Your day begins like any other day at the office. You arrive ahead of time, but no sooner have you walked through the door, the phone begins to ring and your team of employees are lined up outside your room with any number of ‘urgent’ queries.
This is before you have managed to look at your calendar for the day, which is inundated with meetings, both in the office and across town. Your email inbox is overflowing with ‘important’ messages, as well as a few suspicious looking ones telling you your bank account has been hacked by aliens.
You haven’t had time for your morning cup of coffee, your blood pressure is rising, and you sit back in your chair wondering how you are going to prioritise the many tasks at hand. Just another day at the office!
Does the above sound familiar to you? Don’t worry; there are business managers up and down the country having the same work based crises you are. There was a time when you had a life, with an opportunity to breath during the day, and yes… have that cup of coffee. You can have those days again, without having to take early retirement. In this article, we will consider several ways in which you can streamline your operations and simplify your working day. “It’s just a pipe dream” we hear you saying as you put your jacket on to zip across town for yet another meeting, but keep reading before you get into your car and waste another couple of hours of your day.
Automate your accounts
Many business owners hire an accountant to deal with the company finances. If you haven’t gone down this route, or you still prefer to handle some aspects yourself, you can streamline the process without giving yourself a mathematical headache. Use an accounting package to manage your bills and invoices, and automate the process so you don’t have to worry about manually sorting things out. From chasing your customers for late payments to paying your broadband bill, you can automate all those repetitive tasks that take up much of your time.
Create a FAQ page online
You should already have an online presence for your business, but if not, get on it as soon as possible. There are plenty of web hosting companies who will help you set something up quite cheaply, no matter how much of a technophobe you are. With a website, you can streamline many areas of your business, from online payments to marketing your products. However, you should also set up a FAQ page. Your clients and customers won’t have to contact you for trivial (or major) details if you can provide as much information as you can on your site. It will save you time answering queries that can easily be sourced on your website.
Easily find staff
Staffing issues are common among both small and large companies. Not only do you have to find a reliable team to begin with, but you also have to find cover when they are ill, on holiday, or just plain unreliable. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by using an external firm such as Portfolio Procurement Recruitment Agency. Such agencies can help you get the right people for your team, on both a full-time and temporary basis. Considering the amount of work it takes to hire people, through the application and interview process, it makes sense to delegate this responsibility.
Manage office schedules
Not only do you have to manage your own schedule in the day, but you are also responsible for each member of your team as well. You want to make sure every person is where they are supposed to be, and not wasting time getting involved in tasks that aren’t a priority. For this reason, it’s worth using scheduling software packages that will help you keep track of your employees, and manage your own time more effectively. Packages come in a range of prices, but you can try a free demo with most of them if you are unsure about paying upfront.
Cut down on travel time
Travelling to meetings can be a nightmare, especially if traffic is a problem, and parking is non-existent. It’s still possible to have a face-to-face meeting with one or more people through video conferencing software. Not only can you talk to people who are in the same town as you, but you can make international calls as well. Not only does this cut down on travel costs, but it’s also cheaper than making a phone call. Video conferencing not only allows you to talk to another person, but you can also make presentations on an online whiteboard, share files, and broadcast your meeting to passive viewers.
You may be in charge of your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything! You aren’t showing weakness if you delegate to others, so if there are tasks that could easily be managed by another member of your team, pass it over and give them the responsibility. Not only will it help you, but they will benefit from the experience as well. If you don’t have the people to delegate certain tasks to, then consider outsourcing. From web designers to freelance writers, there are private companies and individuals who can take on board specific tasks on a short or longer-term basis.
Cut down on staff meetings
Meetings get in the way of everybody’s day, so cut down on them. If you have something important to say to your team, send them a circular email so they are all up to speed. Alternatively, schedule a meeting first thing in the morning, using it to convey important information before getting on with the rest of your day. This will save you time later on, and it will cut down on people coming to your door with insufferable questions.
They are only a few ideas, but they will save you time and stress in your working day. Hopefully, you will be able to relax a little more and give yourself a break from time to time as well.