Small business owners often find themselves pulled in several different directions at once to keep their companies working. They might even be expected to cover the responsibilities of boss and active employee at the same time. Steve Martin, CMO of DaySmart, spoke with Small Business Trends on 10 ways to simplify your life when you’re running a small company.
He says all the responsibilities paint a broad stroke.
“Small business owners must become experts in everything from local employment law, leases, POS systems, inventory management, digital marketing, etc., all of which is on top of lead generation, customer service and business basics,” he said. “Managing the time that it takes to accomplish all of these critical aspects of a business can be a challenge, let alone doing them successfully.”
How to Simplify Your Business
Get Good Business Management Software
Turning to tech in general and this kind of software specifically is a good first move.
“The software is centered around helping small businesses grow by automating some of the more time-consuming tasks of their daily routines, so they can instead focus on creative and customer-facing work,” Martin says. He points to appointment-based businesses using an automated system to send out reminders thereby saving phone and messaging time.
Learn What to Outsource
Every business owner does some things better than others. Knowing what you do well means focusing your energy on outsourcing other tasks that you’re not so good at. Tying payment directly to project related milestones can keep expenses down when you’re hiring for this.
Practice Time Management Technology can make business communications immediate and overwhelming. Martin suggests another good idea is to set aside a specific time to go through your emails and do other focused tasks like invoicing.
He also recommends staying grounded is a good idea so you can weather any of the business storms that come along. Taking a few minutes daily to practice yoga or meditation can help you stay in that good place.
Use the Cloud
Some technology is good for simplifying your business. Others not so much. The cloud is firmly in that first category. It’s a safe place to store all kinds of digital information including customer data and inventory numbers. The alternative is leaving it on a hard drive and backing it up with some drives and other hardware that can be lost or stolen.
Keeping an eye on the latest technologies like AI can help simplify your business. Martin explains using a trending example:
“A “chatbot” application that lives on your website and answers questions from prospects and clients 24/7 (and in 100+ languages) might sound far off, but it’s already happening at large companies and is quite attainable for small ones,” he says.
Use a Good Dashboard
A digital dashboard can put everything at your fingertips and simplify decision-making. Find one that includes simple charts and graphs of important metrics like revenue forecasts.
Here’s a best of list to get you started.
It doesn’t matter how much you want it to be so, perfectionism doesn’t exist. Successful business people know that mistakes are a valuable learning tool and actually help you to grow.
Rely on Procedures
Don’t just make these up. Put them on templates so everyone can use them. Having everyone on the same page when it comes to how things get done makes a small business owner’s workday much smoother.
Finally, because many of the bills that you pay to suppliers and utilities are pretty regular, automating them eases your burden. You can get started looking at your options at the bank.