You’re always trying to improve efficiency, reducing redundancies and improving time management. Maybe you’ve thought about buying some books or taking a few classes. But those would take days. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Isn’t the whole point to save time anyways?
Here are 11 tried and true ways to really streamline how your business operates.
1. Track How You Spend Your Time
The only way to know whether you are being wasteful with your time is to track it. Seriously, do it! Get a calendar and track how you spend your time for an entire week! Once you have a benchmark, you can apply it to the rest of the month, and you can then analyze where your timesinks are.
Spending too much time on the floor? Make sure your floor supervisors are doing their jobs. Spending too much time tracking down late payments? Make sure your collections department is following through with invoices on time.
Once you see where you actually spend your time you will be able to adjust how your business operates, as people from the top down shouldn't be monitoring what every department is doing operationally every minute of the day.
2. Set Aside Time to Audit Your Team
Just like how you make plans with your friends and family, and even for customer calls, you should be making appointments with your internal work too. Whether it’s with your phone or an old fashioned paper appointment book, you should be setting time aside every week, so you can check in with all of your departments and make sure they are working together well and getting everything that they need.
If you discipline yourself to follow through with your appointments you can harness that time to get more done and it will also help you keep your work and personal lives separate.
If your business has a text messaging platform, appointment reminders can be sent via text to your team to remind them of important meetings. With a 98% read rate (vs email’s 22%), you can be sure people actually show up, rather than wasting your time waiting and tracking them down.
3. Know Your Target Goals
The only way to gauge success is to know what your desired outcomes are. This also makes it easier to convey your goals to your coworkers because you’ll have an an observable and objective metric that can be explained. By knowing what you want to happen, you can better identify what is going wrong before it’s too late or too costly for the company.
4. Schedule for the Unforeseeable
Interruptions happen. A shipment is late, an employee gets sick and misses a shift; we all know that nothing will ever go to plan 100% of the time. When you set some time aside everyday to help fight the fires that will come up, you better prepare yourself and your company for the hardships that inevitably will happen.
Plus, on those rare days where everything runs smoothly, you have that set time for those tasks you never seem to be able to get around to, like bookkeeping or planning company activities to boost morale.
5. Get Off to a Strong Start
The first fifteen minutes set the tone for the rest of the day. When you plan what you want to focus on and make sure your schedule is properly set up, you will make your life a whole lot easier.
Proper planning is nothing without execution though, so plan to do the things that take the most brain power during your most productive hours. Need to do a thorough check of inventory? Make sure you’ve had your morning coffee and get it done!
6. Take Notes, A Lot of Notes
Whether it’s with a paper and pen, your laptop, or a voice recorder, taking notes helps you make the most out of meetings and phone calls. It saves you time when you need to track down the specifics of an order or remember some facts when you need to send out some emails later in the day.
Plus when you take a lot of notes, it saves time by letting you quickly refer back to them, and makes it easier to communicate important information to your staff or stay on top of your facts when you talk to your managers.
7. Know When to Respond
Dropping what you are doing to respond to an email can be a waste of time if it isn't time sensitive. Unless you need to address a customer’s concern or smooth out a pressing issue, you can wait to respond until you have free time. That being said, make sure you schedule some time to respond to your emails. Inbox Zero may seem like an unattainable goal, but it doesn't hurt to try!
8. Implement Text Messaging
Text messaging is quickly becoming the go-to tool for business communications. That’s because not only does it have by far the highest read rate of any channel, but they are responded to much quickly (60x faster than email) and more often (7.5x more than email).
So when you want to streamline how you communicate with both clients and employees, you need to consider using this powerful tool to get your messages seen and relieve your company from the headaches of ineffective communication.
9. Block Out the Static
The world may be busy, but so are you! Whether it’s personal things that can be addressed later or a time sink like social media, you need to be able to erase them from your day.
Trust me. I know it’s hard.
But things that interrupt your schedule or derail your train of thought need to be blocked during business hours, because you only have so much time during the day, and getting more done when you are productive means you will have more time for fun things later.
10. Make Sure You Have Enough Staff
Budgets are always tight, but knowing the ROI you can get from a new hire is important. Do you need to boost your sales for the rest of the year? Hiring the right salesman can help you meet your goals. Making a lot of deals but having trouble collecting on invoices? The right collections specialist can turn your projections around quickly! Knowing what you need and finding the right staff can help you alleviate headaches and boost your business in impactful and lasting ways.
11. Know When to Take Breaks
Running a business is often a Herculean task. Endless issues will always arise, so it’s important to know when to take a break. The Pomodoro technique is a proven way to really help alleviate a lot of stress. By setting a timer and working for 25 minutes, you focus on a task and see that you get the most done. Then to reset, you take a 5 minute break.
Plus, the break doesn't have to be unproductive! You can answer some personal texts or a few simple company emails, as long as you are helping to reset your mental energy for the next 25 minutes of disciplined work. It can really make a difference!
Some of these strategies you can do on your own, for some you need a little help, and for others, there’s Trumpia, the leading text messaging software. If you’ve considered text messaging but aren’t sure where to begin, Trumpia’s Sales Team is ready to discuss strategies that will help your business grow and improve efficiency.
Call or text us at 1-888-707-3030 to talk to one of our experts today!