Even with limited resources, small businesses can find creative solutions to streamline operations, boost productivity, and help reach their full potential.
Guest post by Gloria Martinez, Founder of WomenLed.org
One truth that most small business owners realize almost immediately is that running a small enterprise is a far cry from the glamorous CEO lifestyle they might have envisioned for themselves. Small businesses have limited resources to work with and, as a result, must think creatively about solutions they can adopt that will streamline operations, boost productivity, and ultimately, yield more profits. While you will need to align your business strategies with its needs, below are a few hacks that may help you get started.
1. Work on One Non-Urgent Task Daily
According to Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle, you should never wait for non-urgent to-dos to become urgent. By tackling one non-vital task each day, you can ensure it gets done, which ultimately helps your small business. For instance, you may need to cull your customer list, revise your marketing email, or order new business cards for an upcoming event. Keep a running list of any and all to-dos, and make it a point to cross off one each day.
2. Maintain an Organized Payroll System
Without an organized payroll system in place, you may find that you spend hours at the end of each week simply trying to track down employees’ hours, calculating wages, and running reports. This is precious time that could be better spent on tasks that help grow your business, such as networking, marketing or developing new product ideas. There are dozens of software options for small businesses that need to build a payroll calendar, many of which are free, that you can use to streamline payroll processing.
Payroll templates, which are predesigned spreadsheets and forms, can also help you track, organize, and calculate payroll data with ease. These templates are best for small businesses that have yet to hire their first employees or that want to eliminate costs associated with payroll.
3. Get Out and Meet People
People prefer to shop small. This is evident in the fact that 70% of Americans shop local. Of those, 57% say they shop small to keep money local. The problem is that many consumers will turn to the web to find a product or service if they don’t think that a business in their vicinity offers it. That said, small business owners can serve themselves well by making their presence known. The best way to do that is by networking.
Networking is so important for many reasons. For instance, it helps to forge connections, create new business opportunities, and increase your visibility, among other benefits. There are dozens of ways you can start networking, but tried and true methods include joining the local chamber of commerce, attending industry events, and hosting a meet and greet at your store. If your customers are worried about health and safety, you can even network online via Facebook forums, webinars, and virtual networking events.
4. Know When To Delegate
Growing a business is hard and time-consuming work, and it’s impractical — if not impossible — for you to do everything on your own. Even if you could, it is important for leaders to delegate. When a leader attempts to do too much on his or her own, that person may end up spending a lot of time on tasks that could be more efficiently and effectively handled by other people (thereby preventing the leader from managing other aspects of the business). In other words, the more you attempt to do on your own, the harder it will be for you to grow your business.
Growing a small business from seed to success is no easy feat. However, by doing what you can to streamline your daily operations, you can boost productivity, expand your reach, and help your business reach its full potential.
WomenLed.org aims to celebrate women’s achievements in the workplace and is dedicated to increasing the number of women-led corporations, organizations, and small businesses by educating others about women-led achievements.