There are few things more valuable to small business owners than time.
Research shows small business owners consider time to be a more valuable asset than computers, mobile phones and the company's office or storefront. In addition, one-quarter of small business owners would pay $500 for one extra hour in their day.
Since adding a 25th hour to the day is an unlikely possibility, a few simple time-management strategies can help entrepreneurs gain that extra time they're looking for, says Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing for j2 Global Communications.
However, Pugh advises that time management isn't just about getting work done, the purpose is to help small business owners take a meaningful look at the tasks at hand so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance. His tips include:
- Empower your employees: Business owners must learn to let go of the day-to-day tasks that are taking up their time to focus on the big picture. They should take a hard look at what they're spending the most time doing everyday and then think about what they actually should be doing. Whatever doesn't fall into the "should be doing" category needs to be reassigned to a staff member. Not only does this help them focus on larger business issues, but also empowers their employees by letting them take on tasks normally assigned for the boss. This challenges employees and allows them to gain more responsibility ultimately freeing up the owner's time.
- Learn to pilot the cloud: Taking the time to navigate through cloud solutions that help organize business communications and documents will be a big time-saver. Applications like Google Docs allow business owners to collaborate in real time with employees, while Evernote allows business owners to take notes on the go. There are thousands of simple, effective solutions available to the business community that can help save time.
- Know when to pick up: A virtual phone number enables small business owners to work from anywhere without worrying about missing an important call or losing touch with the business. It also enables small business owners to screen their calls with caller ID and voicemail screening so they know when to pick up.
- DIY…sometimes: As a small business owner it's tempting to do everything. However, since time is money, it is important they recognize when it's better to hire someone for a specialized task than to spend hundreds of hours doing it themselves.
- The business of your well-being: Research shows that business owners are the most productive when they are happy and healthy, so it is important that they give themselves a few hours each day to relax and turn their brain off of business.