It’s a challenging task running a small business. You’re not alone if you often feel overwhelmed, out of time, or like tasks take twice as long as you think they should. Do you often need to catch up on deadlines or need more time to follow up with past clients to ensure the health and well-being of your business’s future? Don’t fret. Luckily there are many handy apps out there that are made just for small business owners like you. Let’s walk through some simple tips and tools for time management for small businesses to make your time more manageable, streamlined, and less chaotic.
Tips for Time Management
- Make a list. The obvious first choice for time management is a To-Do List. Making a to-do list daily is an excellent way to organize, prepare, and focus your day. Yes, the good old-fashioned to-do list, but sometimes more is needed to manage your precious time.
- Put first things first. Prioritize your to-do list and then do the most critical items that contribute to your business’s growth first. Everything else comes after.
- Focus. Setting a timer, silencing your cell phone and notifications, and putting on some music for focus can all help productivity, especially if you tend to get easily sidetracked.
- Take five. Don’t be afraid to take a break. 5 minutes or so an hour to stretch, breathe and move around can improve productivity and help fatigue and burnout.
- Time tracking. Be bold and track your time. Plenty of phones automatically track where you spend most of your time. For example, iPhone users have a built-in screen time usage that tells how long they’ve been active on various websites throughout the day. You can find this info by visiting your phone’s settings and looking at “screentime.” You may be surprised, but also, knowledge is power, and you can use this newfound knowledge to open your eyes to where you spend your time and gain the upper hand on your time management, control your energy, and grow your business. See more about specialized apps that can help with this below.
- Get some help. Don’t be afraid to try using a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help on a per-project basis, or they can help you by the hour. They are a great alternative to hiring an employee, and you can employ different ones for different projects depending on what skill sets are needed, such as accounting, administrative, or social media maintenance. If you’d like more info on hiring a Virtual assistant, check out this article with links to resources and tons of information about VAs.
Tools for Time Tracking
Time tracking. Whew! How much time do you spend online or on your phone on websites that aren’t productive or work-related? Most people would be. Besides most smartphones’ built-in features, here’s a list of the most popular apps for tracking your computer and cell phone usage.
- Timecamp is a personalized time management tool for small businesses because it’s based on your specific needs. It categorizes your online and remote activity and lets you know what activities take up most of your day. Timecamp can generate reports and statistics showing how much time you spend on different websites and which tasks are taking up too much of your day.
- Rescue Time runs in the background of your computer as a free webpage or app. The software tracks website usage application usage and gives clients an overall productivity score so business owners can make sure they are utilizing their time wisely. This service has free and paid subscriptions, depending on your selected features.
- Time Doctor. The Time Doctor app may be the way to go if you have employees. This is a lifesaver for business owners if you want to keep track of time spent on different tasks throughout the day. A free version is available for small business owners who wish to test the product before purchasing it, but it limits you to five projects with only one user at a time.
This tool also provides detailed reports about staff members’ daily statistics and activity levels and screenshots of their computer screens every 10 minutes sent directly to your email so you can ensure they’re staying productive instead of dawdling online.
Apps for Time Management
Here’s a list of popular and easy-to-use apps designed for time management for small businesses.
- Google Calendar. Google Calendar is one of small businesses’ most widely used time management tools because it’s budget-friendly and easy to use. It features an app that can be accessed through any mobile device or desktop computer, making managing your schedule a breeze.
With Google Calendar, you don’t need additional integration tools to connect your working apps with future schedules. You can also set up notifications so that you’ll know exactly when you need to leave to arrive at your next meeting.
- Trello. Trello helps you get organized effortlessly. Employees can use this online project management application to keep track of all their tasks on a virtual bulletin board.
You’re able to assign specific tasks, add notes, and mark when they are completed directly in the inbox or go back in time with old jobs that still need to be marked off. You can also communicate with your team by leaving comments on specific cards for them to respond to later.
- ServiceWorks. ServiceWorks is a multi-purpose software app for phones and computers that does the job of an office admin, like payroll and invoicing; it also is a lovely app that supports time management for small businesses. With features like route optimization for field service specialists, ordering parts, and invoicing; why, it can even be programmed to send a follow-up survey to clients to support customer satisfaction further and keep existing clients happy.
Time to Manage This New Knowledge
Now that we’ve had a chance to get a bit detailed about time management for small businesses, let’s review. We went over some helpful tips, time-tracking apps, and time-management tools for small businesses.
But possibly the best tip in this post is to use ServiceWorks to track time, automate your service schedule, send customer satisfaction surveys and so much more. ServiceWorks offers a 14-day risk-free trial, so you can check it out today and see if it’s right for your business.