Running a small business has many challenges. So many that the very second you resolve one issue (such as getting enough funds for a new project), you end up running into another one (needing a certain contract signed or a new hire so that you can keep going with the said project). That’s why, as the business leader of a small company, there are lots of strategies you use to simplify your life. Because otherwise, you’d be spending every hour of every day at the office–and while you love to run your own business and it’s a dream come true to be doing what you’re passionate about, there’s something to be said for some downtime. And for a simplified way of getting through your tasks every day.
That’s why it’s so important to make your small business as efficient as possible. When it comes to saving time and saving money, here are some great ways to do that.
1 Invest in marketing solutions
When you’re first starting your business, it may seem like you can do it all. But a big trap that lots of business leaders fall into is that they don’t delegate their responsibilities as much as they should be. And when it comes to something like social media and SEO, it’s easy to think you can do it yourself. After all, most entrepreneurs, for their own brand and other businesses, have dabbled in the art of choosing the right keywords and setting up social media calendars that work. But if you want your business to run efficiently, doing all the work yourself isn’t going to cut it.
If you want to stand out among your competitors and show up first when someone Googles something related to your industry, you need to spend money on simplifying your marketing strategies. Take 180Fusion, for example, a company that will provide you with SEO, PPC, and social media solutions. By allowing them to focus on those aspects, you can work on what matters: your actual business, and running it well. After all, there are more than 2.3 million Google searches conducted each minute–and you need to be able to keep up with that!
2 Automate bookkeeping and employee payments
If you’ve ever sat down at the end of a busy quarter, and it’s suddenly tax season, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year. If you haven’t been keeping track of invoices right, or your business’s success has been up and down all year because it’s new, you’re going to end up spending hours figuring out taxes. That’s why it’s so important to automate bookkeeping. By using an app like Quickbooks, Xero, or Mint, you can automate transactions and connect these apps directly to your bank account.
In the same vein, automating employee payments will make your life easier. Instead of having to spend hours figuring out what to take out for taxes and how to bill hours, you can automate your payments with a service like EChecks. According to the EChecks website, “All you need is the recipient’s email address, and you’ll be able to create, sign and email payments from your computer or mobile device in a flash.”
Considering that, in 2017, 67 percent of small business owners said their top challenge was lack of capital and cash flow, simplifying transactions will save you a lot of grief.
3 Streamline communications
If you’ve spent an hour crafting a perfect email to a business partner about a potential marketing strategy, and now you’re stuck waiting for days or even weeks for an answer, you’re losing not only time but also money. That’s why it’s smart to get off of email as much as you can. Instead of emailing your employees an important memo, set up a meeting, so that if there are any questions, they can be asked right away. It may seem like scheduling a meeting will take extra time, but emails slow everything down.
Additionally, think of using services like Slack or Skype for Business for direct communication with employees throughout the day. And when it comes to communicating with your customers, set up a 24/7 helpline. Or, use AI chatbots so that you’re available even when no one’s in the office. After all, according to The 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 37 percent of survey respondents said they would use a chatbot in an emergency–and this number is sure to go up.
4 Outsource if you need to–and hire the right people
Finally, you need to remember that you don’t have the time or skills for everything, even if you have a lot of business experience. That’s why it’s so important for you to hire outside help for the parts of projects you might not have the capacity for.
Additionally, if you find yourself outsourcing in a certain area often, think about hiring a new team member. It’s worth having additional employees in the long term if they’re going to be managing a large chunk of your business tasks. Considering that 40 percent of employees surveyed said they planned on changing jobs in 2018, you’re sure to find someone who’s interested in working with you.
These are some of the best ways to make your business more efficient. What other strategies would work for your business and industry?