1.30.2014

Top time management tips for busy entrepreneurs

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Experts and small business owners share their advice on how to ensure no part of the business, large or small, is ignored.


Old fashioned brass sun dial with shadow indicating time of dayRunning a small business can be a juggling act. Entrepreneurs must make important decisions on the company's future, without neglecting the more banal responsibilities of keeping on top of emails and accounts.
Time management is, therefore, essential to ensure no part of the business, large or small, is ignored. We spoke to experts and small business owners to find out how entrepreneurs can make the best use of the working hours in the day. Here are their top tips on how to manage time more efficiently:
1) The list

Patrick Dudley-Williams is the founder of Reef Knots, a company which makes handmade printed silk ties. He started the company after being made redundant from a previous job in finance, just two days before his wife gave birth to twins. The couple already had a three-year-old, so time management was crucial as he attempted to juggle the demands at home with building a company from scratch.
Like most time poor entrepreneurs, he found the best place to start was by prioritising tasks in a list.
"There are so many diverse tasks that need completing in a day that you are almost guaranteed to let something slip," he explains. "Even something as simple as failing to book a parking space for a sales event can be very costly and it all needs to be done. I have an A4 page a day diary, which is essentially a rolling list of things I am doing in the next 24 hours."
2) Keep a diary
It may sound like a no-brainer, but carefully planning your week with a diary or calendar will ensure you don't miss anything important on your list. It can also help avoid wasting precious time and ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Robbie Begg started mens clothing brand Humphries and Begg three years ago with his wife. While she also runs another clothing brand, he is a full-time musician. It is, therefore, difficult to find a moment for themselves. Begg finds breaking daily tasks into bite-size pieces is crucial.
"One of the hardest things about working for yourself is knowing when to turn off. Business can become very invasive, especially when running a company with your wife," he says. "I find it very important to plan my time schedule and keep a very close eye on my diary. This helps me realise when I need to be productive and also, equally importantly, when I can have time off."
Tom Latchford of Raising IT, which provides websites and social media tools to charities, admits he can sometimes lose a whole morning checking and replying to emails. He therefore sets aside three times during the day when he will go through his inbox and process emails down to zero.
3) Harness new technology
Thanks to innovation in internet and mobile technology, entrepreneurs on the move can keep on top of work, whether they're travelling abroad or working from home. Reef Knots founder Dudley-Williams says mobile apps have helped him manage home life with running a business.
He says: "I spent a lot of time on computers with a baby, or two, on my lap. However, we live in an age of mobile devices that allow you to start businesses like mine and make them a success while juggling family life. Now I can respond to emails from the swings in the park."
Mark Tighe, managing director of capital allowances specialist, Catax Solutions, has found instant messaging to be an effective way of saving time. He says: "Making use of programmes such as Skype mean that I don't waste too much time sending long-winded emails and sitting on the phone for half an hour when a quick message in real time will suffice."
4) Meetings
"The most time consuming thing about our line of work is meetings," adds Tighe. "While they are essential, it's tempting to have too many and spend too long in them."
One thing which he never does is have back to back meetings: it leaves no time to digest and think about what's been said. He recommends allowing 50% more time per meeting than you think you'll need to allow for interruptions and questions.
Tighe explains: "I have found that having regular meetings on the same day and time each week works well for everyone. That way, everyone is on the same page and it's clear when projects and reports must be completed by."
5) Outsource
If done correctly, outsourcing can save your business precious time and money, says John Hoskin, director of online accountants CleverAccounts. As a startup or new business, you may not have the time or resources in-house to look after several fundamental aspects of the business. But, he adds, choose carefully which services you outsource.>>>

1 commentaire:

  1. In business, time management has involved into everything from methodologies through services. Employee time card application is a preferred software for large businesses because of its enhanced features. It records employee time attendance with 100% accuracy. Such systems ensure that employees are punctual and save time and money by providing profit to the company.

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