Operating a small business, either working solo or in a small team, means you wear multiple hats.
Few small businesses have the luxury of a marketing department or a communications specialist.
Here are our 5 top tips for streamlining your small business and supporting your business (and cutting down your admin time).
- Get your bookkeeper on the phone. And yes we mean the app! Tax time can loom like a dark cloud when you scramble to find and update expenses, chase debts, and wish you had been a little more organised. “I’ll be more organised next year…” All accounting platforms now offer phone apps so you can scan and save your receipts and upload expenses on the go. I make a habit of a daily bank reconciliation so I know what is owed and how the budget is going. Cash flow and debtor recoveries inevitably benefit from daily check ins. Your quarterly interactions with your (real life) bookkeeper will become a breeze!
- Automate your social posts. If you are short on time or don’t have a marketing specialist or copywriter in your business, then make life easy for yourself. Use a social sharing platform like Hootsuite. Posts can be pre-scheduled, automatically posted and engagements tracked so you can see where your clients are hanging out. So you can post a short weekly blog post to your website and then share automatically with Hootsuite. And don’t forget to repurpose your content. Make your email into a blog and then into a social post. Make every minute you spend count!
- Clear your inbox by using a team management platform. There are loads of these platforms on the market. My most recent experience is with Basecamp. All team communications occur within the platform so there is no more searching and sorting through your inbox to find that document you need to mark up. Create projects, assign tasks and chat casually. But turn off the inbox notifications and just check in over the course of the day! The idea is to free up the inbox, not to fill it up with pings from your team conversations.
- Get a VA or and EA even if you can’t afford it, because actually you can! Your job is to grow your business. Keep a work diary and see how much of your day could be delegated to an assistant. It may take a little while to find the right fit but it’s worth persisting. Make your time count and hand the admin to someone who is better qualified to do it. And if your budged doesn’t extend to someone full time, just engage someone by the hour. Even 3 hours of week will transform your week.
- Check your screen time. Cut the distractions in your day and do a little digital detoxing. As I write this I am in a café on the way to the office. There is no wifi and my phone is switched off because frankly, if my phone pings, I can’t help myself and I know I will pick it up. Download a screen time app or use the one already on your phone. You will be horrified by what you see. There are hours in the day to be reclaimed.