It’s that time of the year. You’re done with the kids’ back-to-school shopping, and you’re excited to get back into the flow of your business at full steam. The summer rest has probably sparked a few exciting new goals that can help grow your business.
As a solopreneur or small business owner, your time is extremely valuable, especially since you want to be able to pursue other activities that are important to you in your free time. Streamlining your business is, therefore, essential to make sure you spend less money on mundane business activities and more time on what really matters.
Check out our tips on how you can streamline your business during the back-to-school period and enjoy more time spent on income-producing activities that will provide you with the unbound lifestyle you desire.
“Spring” Clean Your Office
Most people function best in a clean and tidy environment. Perhaps a tidy office is indicative of a tidy mind, which is fertile soil for creative ideas. Check out our post about office organization hacks HERE.
Set Some Goals
Unless you have a goal, you may not know what you’re working towards. The back-to-school period is the perfect time to set new 3-month, 6-month, 12-month, 3-year, and 5-year goals, complete with achievable and measurable milestones.
Create a Schedule
Most businesses benefit from adhering to a marketing program. Of course, at Unbound Web Design we’re all about flexibility and working when inspiration hits, but an editorial calendar is a great way to stay on track.
This is especially valuable for planning your marketing for the holiday season when you’re not in the office. Also, unless you’re marketing regularly, it will be hard to track your results in order to see what works and what doesn’t.
So many entrepreneurs have become slaves to their gadgets. We have become reactive rather than proactive. Unplug for an hour each morning, and you will be surprised at how much your productivity increases.
Instead of lengthy to-do lists, focus on the three most urgent or most important tasks of the day.
Implement the 80:20 principle, by spending 80% of your time on the 20% of activities that bring the most value to your organization.
You will derive more work-life balance from setting boundaries between home life and work life. Even if you work from home, be sure to make some flexible rules which you stick to most often:
- Set aside 15 minutes a day for personal phone calls or recreational social media.
- Leave the office at the same time every day, even when you have a lot of work to do.
- If you have to burn the midnight oil, take a two-hour break to enjoy dinner and some quality time with the family first.
As business owners, we tend to take on more than we need to. By outsourcing some of your work, you can free up the time to focus on more important tasks or activities that will make you feel good. Try to outsource the following types of tasks:
- tedious tasks
- time-consuming tasks
- tasks you’re not good at
Reduce Staff Meetings
In recent years, research has shown that we waste too much time in meetings. Instead of insisting on a weekly staff meeting, consider having your meeting online, or sending out an email update. If you absolutely have to have a meeting, follow the meeting techniques of highly successful leaders.
Organize Your Finances
Handling your money better offers a wide range of benefits, so consider doing the following:
- Find out what you get for your monthly bank charges. If you’re paying for a service. you’re not using, ask your banker to reduce your costs and reinvest your savings into things that enhance your business.
- Pay smaller expenses in advance. Many smaller monthly fees can be paid in advance for the year in order to save money and a lot of time every month.
- File your taxes electronically.
Invest in Knowledge
Since the kids are back to learning, it might be a good time for your own back-to-school knowledge tune-up. What can you learn that will enhance your business further or bring more value to your clients?
Sign up for an online course, join a community class or a MOOC. Many of them are free, so there’s no excuse not to invest a few hours a week into bettering yourself.
Streamline Your Website
Now that your business is streamlined, it may be a good time to see how you can streamline your website. Here are some factors to consider:
- Streamline the sales funnel from your advertising through to your payment gateway and delivery.
- Streamline the way clients interact with you by incorporating online chat or placing your contact details in a prominent spot.
- Create an editorial calendar and consolidate your advertising, social media, blog posts and special offers.
Juggling a business as a solopreneur can be fun, especially when you have systems in place to allow the more mundane tasks to take care of themselves. Thankfully, technology gives us the luxury to free up some time to spend on more fulfilling activities.