Main Content

Back to Blog List

The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 13 June 2022
  • Tiffany Carey

The Art of Time Management: Part 1

5 Ways to Get Your Small Business Running Efficiently

Being a small business owner can feel like spinning plates. You could be receiving a product delivery, issuing payroll, and dealing with an HR issue – all at once. If you can get your business operating smoothly, it will make your everyday life easier and your company more profitable. Let’s look at five ways to get your small business running efficiently. 

shop owners using ipad technology for planning

1. Plan the Work, Then Work the Plan

Setting a schedule and sticking to it might sound cliche, but having a schedule helps you realistically plan your productivity and avoid getting distracted. Start by mapping out your ideal day. Include events that might not have a current place on your schedule but you’d like them to. Things beyond your work schedule should be considered, such as morning routines and workouts. Add in driving times and weekly errands. 

Once you have an ideal schedule mapped out, reflect on what’s realistic for you. Pay attention to the times you’re most productive. Consider getting a planner and having it with you constantly to keep yourself on track. When distractions inevitably arise, give yourself some grace and allow yourself to be flexible.  

2. Create SOPs In Your Business

SOPs or standard operating procedures can save small business owners time. SOPs are a set of written instructions used to describe a step-by-step process. When you implement SOPs in your small business, you will experience fewer errors and greater consistency in any process. SOPs also save money. You’ll save on employee training costs by using one as a training document to teach new employees about an existing process. It allows the work to continue if a key employee leaves or is terminated. 

Begin by becoming aware of procedures you or your employees are regularly following. You can then create an SOP yourself or ask the employee to do so. Once an SOP is finalized, plan to revisit it often to make sure any changes in procedures are properly reflected. 

3. Set Up a Daily Meeting With Your Team

Daily meetings are incredibly effective, even more so since the pandemic has moved many workers to remote work. A daily staff meeting can ensure employees' workflow, keeping them on task and feeling part of the team. Be aware, however, that you shouldn’t use these meetings to police employees. Their primary purpose is to enhance effective communication and encourage workers to collaborate. Using them to micromanage your staff will have the opposite effect and will leave employees feeling unhappy and resentful.

Daily meetings don’t need to be longer than 10-15 minutes. Make sure to have an agenda or a few talking points to keep the meeting on point and allow employees to contribute. They will feel a greater sense of connection and accountability.  

4. Let Technology Do the Work

When you set up your SOPs, notice if some of the procedures in your business would benefit from moving from manual to automated by using technology. In addition to taking inventory, ordering supplies, and time tracking, tasks like email marketing, training, and payment collections can all be automated. Use video-conferencing software when communicating with remote workers or try an app like Slack so team members can easily connect. Tools like Calendly and Acuity can automatically schedule meetings. 

Implement new technology into your small business by reviewing what processes could potentially be automated. Do a little research to find solutions and start using them today. Technology offers endless possibilities for saving time and money.

5. Organize Your Workspace

We all know not being able to find something when you need it can add minutes to your day. Organizing your workspace may seem like an obvious point for running efficiently, but it’s often overlooked. It can cause project errors, loss of future business, and mental health issues. Workspace disorganization is also a key reason why many employees leave cameras off during video calls, decreasing the effectiveness of online communication.

You can improve the organization of your business by starting with small tasks like managing your workspace, including drawers and cabinets. Then move on to larger projects like backrooms and closets. Once you’ve made progress on those physical areas, look at things like going paperless, organizing passwords, or moving digital files into the cloud. 

Streamlining your business takes a little time and some elbow grease but will be beneficial in the long run.

Back to Blog List