With the arrival of each new year, we all get a fresh start. The same goes for small businesses and their hard-working owners. Regardless of annual turnover or industry, all businesses benefit from implementing time and money saving procedures. This is especially true for small businesses that are run by first-time entrepreneurs, who may be learning as their business progresses. So Small Business Advice Week has five effective hacks that will save you time and money in 2018 and beyond. They may seem simple, you may never have considered them prior to today, but these tips and tricks are sure to make a positive impact on your working life and your business.
There is a very good reason why people tend to describe checking your phone and social media account as addictive – and that’s because it is. The chemical responsible for compelling you to seek out instant gratification is known as dopamine, and dopamine is partially stimulated by anticipation. Therefore, you may feel as if you need to repeatedly check your email even though you may have no new notifications.
When checking social media and emails stop being legitimate work tasks and become more like a vicious time-wasting cycle – you need to get tough on yourself. Check your emails at pre-planned intervals only – at 9:00am, 12:00pm and 3:00pm for fifteen minutes or less, for example. If possible, delegate and assign care of social media to another member of staff or implement the same strict system of checking social only at pre-arranged times.
If you have a business blog, you can write your posts ahead of time and then schedule them to upload at a staggering pace. Automation can potentially save you money as well as time. If you arrange to pay your bills using the ‘set-and-forget’ method, you’ll never encounter a late fee.
It’s completely free to post your task, and once you have done so, you simply assign the work to the most suitable ‘Tasker’. With Airtasker, you can confidently hire flexible staff with verified reviews in a matter of minutes, and their services are insurance covered!
Pocket is an app that links back nicely to our earlier tip on social media usage. How often have you come across an article, video or link that interests you, but you don’t have to time to view it at your leisure? Pocket allows you to save the material all in one place, and it syncs across all your devices. That way, you can catch up on content wherever you may be.
Evernote is the ultimate organisation app. You can take notes, and save them in a variety of formats, use your camera to scan and digitize paper documents and collaborate with others. This app also syncs across devices, so you’ll always have your important material close by.
Dropbox is another fantastic time-saving app. Dropbox allows you to smoothly collaborate with others as you sync and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. You can comment on files to share real-time feedback with your team members. Dropbox also contains the document scanner feature, which is handy for digitising receipts and meeting notes.
Digital files must be saved under an appropriate name. Saving an image as ‘IMAGE34’ is going to come back to bite you when you can’t locate it later. Always back up digital files onto external hard drives in case your computer system goes down. An organised filing system can ultimately save your business money – because you can’t lodge a tax deduction if you can’t find the receipt!
When we commit to running a small business, we often so badly want it to succeed that we fail to see the forest from the trees. As 2018 progresses, take a step back and assess your business practices, then make changes that will help you make strides to where you want to be.