail to realize is that this kind of thinking is the root of a major problem that will continue to fester unless dealt with immediately.
There is no better way to fail than to try and do everything yourself.
Biggest and best use of your time
Once a business owner has come to grips with not trying to do everything by themselves, they then need to prioritize and determine how their time will be spent each and every day. This process is pretty straightforward but does require ongoing practice in order for it to become a habit. Here are the steps:
Step #1- Think about working on your business as much as working in it. Your goal is to eventually minimize or eliminate the time you work in your business by having employees run the operation for you. I recommend trying to spend 60%-70% of your time working on your business and 30% - 40% of your time working in your business. Of course, this is not written in stone and varies based on business owner needs. Regardless of the % you choose, write it down and stick with it until it becomes a habit.
Step #2- Set hours for your business. If you are a business that sales to consumers, chances are good that you will have posted hours. Businesses that are service based or work out of the home tend to violate this step and play everything by ear. It's not recommended. You need hours just like a B2C business model. Set your hours, write them down, and allocate your % of involvement working in vs. on your business from step #1.
Step #3- Pre-plan your day ahead of time. Before you finish work each day, be sure to plan out your next day of activities. Focus on the items that will provide the biggest impact to your business growth. In most cases, that will be branding, marketing, and sales. It is these activities that will drive your revenue. When you work 'in' your business, choose activities that will add to the bottom line and fuel revenue growth.
That's it! Not too difficult, right? The last and final word I'd like to share with you in this blog post is that you need someone to hold you accountable. If left to your own devices, you will miss the mark and give yourself permission to procrastinate. Before you know it, the end of the year will be here and you will not have achieved your goals. I will write another blog post on accountability partners but I need for you to be thinking about who you know who can share you weekly goals, give you constructive feedback, and beat you up when appropriate to do so.
I look forward to your comments and hope the content of this article will help improve your business operations!