4 Small Business Tips to Help You Work Smart

– By Janine Popick

As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you wear a million different hats, juggle mountains of competing priorities and never seem to have enough time to get it all done. You may be putting in 80+ hour weeks and working harder and harder but can’t seem to get it all done. Here are four (quick!) small business tips to apply more smarts to all that hard work.

1. Choose Your Time Wisely

When you run a business, you become a master of multi-tasking, but spreading yourself too thin and trying to do so much comes at a high price. So choose how you spend your time wisely.  

Take email for example, do you check your email all day long? Try checking it only a few times a day. When you develop a routine of checking your messages at prescheduled times during the day, you can schedule other tasks and events around that. You’ll be more productive at both versus having email interrupt what you’re doing and sucking up all your time.

Think of yourself as the number one revenue generation tool for your business, and plan your time accordingly.

2. Let’s Not Have a Meeting

Let’s talk about meetings. Do you really need so many of them? Can you handle an issue with a quick chat or a simple approval instead? We’ve become meeting addicts and we need to cut the cord. The time that you are sitting in a meeting could be valuable time you spend connecting with a possible new partner or with a valuable customer to get more business.

And another thing: have you ever been in a meeting and someone says, “Let’s take this offline.” Ugh. That just screams, “Let’s have another meeting to talk about what we could just talk about in this meeting.” It’s time to stop the insanity.

3. D is for Delegate

You may be in charge, but you can’t expect to do everything on your own. As a business owner, you’ve got to delegate and allow other people to take on tasks. You can’t effectively grow your business if you’re in the weeds all the time.

Delegating means giving up some control, it’s true. But when you’ve got talented people on your team, you need to let them shine and succeed. It takes a team of people working together to build a business, even if that team consists of just two people.  Use what you’ve got, and allow others to help.

4. Get Organized

With so many free tools and apps available today, there’s really no excuse to be disorganized. Free and low-cost tools like Evernote, Square, Speek, and LaunchRock can help you do everything from taking notes and sharing files, to ringing up a sale via your mobile device to holding conference calls, and gathering a list of interested prospects before your product or service launches. Saving time and getting organized is just a Google search—or quick visit to the app store—away.  

What other ways do you save time in your day-to-day as an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of self-service email, social and event marketing solutions for small businesses. Connect with her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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