As the old saying goes, time is money, and wasting time is equal to wasting money in the business world. Time is a valuable resource that you’ll often find you don’t have enough of, so why waste it? Unfortunately, many businesses do. This isn’t intentional—you don’t set out to waste time. Instead, you do it accidentally. You use outdated business models, older equipment, and other time-intensive things. You may not realize that there are better methods out there, or you might use a certain model because you always have.
If you’re tired of wasting time and want to improve your business, here are some great strategies you can use. They will help you be more efficient and use your time more wisely.
Have a Plan, but Be Flexible
The first thing you need to do before you even open the doors of your new startup is to sit down and write out your business plan. Don’t just have it in your head. Commit it to paper. This often helps see areas of the plan that need to be adjusted or that aren’t quite as developed as they need to be. This plan is going to be your roadmap for the future, so it’s important that it’s as complete and as detailed as you can make it.
However, you also need to realize that no plan is perfect. You’re going to encounter situations that don’t fit your plan at all. When that time comes, you have to be ready to change or even completely toss out your plan and start over. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just be sure that it’s time to deviate from your plan and that you’re not just taking an easy way out.
Listen to Your Advisors
As a business owner, you know you can’t do it alone. You’ve likely taken the time to surround yourself with smart people who understand your business and your industry. It may seem odd, then, to know that other entrepreneurs who do this then don’t listen to these people. They’re so wrapped up in their own egos that they ignore what their advisors have to say. You’ve specifically picked these people because of their knowledge and business sense. Listen to their ideas. Don’t be afraid to have your ideas challenged. You want to do what’s best for your business, and sometimes, what’s best isn’t what you want to do.
Make Informed Decisions Using Numbers
When making decisions, always consult with the data you’ve gathered. You want to make an informed decision whenever possible, and that means you have to track as much as you can. Have a system to document as much as possible. That way, you’ll have the data you need whenever it comes time to make a decision and won’t spend time trying to make a decision.
Delegate and Trust Your Employees to Get the Job Done
You can’t do everything yourself, and if you try, you’re going to get overwhelmed and burnt out pretty quickly. You’ve brought in employees you trust, so let them take on some of the work. Delegate tasks that they can handle so you can focus on things only you can do. Once you’ve delegated these tasks, let the employees work on them. Don’t constantly step in and watch over their shoulders. Micromanaging will only make these employees feel as if you don’t trust them to do their jobs. Check in when it’s important to know what’s going on, but other than that, let your employees work on their own. Micromanaging wastes everyone’s time.
Make Use of the Internet
The internet has become one of the best tools out there. You can use it to create a community via social media, learn about the latest technological advances, and more. Knowing how to get the most out of the internet has become essential to success today, especially in the area of marketing. Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there, and it doesn’t take much time.
Creating a strong image for your startup online is an important step in getting yourself out there. People look online for recommendations, ideas, and products before they even think about going in person to a store. Get yourself out there so they have this information. Of course, you also want to use the internet to gather information about potential customers. You can easily do this with online surveys and other tools.
Then there’s the ability to use the internet within your company as a communications tool. There are various ways to do this. Very few businesses operate without email these days, but email is just one tool. It may not even be the best, either. In many cases, tele-conferencing is better than email. Using tools such as Skype or Uberconference allows your entire team, no matter where they’re located, to discuss projects in real time. There’s no delay like there is with email. It’s the perfect tool when you have people working from home, out at a job site, or in offices around the country (or world). It’s actually faster and takes less time than email as long as everyone in the conference stays on topic.
Make Sure Everything is Clear
Do your employees know what their overall purpose is? Do they understand what the big picture of the project they’re working on is? If they don’t, they may have a hard time making decisions or prioritizing tasks. Having a clear purpose, plan, and knowledge of their responsibilities is important for employees to do the best they can. Letting them know what the overall project is, how you plan on tackling it, and what each person is responsible for is a great way of making sure everyone is on board and knows what to do. This saves you time in that you don’t have to worry about multiple people thinking they’re responsible for the same thing. It also saves on someone doing a task only to learn that what they did doesn’t fit with the overall project.