Top Secrets of Time-Effective Small Businesses

Numbering over 1.96 million in the 2010/11 period, small businesses account for a significant proportion of the Australian economy, accounting for nearly half of industry employment. As many small business owners know first hand, time is a critical factor in small business. In this article, we look at some of the top secrets of the most time effective small businesses.

Outsourcing

Balancing profit considerations with staff requirements is a priority of most small business. Luckily, any business can boost staffing numbers very quickly, on a needs basis, by outsourcing. In addition, Outsourcing allows you to access expert advice and specialist skills; for example, obtaining advice from accountants in Sydney or your local area.

No one can run a business entirely on their own, and for any business, outsourcing is one way to buy time and skill.

Compliance

A recent survey by American Express suggested that small business owners were spending their personal time on reporting obligations, losing as much as 60 hours over the course of a year on tax issues. Most businesses owners spent at least one Sunday a month on business tax compliance.

Outsourcing to services for small business accounting in Sydney or your local area, setting up a good record keeping system, and getting advice from your accountant about maintaining good records will save you lots of time over the run long run.

Freeing up time spent on compliance and tax will also allow business owners to focus on core business activities that can grow their business and increase profit margins.

Information and Record Keeping Systems

Busy yet time effective businesses use an excellent information system infrastructure to support their processes. An effective information and record keeping system can streamline all business processes as well as compliance and recording keeping. Your IT system can encompass customer relationship management, inventory and operations, invoicing, budgeting, and more.

Consolidating your information systems reduces the need for double inputting of data and centralises communications so every single employee can have access to important data when they need it.

This will mean you can generate reports quickly, make accurate decisions more quickly, better support employees, and provide great customer service.

Setting and Reviewing Priorities

There is a lot of literature on the practical aspects of time management, including Stephen Covey’s ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. Much of time management can be summed up in surveying, reviewing, and resetting priorities on a regular basis.

Time effective businesses regularly survey their use of time, and then review and set priorities as the environment changes.

  • Plan. Plan and act based on the degree of importance of any single priority. In other words, do the most urgent or important thing first.
  • Surveying the use of time. Owners/managers should be aware of how each staff member is using their time.
  • Reviewing priorities. No business can do everything all the time. Competing demands must be reviewed and reprioritise on a regular basis.
  • Setting priorities. Priorities should have a direct and tangible connection to your stated business goals. Once you’ve reviewed your priorities, you’re in a better position to set new priorities to better reflect the current day, week, or month’s goals.