Time is the one resource we can’t multiply. We can earn money, hire employees, buy products and raw materials, but once a minute passed by we’ve lost it forever. Developing efficient time management techniques is therefore crucial to businesses of any dimension. Here are 5 tips for a successful day-to-day business.
Why is time so important?
Imagine that you are a doctor and, during an appointment with your patient, you could have more time for the diagnosis. Or maybe you run a restaurant and would be able to notice that your waiters aren’t busy running from one guest to the other, but can instead take their time. In a craft business, you may have two more weeks of time to build a garage rather than having to deal with strict deadlines.
Now, the good news is: it is possible to accomplish all those goals. Maybe not in the exact manner described above, but nearly. Strategic time management will save you not only minutes, but hours spent with unimportant tasks and so you’ll be able to invest your time where you need it most. As a result, in the long run you not only save time and money, but you’ll also be able to provide a higher quality to your customers. More time means more accurate work, and this is a benefit your customers will highly appreciate.
6 techniques for an efficient management
Without elaborate time management techniques that are tailored to your business’ needs, sooner or later the business will be destined to file for bankruptcy - it’s a hard thing to say, but that’s just the way it is. Therefor we tried to think of a couple of tips on how to manage a business more efficiently, save time, and be more successful in the long run. In this context, the digitalization of your business will play an essential role.
Let's jump straight in.
1. Prioritize to-do lists
Either the day before or directly at the beginning of a working day you should take some time and create the classic To do list. DO NOT separate pleasant from unpleasant tasks, but take a logical approach: Which task is particularly important and which ones can wait?
This list will help you get an overview of the tasks you should be capitalizing. Often this will lead to more than just one advantage: An early performed task can eventually speed up a later one.
2. Delegate work
If you have a team of skilled employees, you absolutely should learn how to use those resources. Trust is the keyword here: Members of the management often think that only they should take care of the important tasks, and not some “plain employee”. However, often those employees are perfectly able to support you with certain tasks.
One of the best time management techniques is therefore to trust and to delegate work. You certainly don’t have to go from one extreme to the other: In a fashion shop you could e.g. start by letting a good collaborator make a custom-made suit for one of the less important customers, before assigning him to important ones. You’ll quickly notice that your employees will reward this trust with a better performance - and thus you’re able to maintain the same level of quality while having more time to dedicate to other tasks.
3. Break conventions
Every person has some habits that, strictly speaking, are a waste of time. Bringing exactly those habits into question and analyzing their meaning can therefore be a powerful time management technique. Maybe you go to a certain baker to take a nice coffee. With each one of those trips you lose 15 minutes. You could replace this trip by making your own coffee at the office. That would save you up to 60 (!) hours a year
Integrate this auto-reflection into your thinking. This is a way to find out about certain habits that otherwise you’d never question - that’s why we call them habits, after all. You’re resigned to the way things work in your business to a degree that you don’t even think about it anymore.
But be careful! Your ambitions to save time in your day-to-day business shouldn’t affect your social life. Chatting with colleagues about the soccer game the night before may take time, but it contributes to a positive atmosphere. Therefor carefully select the habits you want to enhance in your team as opposed to those you want to ignore.
4. Learn how to improvise
You know the feeling: An important device in your business stops working and one of your employees tells you about it.
Most leaders have that innate “I have to take care of it immediately” - reflex and as such they feel the urge to resolve the problem straight away. However, good time management also means that you analyze a problem and react accordingly.
Surely, devices are quite important - but in today’s world you don’t really need them. Therefor you’d better invest your time in other tasks and engage a repair service that will solve your problem until the next day- It’s never good to panic, even though the problem may sound terrible when you hear about it. Unfortunately, there barely is a way to prepare for these situations. Sooner or later you’ll build a sense of which situations require your immediate attention and which not.
5. Use digitalization
That's right! Its about time!
There are modern devices that can make your daily business easier. As far as marketing is concerned, you can (among many other things) plan your next messages in Social Networks or on your blog, without there being the need of publishing them directly. Use those software solutions to attend to as many tasks as possible whenever you have some spare time to devote, rather than having to do it when your appointment calendar forces you to.
Also smartphones are part of it: Digital assistants remind you of important appointments and make daily planning easier. One option is a synchronized appointment calendar. With the app, you and your collaborators can access the shift plan (internal) and the appointment calendar (external) at the same time so that your team can achieve the ideal amount of workload. Just try: Customer Management
Without efficient (!) time management techniques you will be considerably more static, inflexible and, consequently, less successful than your competitors.
The implementation of efficient solutions is not always possible straight away. However, if you manage to identify and eliminate all the big and small unnecessary time consumptions, you and your customers will certainly benefit in the long run.