Time Management

business (10)Keeping up with the theme for this month, here are three articles with information for you that will shed some light to the way you use your time when running a small business. As a small business owner, wasting time in a daily basis is not something you can afford, but do you manage your time efficiently? Read the articles below to find more information about this, and hopefully, if you are not already doing it, manage your time more efficiently.

The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time

Small-business owners waste their time on what I call $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they forgo the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you.

Entrepreneurs don’t realize the same 80/20 principle — the adage that 20 percent of customers equal 80 percent of sales — applies to every dimension of business. And that includes time management.

We entrepreneurs are extremely prone to rationalize, “I can do it myself.” Then we spend six hours trying to extract a virus from our computer or fix a leaky faucet.

Sure, we may be competent to do that little job. And sure, sometimes you have to do everything when you start out. But now you’re doing a $10 or $20 per hour fix-the-faucet job and you’re not doing your No. 1 job, which is getting and keeping customers. That job pays $100 to $1000 per hour.

Many a promising business has been killed by those little jobs. When someone says “time management,” you probably think of time logs, goal lists, and “Getting Things Done.” But getting busy is not what makes you rich.

5 Ways I Automated My Small Business 

I’m no Tim Ferriss.

I mean, I don’t have my life down to a four-hour work week or anything. However, as my children get older, it seems my available (quiet) daytime hours are slowly reduced, while my clientele and potential profits are way up. The nature of my business (I’m a freelance communications consultant focusing on the written word) requires long swaths of quiet writing time. So, I did what any Ferriss fan would do. I figured out ways to make sure my quiet daytime hours were reserved solely for writing, and learned to cut hours — even minutes — out of my schedule in the most efficient ways possible. Here’s how I automated my small business.

Problem 1: Computer Maintenance
Last week I wrote about rookie mistakes that new writers might make. One of those was neglecting file backup, which can be done easily and automatically via the cloud using any number of services (I personally use Mozy while my husband/officemate has recently discovered Box). Another way that my computer steals time from me is through regular maintenance, which either takes effort and time on my part, or clogs up my computer’s processes in such a way that it’s useless to me for about an hour.

Strategies: 20 ways for small businesses to save time

If you’re a small-business owner, I’m sure you’ll relate to my morning:

• Inbox with 115 new e-mails.

• Important customer with a difficult question about a big order.

• 10 a.m. conference call with a hot prospect.

• A new employee needing training.

• A meeting about updating one of our products.

• Someone tweeting me.

• A phone call to my accountant about taxes.

And my column is due this afternoon.

Wow! So much to do, so little time. Every small-business owner faces the same dilemma: How do we ever manage to get anything finished with so many things on our to-do list?

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs constantly are being tugged in many directions, so they need to make the most of almost every minute.

I’ve come up with 20 time-saving tips for your small business: