Time Management for The Small Business Owner

Part 1 - identifying the problem

As a small business owner, how many times do you utter any of these immortal phrases “I just haven’t got enough time” “There never seems to be enough hours in the day”or a variation of the theme?

Time Management for The Small Business Owner

The Problem for The Small Business Owner

From completing the accounts and doing all of the hiring and firing through to generating more business and developing growth strategies. The small business owner invariably finds it hard to let go. This is not surprising given that they are responsible for the growth of the business, but they often tell themselves that there must be a more efficient way of getting everything done and still having a life too! The good news is that there is.

Many business owners get so bogged down with working in the business that they fail to identify what it is they should be doing and what actually gets in the way of them doing it!

In order to do for the small business owner to make the most efficient use of their time, they need to complete two actions:

1 – Identify what they should be doing on a daily basis to add maximum value to the business.

As a small Business Owner you have to identify and concentrate on the tasks that have the biggest impact on your business in terms of profit and turnover, anything else should be outsourced or delegated.

Many business owners fear “letting go” or outsourcing tasks, because they it adds to their cost base. Yes, outsourcing will add to the cost base but you will also be freeing up your time to do what you should be doing and that is working on your business in terms of turnover and profits?

2 – Identify the time stealers that get in the way of achieving the above.

Many small business owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of their businesses that they just don’t realise where their time goes. Before they know it, the day has finished and they feel that although they have been busy, they are not sure what they have achieved.

The first step in improving this situation is to identify where your time goes – keep a time log for a week or two and analyse what you do and when you do it. You will then be able to identify those time stealers that reduce your effectiveness in the workplace. The most popular ones are below:

  • Doing tasks that you should have delegated
  • Being a slave to your email system
  • Answering telephone calls (interruptions) that should not have got through
  • Interruptions from staff that should have been dealt with by someone else
  • Unscheduled/unnecessary meetings
  • Procrastinating over tasks and decisions
  • Getting involved in the “doing” too much
  • Constant fire fighting
  • Duplication of effort/work
  • Poor planning/ communication
  • Inability to say NO
  • No systems to help you organise your day

Now that you’ve identified where your time is going. In Part two of this series we’ll look at how the small business owner can reclaim some time.

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Till Next time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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