According to the University of Scranton, when it comes to making New Year Resolutions, losing weight is the most popular by far. Whilst we can’t help you there, we can provide some tips to help with the second most popular, “Being Better Organised”.
Most small business owners and managers already work long hours, working even harder is not an option! But if you can work smarter, getting more done in less time, then your business has room to grow.
The term “Working Smarter Not Harder” is or course easier to say than to achieve, but the fact that so many of us make the resolution to be better organised, indicates many of us believe that there is room for improvement.
Here are ten tips for working smarter to consider:
- Schedule your time – Plan your time and work hard to keep to deadlines
- Centralise your data – Keep everything in one place and record everything. Simple Customer Resource Management (CRM) tools can be rented at modest cost (some are even free) and help you to achieve this.
- Be Decisive – taking time to make decisions is both wasteful and can cause stress.
- Be Proactive – Take control of situations, take the lead, this allows you to set timescales.
- Prioritise – Take the time, to list your priorities and then follow them.
- Be Bold – Promote your strengths, don’t be afraid to walk away from unrewarding work
- Know where things are – According to Forbes, a typical executive spends 150 hours a year (nearly a month) looking for lost information!
- Don’t be side-tracked – Keep to your priorities, avoid diversions and time wasting ventures.
- Network – Meet with local businesses, as well as sharing leads, it’s an opportunity to share concerns, seek advice and relax.
- Delegate – Use your strengths on things you are good at. Unless it will have longer term benefits don’t waste your time on tasks or learning skills where you have no expertise.
Picking up on the last point, Delegation is a key management skill. Good managers know what to delegate, to who, when and how. Their aim is to get the task done effectively in the least time at the lowest cost. Whether working with internal or external staff, they will know their individual capabilities to be able to make the right choices.
Marketing is a skill few small businesses outside of the marketing industry itself have. The skill of a professional marketer is not in the placing of an advert or building a website, but in the strategy behind it. A skilled marketing practitioner will take the time to understand your business, your target market and your business aims. By doing so, they can then work out and advise on the most effective tools and methods to use, thereby avoiding wasted advertising spend and effort. They will also provide feedback on results and adjust the strategy based on them.