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Time Management Tips for Small Business Managers

by Paul Petersen

When you run a small business, your time is just about as valuable as your money. Time is your only resource that’s truly nonrenewable, so you need to be very conscientious about how you allocate both your time and your staff’s time. Time management can be especially challenging when you’re in a phase of growth and expansion. There’s a little bit of a learning curve involved in taking on more responsibilities or developing the size or scope of your operations. You’ve got to identify the fastest way to go about taking on certain tasks or getting new projects off the ground, and it’s reasonable to expect that you’re going to make some mistakes along the way that could end up costing you some time. Nonetheless, mistakes aren’t entirely wasteful when you’re able to learn for them about how to budget your time going forward. 

Over the course of your business’ development, you’ll refine your individual time management style and be able to educate your staff with the principles and strategies that you have found to be most useful. Regardless of what type of industry your business operates in, there are several time management techniques that will likely give you an advantage in making your business as productive as possible.

Streamline Your Communications

During your early days as a small business owner, you may have likely experienced some logistical setbacks in your communications. Spending too much time on technical issues can be tremendously frustrating, so it’s advisable to manage your communications in a way that proactively prevents problems and makes your communications management faster and more intuitive. Update your business phones so you can easily control all of the features that you use most often such as call answering and call forwarding. Also, boost your internet speed so that you and your staff don’t have to contend with slow upload and download times.

Stay in Touch With Your Staff

While it’s great to have employees who are good at working independently and don’t require a lot of supervision, staying in touch with them on a regular basis can aid their overall productivity. Regular meeting times create a structured way to stay apprised of what your staff is working on and what they need help with. Meeting on a periodic basis also creates a forum in which staff feels very comfortable to ask questions. A regular opportunity to answer questions and give feedback helps to assure that staff won’t be slowed down when they need help with something, and it also minimizes the frequency of unexpected interruptions to your workday.

Analyze How You’ve Spent Your Time

It’s very common for busy managers and owners to plan out every hour of their day, but not everyone takes time at the end of the day to compare their anticipated agenda with how they actually spent their time. However, this mode of analysis can impart very useful insight about certain tasks that are taking up too much of your time and how you can make adjustments going forward to moderate the amount of time you allocate to particular agenda items.