FROM THE SUCCESS PEOPLETM
Five Ways To Save Time And Scale A Small Business
Want to scale a small business? Admit it, no matter what kind of business you have, you’ve dreamt about scaling it up. Even if you own a neighbourhood coffee shop you’ve thought about how great it would be to open a second location, then a third, a tenth, a hundredth, a whole franchise, becoming the next Starbucks.
The key is being able to do more in the time you have. Being able to clear off your tasks and focus on building your business is hard, but it’s the only way that you’ll be able to scale up. So how do you do it?
- Dear Diary…
Keep a journal of your work-week. It can be minute by minute or hour by hour, but it needs to be thorough and detailed. You can use time tracking software like Harvest to do this, or you can use a pen and paper. The aim is to get a top-down view of your work week so that you can see where time is being lost. One you have a clear picture you will be able to see where the problems are.
- Take Care of Your Core
You’ll always have a set of core tasks that your business performs- you’ll make a cup of coffee or balance a company’s books. Your study of your own work week will have revealed these, and they may not be what you think they are. These jobs are also non-negotiable- you can’t delay making a customer a cup of coffee to devote time to other projects. However, by getting them done quicker you’ll save yourself a lot of time, so take some training, buy new equipment or look at the task and see if there are components that can be taken out.
- Automate to Accelerate
As a small business, you don’t have the luxury of hiring new staff every time you need a job taken off your plate. Automation is the only way to make make it seem like there are new employees in the office without the costs hitting your bottom line.
Some tasks can be automated with changes to your existing equipment: Microsoft Excel is more than just a fancy calculator, and it can take care of a number of tasks with ease. Other forms of automation might require changes to your capital machinery itself: a coffee shop could replace a manual espresso machine with a super-automatic, which will also produce consistently good cups of coffee.
- Delegate All The Things
Your current staff may be in the trenches now, but if you’re scaling up then you’ll want to bring them up the corporate ladder with you. In preparation for this, and to give you more time to lead your company’s forward charge, you should start delegating tasks to them now. A greater stake in the business will encourage them to stick with you through what could be a difficult process and performing new tasks will train them up to the next level.
- Plan For Success
With your task list taken care of, it’s time to fill up those extra hours. This is where you start planning for your next step. This could be as simple as writing up a list of potential clients you’ll call or as complex as re-writing your business plan or a complete rebrand or change of focus. Executing the plan is another matter entirely- the techniques for this will be as different as the plans that require them.
It’s a fact that running a small business means accepting a lot of sleepless nights. It’s always going to feel like time is against you, but the only way to scale a small business is to carve out some time to move your business forward. If you need help on how to scale, schedule your free Success Check with KAFT CPA!
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