We all have the same number of hours in a day, and yet some business owners seem to accomplish infinitely more than others do. How do they do it? Are they especially skilled? Geniuses in business productivity? Odds are good that they’re not. In fact, the small business organization that is most efficient is the one run by someone who understands what deserves their time versus what doesn’t. To help you improve client management and business productivity, here’s how to make that distinction so you can be a master of efficiency too.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
The first rule of thumb for business owners looking to save time and bring in more Sales is to cut out any activities that waste time. For example, are you creating new invoices for every client that comes your way? Make templates instead. Consider what your most popular services are, and create an invoice framework for each one. When the time comes to send a bill, quickly tweak the template as needed, while not wasting time starting from scratch.
You can also likely trim some time from your Sales efforts. If you’re running brand-new campaigns all the time and getting stuck in the weeds about what to say, your time can almost certainly be better spent elsewhere. Instead, use templatized promotion campaigns to streamline the process. Or, run discount offers you’ve run before that have worked well. These don’t have to be fancy or brand-new to get results, and results are the goal.
Use technology as your Personal Assistant
Many solopreneur service providers, or even those with a small team, don’t have the luxury of an Office Manager. So you probably have to handle your own scheduling and appointment reminders, which can be a serious time drain. Rather than get lost in the back-and-forth of scheduling purgatory, automate it all. Use Marketing Automation to enable clients to select from your available days/times. Further set up your system to send automatic appointment reminders, so you don’t have to do this manually.
You don’t have to have an employee in order to feel like you have a Personal Assistant. You can save a lot of time and improve your efficiency by automating scheduling and simple communications like appointment reminders.
Remember the 80/20 rule
There’s a widely held principle (the Pareto Principle) that states 20 percent of your effort yields 80 percent of your results. So, most people spend 80 percent of their time on tasks that don’t really move the needle for them in terms of revenue. It’s up to you to figure out which of your tasks fall under the most important 20 percent bucket and then focus your time and attention on those.
For example, you might spend a lot of time following up with customers by email after an appointment to make sure they liked your service. Even though this is a nice personal touch, it probably isn’t contributing much to your business overall. Instead, use your CRM system to automate your follow-ups.
Then, use your newfound time to help frustrated customers troubleshoot urgent problems. Being able to solve an issue for a customer in a bind will almost certainly win your loyalty – and repeat Sales – in a way that sending even the nicest follow-up email cannot.
If you’re intent on improving efficiency in your small business organization, and increasing productivity, the first step is reallocating your time. Figure out what requires your direct input, as opposed to what can be automated or reconsidered altogether. Once you get that down, you’ll be well on your way to cost savings, Sales boosts and a much more smoothly running business.