The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Time as a New Small Business Owner
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Running your own small business requires you to wear many hats throughout the day. In the space of 24 hours, you have to be a part-time accountant, marketer, sales rep, and HR professional. Meeting the demands you face requires a strategic approach to managing your time. You can’t afford to just wake up and see what the day brings. Instead, you need a carefully curated calendar to ensure that all your roles are completed with maximum efficiency and minimum mistakes.
As a business owner, it’s easy to get bogged down in laborious but necessary tasks. Spending too much time on these tasks can take away from what made your business great in the first place: your creativity. When scheduling your day, prioritize time for creative tasks. For example, if you’ve started a new film editing business, schedule as much time as you need to complete all of your edits first. If you find that you edit best first thing in the morning, protect the early hours and use them to complete your most creative tasks.
Prioritizing creativity is important as it’s hard to rekindle your imagination after completing invoices or tax returns. Setting time aside for creative or challenging tasks ensures that you stay motivated and perform at your best when it’s most important.
Ticking the Boxes
Being a business owner is exciting and challenging. However, you still need to complete daily tasks that are “boring” in comparison to the work you love doing. Recent research shows that most small business owners spend 68% of their workday completing laborious tasks that they’d rather not do. Set time aside to complete laborious tasks. Ideally, you’ll want to complete these tasks towards the end of your work day, as this will help you log off when the day is done.
Consider dedicating an entire day to tasks that are necessary but arduous. As the new owner of a small business, you’ll have plenty of paperwork and legal documentation to fill out. These forms can be a real headache and require your full attention. Setting aside a day to tick the boxes and get set up properly will help you in the long run as your business starts to grow.
Marketing takes more time than you might expect. You have to create all your content, respond to consumers who engage with your posts, and use data analytics to fine-tune your offering. It’s little wonder that most new business owners elect to start a marketing department first.
You can improve your efficiency and free up time for other tasks by creating a clear social media strategy. A successful social media strategy should identify a few important KPIs and help you create authentic content that promotes engagement. For example, you might set marketing goals like:
- Improve monthly engagement by x%
- Increase follower count by “x” per week
- Post “x” number of posts that use embedded video content per month
These goals are intentionally straightforward and minimize the amount of work you need to do. You can improve your chance of achieving these goals by setting aside a few hours per week to research competitors, track key analytics, and respond to users who engage with your content.
Why did you choose to start a small business? Most people choose to quit their job because they want to be their own boss and try to make it alone. However, many first-time business owners quickly lose sight of their initial motivation and end up overworking themselves. You can strike a better work-life balance by learning to be a better boss for yourself. Give yourself time to take breaks throughout the day and set reasonable deadlines. Being kind to yourself will help you enjoy the self-employed life and ensure that you have enough energy to help your business grow.
If you find that certain tasks take too long, consider automating or outsourcing them. For example, if you struggle to keep tabs on your finances, consider subscribing to AI programs for finance management. Programs like mobile accounting can save you headaches and ensure that you don’t forget to submit tax returns or lose track of business receipts. This will save you hours every week, as you won’t need to manually record each invoice or bill you receive.
Managing Your Time as a New Small Business Owner
Managing your time is crucial. As a small business owner, you have to wear many hats just to get through the workday. Prioritize time for creative or challenging tasks. Build the rest of your workday around these segments of creative time, and consider automating the tasks you find most time-consuming.
For more insightful articles and actionable tips about finance and business, check out Capital for Business’ The Working Capital and Financing Blog.
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