Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management

Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management 

Why did you get into business for yourself? Was it to be your own boss? Choose your own hours? Have more time with the family? Spend more time doing what you love? How do you manage your time? Chances are, you answered yes to all these questions.

These days, you probably wonder where the time went. Why you spent 12 hours at work and barely make a dent in your to-do list? We already know that time is a key resource for you and your business, but it’s also a key resource in your life. Harnessing and leveraging time is the only way to enjoy life, and have a profitable business at the same time.

A few years back I was working with a client who told me that he hadn’t had a date with his wife in years! He was running a million-dollar business with ten employees but he didn’t take any time off for himself. We were able to restructure the business that made him more profitable and he was able to get regular dates with his wife.

The Pareto Principle in Business

time management

You may be familiar with the Pareto Principle; 80% of your results can be attributed to 20% of your efforts, while 20% of your results can be attributed to 80% of your efforts. As the leader of your business, you want to focus your efforts on the activities that yield the greatest results.

Most business owners carefully manage their financial and personnel resources, and pay due attention to their performance. Marketing plans and budgets are created, people are hired and fired. What most business owners don’t realize is that time – and the time of all employees – requires the same attention and diligent management.

Time will never manage itself.

Time is invaluable when you are running a business. That is why it is important to manage your time like money and profit through time management. Time will never manage itself. The decision to make a pro-active effort to manage your time must come from you. Once you have committed to taking ownership for your own time management, there are a host of tools available to you. But first, you must understand how much your time is actually worth, and where you are currently spending it.

What is Your Time Worth?

Ever wonder what your time is actually worth? Here’s a quick way to figure it out:

Target annual income A.

Working days in a year B. 235

Working hours in a day C. 7

Working hours in a year D. 1,645

A/D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH (before tax + expenses) E.

This is a very simple calculation intended to put your time in perspective. In reality, no one is productive for each of the 1,645 hours. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. Either way, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

How Many Days Do You Have Left on Earth?

Let’s look at it another way:

Your age A.

Days in a year B.

Days spent on earth to date (A x B) C.

Average life expectancy D. 70

Total projected days on earth (D x B) E.

Estimated days left (E – C) F.

This exercise isn’t intended to scare you, but bring your attention to the importance of choosing how you spend each hour you have available. It is a choice! By developing the skills required to manage your time, you will not only have a profitable business but rewarding and balanced life

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar to ask any questions you have about small business coaching. I’ve been a business coach (and business broker) for over 20 years. I also have a business coach of my own, so I know what successful coaching looks like on both sides of the table.
~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

The Five Culprits of Time Theft

Chances are – if you’re like most people – you have no idea where your time goes. You’re likely frustrated by the fact that you can spend 10, 12, even 14 hours a day working, and not make a dent in your to-do list, or only bill half of those hours.

When we’re too busy and overloaded with work, we often switch into reactive mode. We can’t make it to the bottom of the pile and end up handling issues and making decisions at the last minute. One of the great benefits of choosing to become proactive in time management is that you can become proactive in all other areas of your business. When in a proactive mode, you can take steps to grow your business through networking, building programs, and establishing systems.

Before you investigate where your time goes, let’s take a look at the top five culprits of modern-day time theft:

1. Time Management and Your Email

Make profit through time management and managing your email. How many times a day do you check your email? Is Outlook or Mail constantly running on your desktop? Email – internal, external, personal and business – clogs up your day like no other communication channel. For many of us, it is possible to spend the entire day writing and responding to emails without even glancing at our inbox. The number of emails sent and received each day by the average person in 2007 was 147. Multiply that by an average of two minutes per message, and you have spent almost five hours on email in a single day.

2. Time Management and Your Mobile Phone

Cell phones have created convenience, security, and the luxury of telecommuting. PDAs and cell phones have also created a society that expects to be able to reach you at any moment or at least receive instant responses to their calls. Your cell phone or PDA not only robs you of your time during the day but also during the evenings and on weekends when you are not at work.

3. Time Management and Your Open Door Policy

If you make it easy for your staff and associates to interrupt you, they will. Too often, open-door policies are set up by human resource departments to create clear communication channels. Instead, they create a clog of employees lined up at your door seeking immediate answers to non-emergent issues.

4. Time Management in Meetings

You can profit through time management if we also manage our meetings well. How many times have you been to a meeting that was scheduled to be an hour, and ended up lasting three? How often do you attend unnecessary meetings? Or meetings that run off-topic? Meetings can be a huge source of wasted time – your valuable time that is why it is important to manage your time. In a senior management or ownership position, your day may consist of back-to-back meetings, leaving only your evening hours to complete the tasks that should have been done during the day.

5. Time Management: YOU!

Every person has daily habits that sabotage their ability to work productively and efficiently. Many entrepreneurs and business owners can’t separate business hours from leisure hours. Some get caught in a time warp while surfing the internet. Others – mainly overachievers – can become paralyzed by perfectionism or procrastination. Mainly we just don’t have the tools to schedule and structure our time in a way that fits with our working style.

Where Does Your Time Go?

So far we’ve seen that time is a resource that should be as carefully managed as cash, we’ve figured out what your time is worth, and looked at the top five culprits of time theft. You’ve committed to taking steps to become a better time manager. What now?

time management

Personal Time Management Research Exercise

The next step is to take a good, (and honest!) look at how you spend your time. Once you understand your patterns and habits, you begin to implement the strategies in this chapter that will make you manage your time better.

Step One: Time Audit

Use the Time Log Worksheet at the back of this chapter to record how you spend your time for three working days in a row. Be honest, and be specific. Include time spent in transit, surfing the web, interacting with clients and colleagues, as well as how your time is spent at home in the evenings. The more information you can record, the easier it will be to analyze your time management skills in step two.

Step Two: Time Categorization

Once you have recorded your time for three days, sit down with all three sheets in front of you and identify the following using different colored markers or highlighters:

  • Driving, public transportation or other travel
  • Eating, including food preparation
  • Personal Errands
  • Exercise
  • Watching TV
  • Sleeping, including naps
  • Using the computer, personal use only
  • Being with family/friends
  • Emailing, including checking, reading, and returning messages
  • Talking on the phone, including checking and returning messages
  • Internal meetings
  • External meetings
  • Administrative work
  • Client work
  • Non-client, non-administrative work

Step Three: Time Analysis

Now that you have identified how you have spent your time, go through the worksheets one more time and identify if you have spent enough, too much, or too little time on each main task.

Then, based on your observations, answer the following questions: Download the Template Here

  1. What patterns do you notice about how you spend your time during the day? (i.e., When are you most productive? Least productive? Most or least interrupted?)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Write down the four highest priorities in your life right now. Does your timesheet reflect these priorities?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had more time, what would you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had less time, what wouldn’t you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Could you remove the items in question four and add the items in question three? Why or why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Is procrastination a problem for you? How much?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Strategies for Profitable Time Management

There are many ways to curb time theft and refine your time management ability for you to manage your time well. Through a solid understanding of how you currently spend – and waste – time, you can determine which strategies you need to implement to correct unproductive behavior.

Here are 17 ways you can turn less of your time into more money:

1. Set Clear Priorities

The foundation of time management is a clear understanding of what your time is best spent on. Once you accept that you can’t do everything, you need to decide what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what someone else can complete in this way you can manage your time effectively. Each to-do list you create should be put through this filter, and reorganized so the highest priority items are on top, and the lowest priority items are less visible, or on the bottom.

Once you have established your priorities – which will also naturally reflect the priorities and goals of your business – stick to them. Just because someone else feels something is of a high priority doesn’t mean it holds the same status next to your other tasks.

Prioritization is also helpful in your personal life and leisure time. Your spare time is precious – so make sure are clear on how you would like to spend it.

2. Use Your Skills – Delegate Your Weaknesses

As a business owner, your day naturally consists of tasks you dislike doing. Some are essential – signing checks, reviewing financial statements, and other business maintenance – while others are simply not within your skill set.

If you are a strong public speaker but struggle with report writing – delegate to a copywriter or editor. If you own a retail store and have no experience in design – outsource your signage. These freelance professionals often cost half as much as you and take half as long to complete the task. It is a great idea, especially if you struggle with time management. Your time is saved for tasks that use and strengthen your skills effectively, your stress is managed, and ultimately a better product is produced. Delegating your weaknesses or tasks that can be delegated to your team is one of the best strategies for you to manage your time effectively.

3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

As a small business owner, the only way you will ever get everything done is by delegating. Delegation is a vital skill that needs to be refined and practiced, and once mastered is the key to profitable time management.

time management

Too often, owners and managers believe that it will be “faster” or “more efficient” to complete the task themselves than to train and monitor someone else. Other times, there are no internal resources to download assignments.

As a result, the following trends can be seen in many small companies:

  • Owners and senior staff are stressed and overworked, while junior staff is underutilized and under capacity.
  • Staff members are not given an opportunity to grow and develop in their roles and may perceive a lack of trust or confidence in their ability. The company loses good people.
  • Owners and senior staff are always in a reactive state, instead of a visionary or proactive state.
  • Delegation happens at the very last minute, and junior staff has little understanding of either the overall project or expectations for the task.

The easiest way to fix this problem is before it starts. Create a solid team of staff members around you who are well-trained and prepared to support the business. Attract and retain qualified and quality people who can be cross-trained and promoted within the company. Ensure that communication flows throughout the business, so everyone has the product and service knowledge to step in and assist when necessary.

4. Learn to Say “No”

It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying yes to everything. You are, after all the business owner, right? No one can complete these tasks as well as you, right? You’ll lose that customer if you don’t help them with their garage sale, right?

Wrong. The most successful business owners have a keen understanding of time management and delegate the remaining responsibilities to trusted others. It’s too easy to say yes to every request in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when it’s added to your to-do list. You may not ruffle any feathers, but what toll does it take on your stress level? Your workload? Your time is valuable – so manage your time well and protect it!

Remember that if it is too challenging to say no immediately, you can always request some time to think about it. This way, you can evaluate your workload and realistically decide whether or not you can take on a new project. Then, stand by your decision, or assist in bringing in the necessary resources to get it done. 

5. Create (and keep!) a Strict Schedule

While multi-tasking is a desirable skill, it is also often a time thief. Attempting to do too many things at one time ensures that nothing gets done. As a business owner, you need to be able to focus and concentrate on essential projects without interruptions.

The only way to do this is to commit to a strict schedule. Once you understand your work style and concentration patterns, you can allocate periods of the day to specific tasks. This includes personal and leisure time – schedule it, and stick to it.

Doing a time management by creating a schedule time for list-creation + prioritization, email messages, telephone messages, internal meetings, client meetings, meeting preparation, “me-time”, family time, recreation + fitness, daily business tasks, and blocks for focused work.

Remember that there is a training period involved in beginning a new routine – for yourself and those around you. Use your voicemail, out-of-office email message, and a closed-door to begin to let people know when you will not be disturbed.

6. Make Decisions

The choice to not make a decision is a decision in itself. The most successful business owners have the ability to make good decisions quickly and efficiently and do not waste time deliberating over simple choices.

In leadership positions, often people are afraid of making the wrong decision or looking foolish if they make a mistake in front of junior staff. What they don’t realize, is that hesitating or avoiding decision-making impacts their leadership just as much or more than making the wrong decision. Not only can being indecisive be personally stressful, but it is also stressful for those around you whose tasks are waiting on your choices.

Remember, you must make the best decision with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make the decision. No one expects you to be a fortune teller – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.

7. Manage Telephone Interruptions

This is a huge source of time theft that can easily be managed and avoided. If you are available to take phone calls at any time of day, you are setting yourself up to take work home in the evenings. The phone will always ring when you are focused on an important task, and this is something that can easily be avoided.

Figure out when you are most productive. Is it in the morning or the afternoon? Before, during, or after lunch? Once you have identified this time period, set your phone on “do not disturb” or have your calls directed to voicemail. If you do not have a receptionist, a variety of automatic answering systems are available for a nominal fee. To structure your phone time further, let callers know on your voicemail what specific time of day is best to reach you via phone. Then, set that time aside to receive and return phone calls.

8. Keep Your Work Environment Organized

Have you ever tried to make dinner in a messy kitchen? More of your time is spent looking for (and cleaning) dishes and tools than actually spent cooking the meal.

The same goes for your work environment. If your desk and office is in a constant state of chaos, then your mind will be too. In fact, some studies have revealed that the average senior business leader spends nearly four weeks each year navigating through messy or cluttered desks, looking for lost information. Does that sound like a productive time for you?

Once you make the initial clean sweep, it’s easy to maintain order in the chaos:

  • Tidy your desk at the beginning and end of each day. Attach pertinent documents to your to-do list, or have clear and organized folders for loose papers.
  • Organize your supplies drawer so you have easy access to stationery like pens, post-it notes, staplers, and highlighters. Every minute counts!
  • Only have the documents and files you are working on, on your desk. The rest should be neatly filed on a side table for later retrieval.
  • Keep personal items (like photos or memorabilia) out of your primary line of vision. These can be distracting and encourage daydreaming.

time management

As for your office or store, there are many ways to make its layout more conducive to effective time management. Try:

  • Minimizing the distance between the reception desk and electronics like photocopies and fax machines.
  • Keep a clear line of sight between your office and the most productive area of your business, so you are aware of what is happening amongst your staff.
  • Organize shelves and filing cabinets so files are not only easily accessed, but out of sight when not being used. Consider putting sliding doors or cabinets in storage areas, and remember that the floor is not a storage cabinet.

9. Keep Your Filing System Organized

If your data isn’t organized properly, you will waste hundreds of hours searching for documents you need on a regular basis. This includes both electronic and hard copy files; they need to be organized and up-to-date.

Customer databases and inquiry records are worth their weight in gold. You can’t afford to get behind when updating this information, or poorly store it for later retrieval. There are many easy to use software programs that will manage and organize customer databases for you; it doesn’t need to be a time consuming or tedious exercise.

A simple way to manage information is to keep it in short, medium, and long term files for both hard and electronic copies. Create shortcuts on your desktop for folders or files you constantly access. Have short-term files available on your desk, medium-term files available within an arm’s reach, and long-term files stored in cabinets.

10. Clearly Communicate – Never Assume

One of the biggest issues for time management in business – and likely the world – is miscommunication. This is a dangerous issue that can cripple any business, including yours. Establishing and enforcing clear policies on things like accurate note-taking, task assignments, and phone messages will ensure your staff understands the importance of clear and accurate communication.

The easiest habit to start to curb miscommunication is simple: write everything down. Carry a notepad, and jot down key points, figures, agreements, and deadlines. Don’t assume you’ll remember later – you have at least a hundred other things to remember.

Some other simple strategies are:

  • Return all communication promptly, including email, letters, faxes and phone calls
  • Repeat back phone messages, phone numbers, and other figures to confirm you recorded the information correctly.
  • Record appointments in your PDA or agenda the moment you make them. Otherwise, you will forget.
  • Double-check and confirm everything – addresses, phone numbers, meeting locations and times.
  • Maintain accurate customer contact logs with dates, times, and phone numbers.
  • Post checklists in your store or office for routine operations procedures.
  • Announce any changes to the policies and procedures manual immediately.

11. Stop Duplicating Efforts

This is a key element of time management that is closely related to effective communication. Studies have continually shown that many businesses often duplicate and triplicate efforts that need only be completed once.

When you have clear systems and procedures in place, your staff will not need to “reinvent the wheel” each time the task needs to be completed. Meeting minutes and individual task assignments will ensure everyone is on the same page and understands their personal responsibilities.

Simple examples of this include re-reading your to-do list each hour to determine what the next important item is. If your list is already structured by priority, this is a needless task. If two staff members are working on similar projects, but unaware of the other, the work will not only be inconsistent, but the efforts will be duplicated. These are easy problems to fix, once they have been identified and communicated.

12. Say Goodbye to Procrastination + Perfectionism

If you want to manage your time effectively, then, procrastination is something you need to get rid of. We all face procastination at one time or another – and likely have since our school days. However, given the pace that the world operates at today, you will only fall behind your competitor if you allow procrastination to rule your day. So how you do avoid it? It’s simple. Stop, and just get started, no matter how boring, tedious, or painful the project may be. Reward yourself by crossing each step off your to-do list.

Many small business owners also fall victim to perfectionism, which can be paralyzing. The fear that there isn’t enough time or resources to “get it perfect” will sometimes stop you dead in your tracks. Perfectionism can also hinder your ability to delegate and say no to tasks you believe no one else can complete “better”. Do the best you can with the time and resources you have – and just get started.

13. Avoid Needless, Impromptu + Unstructured Meetings

This may seem like a time theft issue that is out of your control, but it’s not. You are in control of your own time and able to manage your time, and through strict scheduling can establish a structure for internal and external meetings that everyone around you can work within.

Minimize impromptu internal meetings by letting your staff know when you’re available for a “quick chat” and when you are not. If it is important, ask them to schedule a time to meet with you that works with both of your schedules. This not only saves you time, but encourages staff to find solutions to their own issues, and only approach you with more urgent or challenging matters.

You can’t avoid having meetings, but you can avoid having unstructured meetings. Ask for or create an agenda for each meeting you attend, with a clear objective and an amount of time allocated to each item. This will keep your meetings focused and on task. If a meeting does run late, give yourself a reasonable buffer, and politely leave for your next appointment. You can always follow up with a colleague to catch-up on the pertinent items you may have missed.

14. Establish Clear Policies + Procedures

A clear policy and procedures manual is like a marketing or business plan – it takes time to create, but ultimately saves everyone in your company time, money, and effort. A step-by-step guide to “the way we do things here” is an invaluable resource for your existing and new staff, and provides clear expectations for how you like things done.

Too many businesses make up policies and procedures on the fly – creating dangerous scenarios where mistakes are made and expectations are not clear. Some items that should be included in a comprehensive policy and procedures manual include:

  • Recruitment
  • Customer relations
  • Customer inquiries
  • Customer complaints
  • Returns
  • Exchanges
  • Late Payments
  • Salary structure
  • Bonus structure
  • Employee review
  • Theft
  • Harassment

15. Keep the Right Set of Tools

The equipment your business needs to operate (and grow!) effectively should always be on hand, or easily contracted out. This is specific to each company, and closely related to costs – including the cost of your time.

Whether you are a high-tech business or local retailer, knowledge of the latest advancements in technology will increase your efficiency. It will help you stay on top of the competitor, maintain your position as an expert, and perhaps provide an easier way of getting things done.

Always ask yourself if these purchases are essential to your business –could you perhaps make these purchases from a second-hand dealer to minimize cost? Is it more cost-effective to outsource or sub-contract the tasks to someone with access to this equipment, or to buy the equipment yourself?

If your business relies on tools and technology for daily tasks (such as the trade profession) then obtaining the best quality you can afford is crucial.

16. Maintain Your Equipment

This may seem obvious, but you’ll understand the importance of your network server has ever crashed, or point of sale system has malfunctioned. Your business can be slowed to a stand-still if your equipment is not in good working order. Of course, there are instances that can’t be predicted, but regular maintenance of your essential equipment will reduce these occurrences and help to anticipate when old equipment needs to be repaired or replaced.

Personal Time Management Strategy

Choose one from the top five tips that you think will help you the most, given your personal time management study. This time management study will help you finish all your important tasks and appointments on time.  Write them below, with three corresponding actions that you will start tomorrow.  For example, if you are going to set a strict schedule, three actions might be to establish the schedule, communicate it to your staff, and re-record your voicemail message. Download the Template Here

1.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

2.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

3.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

4.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

5.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

Timesheet | Day Three Download the Template Here 

Timeslot Activities More/Less/Enough time?
7:30 – 8:00
8:00 – 8:30
8:30 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:30
10:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00
1:00 – 1:30
1:30 – 2:00
2:00 – 2:30
2:30 – 3:00
3:00 – 3:30
3:30 – 4:00
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00
5:00 – 5:30
5:30 – 6:00
6:00 – 10:00

(Evening)

Daily To-Do List | Business Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

Weekly To-Do List | Personal (Family, Leisure, etc.) Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

There you have it, then. I hope this post will help you manage your time so you can attain the results you were hoping for.

Do you need help taking action on all this information? Then book a free call with one of our small business coaches today.

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Can There Be a Quick Fix to Owner Burnout? Definitely!

Best Business Coaching Programs

Is There a Quick Fix for Owner Burnout?

With the best business coaching programs, you can grow. However this challenging economy has taken a toll on most entrepreneurs; and owner burnout is common. Many business owners we talk with have a limited vision of where they are going and how they are going to get to where they need to be. They may have started out with some positive direction, but they have encountered obstacles to their success. The obstacles can range from massive debt or poor cash flow to poor sales, to working too many hours and missing out on important family events, to new competition, to bad employees or losing good employees. Frequently these obstacles make it “hard to see the forest because of the trees.”

There is one simple solution to owner burnout: business planning.

There is one simple solution: planning. An effective plan can transform your life in less than seven days. We use this with our best business coaching programs. Now is the time of year to make your plans for your business. Do you have a written business plan? If not, you should get one! Maybe you just need to update your existing plan. You have heard the familiar saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” An effective plan can transform your life from despair to hope, from burnout to passion, from bondage to freedom. I don’t make these claims lightly. I see the results of effective planning with clients every week, and they are life-changing.

Business Planning is Like Taking a Road Trip

Think about going on a road trip. You need two pieces of information: Your present address and the address you are traveling to. Once you have that information, you can enter the addresses into Mapquest or GPS and the tool will guide you in the most effective way to your destination. There are a lot of wrong turns and wrong roads that you will avoid by knowing your starting and ending address.

Two things to Know: Where You Are and Where You’re Going

In the same way, with planning you need two similar pieces of information: your present business “address,” your location (in terms of business value, revenue, profits, cash flow, customer satisfaction, etc), and you also need to know the “address” you want your business to travel to (business value, revenues, profits, etc). Once you have determined these two pieces of information, you will avoid a lot of wrong decisions and wasted time traveling down the wrong business roads.

Rich Benefits Achieved by Effective Business Planning

There are a number of benefits you will enjoy by doing effective planning. Since we have owned a number of businesses, and since as coaches we work on many more businesses, we know the solutions to “hidden obstacles.” We help clients remove the obstacles and free them to move forward with their vision. We begin by helping them get crystal clear about where they want to go personally, and then through their business. We teach clients how to effectively plan without our involvement in the future. The end result is that our clients feel like a heavy burden has been lifted off them! They have hope. If you do your planning correctly you will be renewed, inspired and energized.

The Magnetic Force of a Written Business Plan

Words are powerful. As you write down your plan it is similar to a magnet; your plan begins to attract you to your desired destination. The practice of writing down your plans will help to establish your commitment to your own goals. This is like having a contract with yourself. There is built-in accountability, especially if you will share your plan with others. The more people you share your plan with, the better!

Important Elements of a Good Business Plan

The most important element of your plan is what you want personally. Your business should be the vehicle by which you achieve your personal goals. What do you want your business to look like in five years? Your business should reflect your personality, your values, and your strengths. Secondly, you should include in your plan how you want to make the world a better place. What underprivileged people groups are you passionate about? Starving children? Abused women? Make sure you include your passion in your plan. All these things are included in your Values, Vision, and Mission. Finally, you should break down your plan into smaller “bite-size” chunks, and complete some actions each day.

The Incredible Power of a Shared Business Plan

You have heard the wise saying that “knowledge is power.” To achieve your plan, you want to include as many people as possible who can help you get to where you want to go. Include your employees in your planning and share your knowledge with them. Help them to see how they will benefit by achieving your goals. Give them the power to help you succeed. Then your employees will become part of the solution. They will help you remove obstacles; your burden will become lighter. Also share your plan with your customers, your vendors, and any other stakeholders. Every time you share your plan, your audience will become energized, but most importantly, YOU will become energized. Share your plan again and again!

Conclusion

As you include these elements in your business plan, you will be amazed at the almost miraculous change that happens in you, your family and your employees.

We have found that with our best business coaching programs, planning can be life-changing. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can enjoy the tremendous benefits.

Questions about our small business coaching services?

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5 Reasons To Use RFID Tags In Your Small Business

RFID

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to streamline your operations and make your processes more efficient. Adopting advanced technology might be your ticket to higher productivity and lower costs. One innovative tool gaining favor in the business world is radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

RFID tags are small components embedded in products or assets, giving them unique ID numbers that RFID devices can read. These tags are either active or passive. Active means they’re continuously functioning, battery-powered sensors. Or passive that gets energized utilizing from tag reader’s power.

So, when it comes time to upgrade your business operation, consider adding RFID tags technology. Here are five reasons why:

  • Accuracy And Visibility Of Inventory

RFID

Inventory is one of the most vital and challenging tasks to manage. It’s a task that requires a lot of coordination and accurate data. Because you have to account for every product, every asset, and team member, errors can quickly happen. This is where an RFID asset tracking comes in handy.

This system provides a complete and accurate view of your inventory. You’ll get access to real-time data, including the location and status of your items. This method helps employees to pinpoint inventory easily and quickly. And you’ll see the benefits of increased accuracy and visibility in your inventory reports.

There’s nothing as good as a solid inventory system. It’ll help you perform more efficiently, reduce the risk of loss or damage to your products, and improve your internal processes. Above all, this approach will reduce human error, one of the most common challenges for any business.

  • Enhanced Customer Experience

Customers serve as your most powerful marketing tools. They spread the word about your business through their recommendations and referrals. Ensuring that they receive exceptional customer experience is key to retaining them, keeping them coming back to your business.

RFID tags can help you win more customers by making your customer experience memorable and hassle-free. With this technology, you can track the movement of every product from receiving to on-shelf. You can also know if an item is on special discount or out of stock.

Additionally, customers might ask queries about the products they’re interested in, or perhaps your staff needs to follow up on a customer’s request. You can do all these tasks with just a simple touch or scan of a product tag. This combination of speed and convenience makes RFID tags an ideal choice for small businesses.

  • Save Time And Money

Time and money are critical elements of any business. You spend a lot of time and effort on your inventory management, logistics, and even sales activities. RFID tags technology can make these processes efficient and effective.

With this approach, you’ll save time and effort by eliminating the need for paper-based transactions. You can do it all with just a touch, scan, or even a wave of your RFID tag. As a result, you’ll spend less time on monotonous tasks, allowing you to foster high performance and do more strategic activities for your business.

In addition, RFID tags are versatile in their application, making it easy to find the right solution for your unique needs. As a bonus, these tags don’t require much maintenance. They’re waterproof, economical to use long-term, and extremely easy to install, making them a cost-effective solution.

  • Ability To Track And Locate Employees

RFID tags are not only for your products and assets. You can also use them to keep track of your employees. This advantage will be particularly beneficial for companies with high team member turnover rates.

Employees usually wear tags for security reasons or primary attendance tools. In an organization, for example, you’ll see them attached to the ID badges of staff members. This way, you’ll be able to monitor their movements and activities throughout the day.

Moreover, it’s also helpful for your staff’s safety and security. The RFID tag in their ID badge can help you track their whereabouts in the case of emergencies. It’s an efficient way to keep an eye on all your team members, regardless of their position or location.

  • Prevent Theft

This scenario is most common in retail and other industries, like clothing. For example, you have to deal with many merchandises and stocks. Theft will undoubtedly be a concern if no proper inventory management system exists.

RFID tags could be your anti-theft solution. If an item with an RFID tag goes out of the security gate without authorization, the alarm will immediately sound. Or, if someone tries to steal a specific product from the store, that product’s tag will set off the sensor. This system is highly efficient in preventing the loss or theft of your products.

Types Of RFID Tags

RFID

RFID tags are a broad category of innovative labels encompassing low-frequency (LF), high-frequency, ultra-high frequency (UHF), and more. These common types have unique characteristics and use, but they can all store data.

  • LF RFID Tag: LF tags range from 30 kHz to 300 kHz. This tag uses inductive coupling for data transmission, making LF tags useful in basic applications. However, since LF RFID tags have longer wavelengths, they’re less vulnerable to interference from metals and liquids. As a result, you can use these in applications where an RFID label is attached to metal substrates such as automobiles.
  • HF RFID Tag: This tag ranges from 3 MHz to 30 MHz. It has a more extended read range and higher memory capability than LF tags. These RFID tags are usually passive and don’t require a battery’s power source. You can use HF tags in various applications, including payments, ticketing, library book tracking, and general data transfer.
  • UHF RFID Tag: As the name suggests, this tag is the highest range of RFID tags that most retailers prefer. They range from 300 MHz to 3 GHz, ideal for applications where accurate inventory tracking is necessary, like in retail stores. UHF tags are considered the supply chain’s best option because of their high memory capacity and tracking capability.

Conclusion

Embracing RFID tag technology is an excellent move for a small business owner. You can already find different types of RFID tags on the market, which allow you to improve your workflow and minimize errors.

Moreover, as new technologies emerge, you’ll likely see an increase in these discoverable tags on products and even on people. This innovative approach will help simplify your life and make your daily tasks more accessible and convenient.

 

small business coach

6 Reasons Why Businesses Should Use Online Contract Maker

online-contract-maker

Do you have a business? Do you have any partnership agreements with other businesses, independent contractors, or vendors? If so, you should consider using an online contract maker. 

Using an online contract maker will ensure that all your contracts are up-to-date and legally binding.

It can be complicated to prepare contracts on your own. First, you need to make sure that the agreement is explicit and elaborates all the business terms. Then, you must also understand what your obligations are under it.

Sometimes, legalities require specific clauses to be included in the contract. So, for example, if you’re contracting with an overseas partner, then there are also dispute resolution procedures that might need to be spelled out in the contract as well.

Six reasons why you need to use an online contract maker for your business

When it comes to entering into agreements with others, it’s essential to do so responsibly for both parties involved. So, this article will discuss six reasons why using an online contract maker is vital for your business. Let’s start:

1. Legal obligations and an online contract maker

online-contract-maker

The first reason why using an online contract maker is essential for your business is legal obligations.

When you’re entering into agreements with others, it’s essential to make sure that a legally binding document covers all your legal obligations. It ensures that there are no conflicts between the terms of the contract and your legal rights.

On the flip side, if you use a manual contract, you must ensure that all of the legal obligations are being fulfilled. In addition, since it will be a manual task, it will consume a lot of your precious time that you could spend growing your business.

Or, if you hire an experienced person for this purpose, you will have to pay them a fixed salary every month. Not only the salary but also the cost associated with hiring the right person for this job will just be another cost for your business.

If you are a large enterprise, these costs may not affect you. However, for a fledgling business, these costs can indeed break their bank. So what’s the solution? It is to use an online contract maker that will take away all your hassles associated with the legal obligations of a contract.

If you are confused between multiple contract makers online, Bonsai’s online contract maker is reliable and useful in almost any use case. In addition, it offers tons of features that a business, especially a freelance business, agency, or individual, would require the most.

Bonsai has an arsenal of pre-made, frequently used contract templates to choose from, such as Service Contract Template, Non-Disclosure Agreement Template, Videographer Contract Template, and many more.

The captivating thing about them is that they all are legally binding. They include all of the necessary clauses, so you don’t have to worry about missing any essential terms of your business with the other party.

2. You get tons of pre-made contract templates

Another cost associated with manual contracts is their design. Had it been about designing a few contract templates, you could have continued with the conventional, manual way of contract making. But, since you come across different deals every day, you need different contract templates.

So, to get each new contract template designed every day would not be a wise choice. Not only will it cost you a lot, but it will also consume much of your time every day. So, to optimize this process, you need an online contract maker.

An online contract maker would provide you with the templates of almost all frequently used contracts. You will also have an option to customize the pre-made templates to tailor them to your exact needs.

These pre-made templates include but are not limited to:

  • Employment Contract Template
  • Consulting Agreement Template
  • Vendor Contract Template
  • Product Design Contract Template
  • Professional Services Contract Template

Simply put, you will get access to many pre-made templates to save much of your time. Remember: all of them are legally binding, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any essential legal clauses.

3. Protecting your business

online-contract-maker

Before entering into partnership agreements with others, you need to make sure that you’re prepared. One of the best ways to protect yourself is using an online contract maker. 

Your business needs to enter into agreements with others in a clear and enforceable way. Therefore, whenever entering into a deal or partnership, it must be made sure that every detail is incorporated in the contract. Neglecting even a subtle detail may cost you a lot in the end. 

Also, you must know the legal clauses that give you the right to make those details enforceable in the future.

For instance, if a dispute occurs between you and the other party at any later time, you will have this contract to present against them in court.

If you don’t have it, or even if it is missing the crucial details, clauses, and the opposing party’s signatures, the contract will lose its significance in the eyes of the law.

It all comes down to the point that you must incorporate all the details, clauses, and signatures into your contract to add a bar of protection for your business. Yes, it is humanly difficult, but an online contract maker can help you do it within minutes.

4. Easy to create

At times, a generic, pre-made contract template may not cater to your specific need. So, you need a customized contract template that incorporates the specifics of your deal. It may sound like a hectic task, but it is as easy as inputting your specifics.

Firstly, you will have to choose a pre-made template that best resembles the contract you want to have. It would have most of the details you want, but you can add those it lacks by editing it.

Then, the online contract maker will walk you through the whole process in an easy way. It will show you the guidelines of what needs to be done, making your task much easier.

Usually, these steps would include adding your basic information, the scope of the work, payment details, and more.

At the end comes the best part—the digital signature that legally binds the parties. Once you are done editing your contract, give it a thorough review. Then, you can digitally sign the contract and send it to the other party for their digital sign.

5. Low cost with an online contract maker

An online contract maker’s cost is considerably lower than the cost if you create them by yourself.

You’ll probably need a document designer if you can’t do that by yourself. But, then, you may also require some legal help to know about your rights and the other party’s rights in that scenario.

Doing all of it would require a lot of time that in itself is a cost. Also, this way becomes a lot more demanding if you have to sign many contracts every week.

On the flip side, you can remove all of these hassles by using an online contract maker. For instance, Bonsai’s online contract maker would cost $19/month for its basic plan that comes with many benefits.

Not only the contracts, but it can also help you with invoicing, time-tracking, project management, and many other important business tools. So, it’s a bundle of many benefits besides your primary contract-making needs.

As also mentioned earlier, the contract you’ll create with an online contract maker will include all the contract essentials, such as legal obligations, clauses, and ready-to-sign. Hence, you don’t have to bear any further costs other than buying the above-mentioned plan.

6. Supporting relationships

online-contract-maker

Contracts are a big part of business. As your business grows, so does the number of contracts you might have with others. So, as your company expands, it’s essential to make sure that everyone involved understands their obligations and responsibilities.

Using an online contract maker would be a great way to ensure that all parties are clear on what they agree to. It will also provide an easy way for you and your business partners to communicate back and forth about any changes or updates in the agreement.

Since it will all be an online process, the communication will be real-time as well as hassle-free. However, as described in the process of an online contract maker above, you will have to send the signed, reviewed contract to the other party for their review and sign.

If the other party requires any modification, omission, or addition to the contract specifics, they can easily communicate. So, it will ensure that the binding parties are on the same page.

This way, an online contract maker supports the binding parties’ relationship and minimizes the chances of dispute at any later stage of the business.

Wrapping up the reasons for an Online Contract Maker

Simply put, contracts are a necessary part of doing business, and you need to make sure you have the right ones in place to protect your company. But what if you’re not a lawyer and don’t want to pay for one? What do you do?

Luckily, you can use an online contract maker that can help you create the perfect contract in minutes. It cuts down on time and costs, and it also prevents costly mistakes when you’re filling out the contract yourself.

To elaborate on these points, this article mentioned six main reasons why businesses should use an online contract maker. We hope you enjoyed it. So, if you are not currently using an online contract maker, now is the perfect time to start.

 

small business coach

Ways a Property Manager Can Help with Hassle-Free Property Rentals

property-manager

Ways a Property Manager Can Help with Hassle-Free Property Rentals

Landlords who hire property managers find that it makes their lives easier. A property manager assumes many responsibilities that a landlord would otherwise have to tackle alone. Being a rental property owner is a high-stress job, demanding a lot of time and commitment from the landlord. Recent events, including the Covid-19 pandemic, have made the rental business more complicated, leaving landlords feeling pressured and uncertain if they want to remain in the industry.

Hiring a professional property manager makes a significant difference for landlords who realize that operating privately is not working for them.

Here are ways that having a property manager helps landlords to profit from their rental homes without additional stress:

Marketing and advertising

According to managers at a Colorado Springs licensed property management company like Evernest, A Cut Above Property Management, or Around the Block Realty, marketing, and advertising rental properties is one of the most vital functions a property manager assumes on the landlord’s behalf. Evernest’s team of professional, licensed agents understands the importance of listing rental properties on platforms that reach the widest possible pool of potential tenants. They pay attention to advertisement content, including wording and photographs, to ensure several candidates apply to rent the home. Evernest has an established presence in Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder.

Agents at large property management corporations like Pinnacle Property Management Services and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC agree that a rental property listing either makes or breaks the transaction. Professional property agents know which platforms to use when advertising a rental home. Their experience also includes drafting advertisements that will attract suitable tenants. They use extensive resources to create marketing tools to get prospective tenants interested.

Tenant selection

property-manager

Having created advertisements that reach hundreds of potential renters, interested parties apply to rent the home. A property manager knows better than to accept the first person who applies to rent a home. They work with several applicants, allowing for selecting the best possible candidate. Property managers follow stringent processes to screen and vet potential tenants to ensure their suitability. It helps them find ideal tenants who will stay in a rental home long-term, pay their rent, and not incur undue damage repair expenses.

Among the things a property manager does during the screening and vetting process is contacting an applicant’s employer to verify their employment and salary. The agent also speaks to an applicant’s previous landlord to determine how they behaved as tenants at their last residence. An additional step is subjecting the applicant to a credit history check. This stage is critical as it impacts the tenant’s ability to pay the rent and paints a picture of how responsibly they treat debt. Someone who is overindebted or does not pay their debts is a risky proposition as a tenant.

Lease enforcement

A property manager’s core duty is to ensure that landlords and tenants adhere to their responsibilities as stipulated in the rental agreement. Among the tasks they must complete is ensuring that rent is paid on time each month. Many agents insist on scheduled, electronic payments to minimize how much time they spend chasing tenants to get their money. However, that is precisely what they will do if someone fails to pay. Agents are tasked with collecting rent and must do so by any legal means necessary.

A property manager also conducts regular inspections of rental homes on their books. They perform routine checks to ensure that everything is in working order by appointment with the tenant. Their most intensive inspections occur when a tenant assumes occupancy and vacates the premises. This process plays a vital role in determining whether a renter should get their security deposit back.

Repairs and maintenance

A property management company that oversees repairs and maintenance relieves landlords of their most burdensome problem. Most rental owners agree that the rate at which things go wrong on the rented property is alarming. Many fields call at all hours to deal with blocked pipes, leaking roofs, and structure damage. Having a property manager take care of this aspect of being a rental house owner gives landlords room to breathe.

Property agents responsible for repairs and maintenance ensure that everything at the rental is working as it should. They undertake routine maintenance to ensure that minor problems do not become massive, expensive ones later. Property managers work with contractors and providers who deliver outstanding workmanship at cost-effective prices.

Managing tenant relationships

Landlords and tenants often butt heads because they build a personal relationship instead of keeping their interactions professional. This tendency complicates the relationship, leading to much unpleasantness that can be avoided by hiring a property manager.

Property managers serve landlords and tenants, protecting their rights and ensuring they fulfill their obligations as included in their rental agreement. Agents work as a bridge between landlords and tenants, keeping emotions out of the equation. They maintain cordial relationships with both parties, behaving professionally throughout their interactions.

 

small business coach

Employee Hiring Plan: Auto Repair Business in 2022

Employee Hiring Plan

This week I’m writing about using an Employee Hiring Plan in an Auto Repair business. An Employee Hiring Plan helps you to win the battle for the top talent by consistently generating more than enough leads, screening out non-performers, and using a skills-based test-drive process and psychometrics to choose team members that deliver results.

Employee Hiring Plan In An Auto Repair Business

 

36 Business Coaching Modules

I have been writing about some of my hero clients and how we are able to achieve significant results from our work together. We have 36 Business Coaching Modules, which are areas within your business that when we improve your performance in these areas, your business will run better.

Mark, Owner of Auto Repair Shop

Mark is this week’s small business hero. He owns an auto repair business that he started about 5 years ago. When I met Mark his business had grown, but the business was “running him.” He was working very long hours and was constantly interrupted by customers and employees. This was affecting his health and personal relationships with his family; he was spending very little time with them.

Tactical Marketing, Time Management, and Key Performance Indicators

We decided to implement several of our Coaching Modules to address his situation. These included a Strategic Plan, Team Deployment Meetings, Tactical Marketing Plan, but most importantly an Employee Acquisition Plan, Time Management Plan, and a Key Performance Indicator System.

Employee Hiring Plan: Auto Repair Shop

An Employee Hiring Plan is all about marketing. You are simply marketing to prospective employees. Of course, you need something attractive and compelling to market to job candidates. This is one of the things that a Strategic Plan does for you.

A Strategic Plan for Your Team

Even if your business is not the most attractive workplace now, a compelling Vision, Values, and Mission can help you to attract great employees. You are taking your team on an exciting journey to a great job and workplace. The team deployment meeting helps all your employees to know where you are going, how they are to act, and what they are to do every day.

Time Management and Reducing Time Screening Employees

Back to an employee hiring plan, you want to bring in a large number of candidates, but have a system that screens them without taking your time and you end up with the very best prospective employees. That’s what we helped Mark do. We also conducted a time management study and delegated less important duties to his team members. Finally, we installed a door between his office and the customer lobby to reduce interruptions.

Results for Mark and his Auto Repair Shop

As I write this blog post Mark is on a 3-week vacation in Europe. He has opened a second location, purchased a lot for a 3rd location, built a spectacular house on the lake, is working 4 hours a day, and is in some of the best physical condition of his life! Here’s what Mark said:

testimonial5With Alan’s help I have less stress and I’m able to conduct meetings without any interruptions. Alan helped me to evaluate the costs/benefits of hiring new employees and gave me the assurance that I could justify the additional expense. My sales and profits have grown even with the new hires.  Alan has coached me on how to motivate my employees to meet my business goals. With Alan’s help by next summer I plan to have my business running without my day-to-day involvement.

Conclusion

Congratulations Mark on your amazing accomplishments using among other things an Employee Hiring Plan in your auto repair business! You are one of my business heroes and an inspiration to other business owners. You can view another case study using a Team Building System in a landscaping company here.

 

small business coach

Using a Sales Management System in 2022: Manufacturing Company

Sales Management System

A Sales Management System

This week I’m writing about using a Sales Management System in a Manufacturing Company. This is a practical system for building a top-performing sales force by scripting their approach, managing their activity, measuring their performance, and tying their paychecks to results.

I have been writing about some of my hero clients and how we achieve significant results. We have  36 Coaching Modules, or areas that fall under the categories of growth, profits and freedom. These are areas within your business that when we improve your performance, your business will run better.

John’s Manufacturing Company

John is the owner of a foundry (metal castings manufacturer). At this point, he wanted to transition his business into composites manufacturing. Over the previous two years, John had seen a decline in sales and profits. As a result, he had accumulated some debt; John wanted to become debt-free and grow his retirement savings. He has two daughters that are soon to enter college. Besides, John wanted plenty of time to pursue his hobbies of cycling and bowhunting.

Tactical Marketing, Time Management, Key Performance Indicators, Strategic Planning, and Team Deployment for John’s Company

We decided to implement a Tactical Marketing Plan, Time Management Plan and Key Performance Indicators. We then developed a Strategic Plan for his business. When it was ready, we met with his team to share his vision, values, and mission. This was the team’s opportunity to give their input and buy-in to the direction of the company.

The Sales Management System Implementation in a Manufacturing Company

We decided to focus on several of our Coaching Modules. We started with the Sales Management System. With our Sales Management System, we focus on three areas: Attitude, Activity, and Acumen. Based on this, we started by setting up an internal customer relationship management system. Then John and his team began to spend time daily on marketing and contacting prospects. We did a press release about John’s new focus in the composites industry and saw a big response. Additionally, John attended some of the Composites Industry Association meetings and developed relationships with contacts there.

Results For John’s Manufacturing Company In Using A Sales Management System

John’s results with our Sales Management System were dramatic in his company. Here’s what he said:

testimonial10“Alan has kept me focused on marketing, sales and profits and has held my feet to the fire. The results of this focus are that my sales have grown 30% and profits are up 228% over last year.”

 

Congratulations John on using a sales management system to grow your sales and profits. You are one of our business heroes and an inspiration to every business owner. You can view a pest control company using a revenue and profit budget here.

small business coach

Using a Cash Gap Plan in a Service Company in 2022

Cash Gap Plan

A Cash Gap Plan In A Service Company

This week I’m writing about using a Cash Gap Plan in an service company. A Cash Gap plan will help you to quickly collect your outstanding receivables, get your customers to pay faster, and negotiate better terms with your vendors to improve your cash. I have been writing about some of my hero clients and how we are able to achieve significant results from our work together. We have 36 Coaching Modules, which are areas within your business that when we improve your performance in these areas, your business will run better.

Robert’s Service Company Challenges

Robert is this week’s small business hero. He owns an service business that has been in business for over 50 years. When I met Robert he was interested in selling his business. Although he had been successful in growing his business, it was having financial problems. To make things worse a very large customer had defaulted on a payment of nearly $200,000. This event had him thinking about filing bankruptcy. He was working very long hours and was constantly interrupted by customers and employees. This was affecting his health and personal relationships with his family, in particular, his wife. He was spending very little time with them.

Solutions for Service Company: Strategic Plan, Team Deployment, Tactical Marketing, Lean Program

We decided to implement several of our Coaching Modules to address his situation. These included a Strategic Plan, Team deployment meetings, Tactical Marketing Plan, but most importantly a Cash Gap Plan, Time Management Plan, and a Lean Program.

A Cash Gap Plan for Robert’s Business

A Cash Gap Plan is all about carefully monitoring your plan to improve collections, lengthening your payments with vendors, increasing your prices aggressively as possible, and eliminating operational efficiencies. In all things in life, we tend to get what we focus on. During our coaching sessions, we focused on his cash flow.

Time Management for Robbie’s HVAC Company

We developed his Strategic Plan and held team deployment meetings. Additionally, we discovered a serious time management problem. Employees and managers were constantly interrupting one another during the day. This wasn’t causing chaos and stress in the business. We began to track interruptions and developed policies and strategies to reduce distractions. We also implemented team meetings in the business.

Results for Robert’s service Company

As a result of these strategies, his results were immediate and dramatic. Here’s what Robert said:

Alan first worked with me one-on-one, then met with me and my managers, and finally with all of the employees. Our cash flow has started to improve and continues to improve daily. After six months our profits had increased over $152,000, which annualized is over $300,000 per year! We have started paying off our accounts payable to our vendors. We have reorganized our office and improved our staff with Mr. Melton’s help. We are starting to achieve many of the actions in our action plan. I have a clearer vision of where we are going and what it takes to get us to the next level. With this clearer vision comes renewed hope. Most importantly, I am working less and have started taking my wife out on dates. I would like to thank Alan for seeing hope in me and my company, and helping us through this difficult time.

 

Congratulations Robert for your remarkable success in using a Cash Gap Plan and other strategies to improve your company! You are one of my business heroes and an inspiration to other business owners. You can view another case study using a Team Building System in a landscaping company here.

 

small business coach

7 Ways For Small Business Owners To Avoid Burnout

business owners

Seven Ways For Small Business Owners To Avoid Burnout

For many small business owners, their businesses are an all-encompassing and time-consuming activity which requires their full dedication. Yet, burnout and the inability to switch off, particularly from technology, is a very real problem for many entrepreneurs. From depression to coronary heart disease and fatigue, burnout can have serious consequences for you and your business. Here are seven ways to help you learn how to avoid burnout when running a small business.

  1. Be Organized and Use Time Efficiently On Your Business

Business owners tend to be extremely busy. To avoid burnout, effective time management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop. To stay productive and focused, make sure that you take some time to organize your working day.

Ensure that you have an organized filing system so that you can easily store and retrieve files and data whenever you need it. Administrative and financial tasks can cause some of the most stress. If there are tasks that you find especially stressful or tend to avoid doing, make sure that you create a plan in order to get these done in plenty of time.

Similarly, make sure that you use a comprehensive bookkeeping system to stay on top of your finances. Not only will this enable you to stay up to date with your business, but it can also be used to automate tasks, thereby saving you time. This will also make it easier and less stressful when it comes to completing your tax return.

  1. Prioritize Tasks 

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the number of things that you have to get done. Instead of trying to do everything at once, make a list and prioritize the tasks. Consider using a digital list-making app, which enables you to set reminders and share your lists.

“There may be tasks that need to be prioritized first due to set deadlines. Alternatively, consider prioritizing tasks based on goals. You can further categorize tasks into those which are ‘important’ or ‘urgent’. Not only will this make things more manageable, but you will also be able to dedicate your time and energy to the most pressing tasks first. Most importantly, be realistic about how much you can get done each day,” says Hollie Wymore, a writer at Lia Help and State Of Writing.

  1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is an important and valuable skill. However, there are times when multitasking can be counterproductive, leading to divided attention and errors, as well as increased stress and burnout. Instead of trying to do multiple tasks all at once, schedule individual time for each task. In this way, you will be able to fully focus on each task, improving your productivity and reducing the potential for mistakes.

  1. Delegate Wherever Possible

Business owners are known for trying to do it all themselves. However, it can be more efficient to delegate tasks to employees or vendors, freeing you up to do other important tasks. Be aware of tasks which can be suitably delegated to others within your business, as well as any areas in which you require additional support. As a result, you will be able to make better use of your time and skills, as well as those of your employees.

Similarly, learn when to turn down work. Assess incoming work against your ideal client, project or business goals. Avoid taking on work which does not meet these lists to prevent unnecessary stress.

  1. While Running Your Business, Don’t Forget To Stay Healthy

Very often, burnout can be traced back to other aspects of lifestyle, including poor sleep, diet and exercise. Many entrepreneurs put their businesses, particularly in the early days, ahead of their own sleep and wellbeing. However, staying healthy is essential if your business is to thrive.

“Start by assessing your sleep,” suggests Joseph Gray, a small business blogger at Boomessays and Essayroo. “Getting sufficient sleep every night is extremely important. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Similarly, make sure that you are eating a healthy diet and try to introduce some exercise into your weekly routine. Try to schedule a lunch break every day, where you can sit down and take the time to eat properly or even do a short workout. This will give your body the chance to recharge and feel more energized and better prepared for work.”

  1. Schedule Regular Breaks

Incorporate regular breaks throughout your day, as these will enable you to refresh your creativity and refocus. Similarly, if you are struggling with a particular task, consider taking a short break or returning to it at a different time of day.

A change of location can also help break up the day and inspire more productivity. Many entrepreneurs have the fortune of being able to work remotely, so consider trying to work in a flexible workspace or a coffee shop to aid creativity.

  1. Set Work Hours and Stick To Them

To improve productivity, set work hours and stick to them. At the end of your workday, whatever time that may be, be strict with yourself and avoid answering emails and unplug from your devices. Having a regular schedule can help you to be better organized and make the most of your time. It will also help you to develop a more positive work-life balance, leading to reduced stress and burnout.

Similarly, schedule down time into your day. In the same way you would schedule a meeting, schedule in some time for exercise, to read, or simply step away from your work. If possible, try to book a holiday too, whether it’s a full week off, a long weekend or even just one day to yourself.

Conclusion

Burnout is a very real problem for many small business owners. Running your own business can be overwhelming and all encompassing, leaving you with little time for yourself or your personal commitments and interests. However, to run a successful business, it’s essential that you find a balance between your work and home life. By following the steps above, you will not only avoid burnout and reduce stress, but you’ll also become more productive and successful.

Lauren Groff is a successful small business writer at Academic Writing Services and Essay Services, where she regularly writes about ways to improve productivity in the workplace, as well as sharing tips on how to run a successful small business. She is also an experienced editor at OX Essays. When not writing, Lauren enjoys spending time reading and attending business conferences.

 

small business coach

Top 5 Tools to Manage Business Travel In 2022

business-travel

Top Five Tools to Manage Business Travel

Well, the tide is beginning to turn because companies are sending their staff back on the road again. However, because of some travel restrictions still going on, business traveling is a bit difficult to manage because of continuous uncertainties that arise. 

Don’t worry though, modern technology is beginning to do things better than we are doing them. And for that exact reason, we are turning to the best travel management tools that will further assist us in managing our travel bookings. 

Without wasting more time, let’s dive right in and find out the top 5 tools to use for business travel in 2022! 

What makes a great travel management tool? 

An excellent travel management tool makes your travel bookings much easier, ensures faster budget planning, and even has another plan when a specific method isn’t working for you. After careful considerations and research, we came up with five excellent business travel tools you can use in 2022. 

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The top 5 tools you can use to manage business traveling in 2022 

  1. TravelPerk

TravelPerk is one of the most effective business travel management tools you can use for ensuring a great business trip. The tool itself is designed to make corporate traveling faster and secure, along with a fairly smooth experience. 

TravelPerk has a large inventory, which allows employees and managers to book trips on their own, saving lots of time and energy. Additionally, it helps you ensure you are in line with its travel policies when booking business trips. 

Let’s not also forget that TravelPerk is great in assisting you with budgets and finances regarding traveling. Finance teams are provided with the necessary financial information regarding expenses to be made during business trips, reporting features that make business traveling more effortless than ever to manage. 

Travel Perk is a top-rated tool with a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on G2, with over 1,000 user reviews! Moreover, it even offers a free option when you use their tools, so you can get top-quality without having to pay for anything. However, when you choose to go with their premium plan, you will be paying $15 per trip and $25 per trip with their pro plan. 

Key features include:

  • Automatic travel policies are set
  • Access to a massive inventory of hotels, flights, and even rented cars
  • Reporting metrics
  • Tracking of expenses
  1. Paramount Workplace 

Paramount workplace is a fully integrated business travel tool that simplifies the entire process of corporate traveling altogether and seeks to solve ongoing issues that arise. 

The travel management tool offers an expense and travel solution for all employees with their smart booking engine that sets up traveling based on your policy. The smart booking engine is able to integrate corporate travel policy, authorization requirements before traveling, negotiated airline, the best hotel & car rental offers, and more; all into one booking path that syncs all travel data in your expense report.  

In short, this becomes easy for the traveler because the smart booking engine will sync all digitally captured receipts linked with the expense report. Since there is OCR technology, it can quickly identify the required information associated with receipt processing. 

Let’s not forget that approval requests can be sent by email for instant approval. Also, you get many reliable insights regarding your expenses with assistance from reporting metrics. 

Key features include: 

  • Automatic travel planning
  • Automatic generation of the expense report 
  • A quick insight into KPI’s, budgets, and metrics

Overall, Paramount Workplace offers a demo version to try out its travel management tool, but you will need to contact them on their website regarding prices. 

  1. TravelBank

TravelBank is a centralized tool that allows every team member to book their trips in one place. 

With TravelBank, you can search, track, and book trips; which means you are giving your team members an all-in-one place for booking and paying. This is a massive benefit for them as they don’t have to do this separately. 

Regarding expense reports, users can screenshot their flight receipts or ground transport, where charges will be placed on the company’s card. 

There’s also one more exciting feature associated with TravelBank: travelers’ ability to reward through the platform. For example, a standard reward is usually a discount. In contrast, these discounts may financially benefit the company since it minimizes some of their overall expenses when sending out their team for business traveling. 

Key features include:

  • Booking all trips into one 
  • Flight receipt screenshots that are sent directly to the company’s card
  • Financial discounts

Pricing with TravelBank begins at $8 per month with their basic plan, but you can also choose their custom plan, which will charge you based on usage. Although the custom plan is probably the best one to go with since it offers unlimited travel and expenses, costs are reduced by up to 30% compared to other plans

  1. Flightslogic

Flightslogic provides a customizable hotel and flight booking engine that automates the business traveling procedure. Necessary data is bought together regarding travel expenses and allows travel managers to manage the traveling activities of the company’s employees effectively and quickly. 

Flightslogic helps in flight and hotel reservations, where it manages travel schedules of team members and ensures they have the necessary documents required for business trips. In short, the platform is excellent for setting up a customizable plan and allows small travel agencies to profit in their industry. 

Key features include: 

  • A large inventory of hotels, car rentals, and flights across the globe 
  • An uncomplicated travel schedule management along with hotel and flight reservations 
  • A travel policy that meets requirements 

Pricing with Flightslogic varies, and here, you will need to contact them to find out what kind of price they will offer you. Although, whichever price you will be paying, the benefits will be worth paying for. 

  1. TripActions 

TripActions is the complete business travel management tool you need. Overall, it delivers a personalized experience compared to the many other tools listed and provides you with all the necessary tools you need to manage your corporate traveling. TripActions has even been claimed to be trusted by over 5,000 companies, which they include on their website. 

You are provided with access to data that assists travel managers in finding the best offers in the market in order to control their travel expenses. TripActions uses machine learning to understand all of your booking preferences and recommend the necessary plans you should use to fulfill your choices. 

Moreover, you have both a desktop and mobile version which you can use. The tool is quite advanced in controlling your expenses and maintaining the quality of business trips. 

Key features include: 

  • Machine learning
  • Data-driven expense and travel management 
  • Automatic travel policies are set 

Overall, the tool is easy to use and has enough smart features to simplify travel and expense management for the entire company. If you are thinking about saving lots of time, then TripActions might just be the right choice for you. 

TripActions doesn’t state any pricing on their website, but they do display the plans they offer and what you will get from them. In order to find out how much they charge, you would need to schedule a demo with one of their paid plans and find out on their website. 

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Wrapping everything up on business travel

Well, that is about it for this article. We hope you have made up your mind about what may work for you and which business traveling tool best fits your needs. A business travel tool is precisely what helps your team members find the best deals for their accommodations and flights. 

Also, they are essential if you want to capture receipts and convert them to your expense reports which will reimburse costs for your team members. The bottom line is that you always have to find a business travel management tool that will be profitable for your business and help you save in the long run. Especially with the start of the pandemic, uncertainty is at its highest level.  

Take your time, go through each of the five travel management tools and see which is the most profitable for your business in the long run. All of them were carefully researched by our team and had great overall reviews by many users. Now, it is all up to you to see what better fits your business! 

 

small business coach