I think one key part of doing more with less is to be more strategic, to realize what the objectives you’re truly trying to accomplish are and then to drive with greater focus towards those objectives. – Risa Lavizzo-Mourey
Small business owners are constantly juggling many balls – marketing, book keeping, sales and administration to name a few. While doing this, they are also performing under pressure – having to attract new customers, scale with growth, tackle operational challenges etc. Juggling is made easier by organisation. How do you rate your organisational skills? How well are you using what you have available? Can you see LESS as an opportunity to be creative rather than an excuse to avoid a challenge? How are you going to … get more brand awareness, get more leads, do more with your time? These question require you to look at your systems and ask how can you work more efficiently and effectively. Here are a few things to consider:
Clear the clutter
Tidy up your desk and filing system. Make sure you have a system for organising your paper and electronic files so you can find things easily and put things away once you are done with them. At the end of the day, do a quick tidy up so you have a clear start the next day.
Everything on hand
Position equipment and supplies that you use the most within easy reach.
Having a to-do list with realistic time allocated to the tasks. Everything you need to do goes on this list and is given a time slot in your work day/week/month. Allow for FAT time in your day/week (finish all tasks) as things don’t always go to schedule!
Interrupting phone calls, social media, emails, internet browsing, co-worker and client interruptions can break your focus from working on a task. Create good habits to help prevent distractions that result in poor use of time.
Learn to say no
If you feel you just don’t have enough time, maybe you are trying to do too much. How you use your time is all about priorities. Meetings, events, projects… ask yourself, is it meaningful and worth your time? Will it help you personally or professionally? Respond intelligently based on both your personal goals and the goals of your business.
Know your strengths
Your strengths are the rocket fuel for your business. Design your work around around what you are good at. This will give energy to your business and makes it easier to grow.
Know your skills
One of the biggest challenges faced by small and start up business owners is the need to manage every part of their business. Consider delegating and outsourcing.
Look after your customers
Aim to exceed your customers expectations, not just meet them. You can’t place too high an importance on service, it should underpin all business activity. Customer care is all about retaining existing customers and attracting new business through referrals and recommendations. It is powerful and cost effective.
Listen to your customers
Customer feedback provides an opportunity to improve your service and products.
Keep in touch
Keeping in touch with customers and potential customers through consistent and relevant use of social media, exclusive email offers, newsletters etc.
Get out there
Networking is a valuable tool. Have your elevator pitch ready for any opportunity when you meet people face to face. Networking can bring you business as well as provide business support though the exchange of ideas.
Know where you are going
Know what you want to achieve from your business and the actions that you need to do this. Your daily/weekly tasks need to relate to your goals and action plan.
Watch your business expenses and budget. Shop around for services to ensure you are getting the best rate. However, be wary of cutting cost and compromising quality.
Effective use of your time, money and resources can be achieved through the effort and consistency you put into maintaining efficiency in your work practices. Make time to reflect at the end of the day on what you want to focus on tomorrow.
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours. – Swedish proverb
What do you think is the most effective thing you do to do more with less in your business? Let us know in the comments below.