Written by: Stephanie Haywood
Small business owners have many different roles to play throughout the workweek. They're in charge of managing the company's finances, marketing, production, and sales, and this wide range of responsibilities requires them to cultivate a diverse set of skills. They must reserve time and energy for maintaining positive relationships with clients, suppliers, employees, business partners, and customers. It's easy to see how many become overwhelmed by the tasks that come with managing business and personal life. Here are some tips to help you manage tasks more effectively.
The Benefits of Developing a Task Management System
The average person can only hold three or four things in mind at a time. However, most people have hundreds of tasks or concerns that require daily attention. A good system helps you identify problems and map out solutions.
While each system should be developed to fit its unique situation, the main components of task management remain the same. Most systems include a technique for capturing ideas, a method for sorting them into projects, and a process that breaks goals down into actionable steps. Use this template as a foundation for building your own system.
Integrate Apps Into Your System
Productivity apps like Trello help small business owners consolidate many moving parts and streamline workflow. Task management software stores everything related to a project in a single place, allowing team members to access any information relevant to their daily work. Calendars, memos, notes, plans, tasks, and ideas can all be organized into the app and shared among coworkers.
The Trello platform allows users to drag-and-drop cards from one list to another, measuring progress as tasks reach completion. For example, an entrepreneur planning a small new venture may have three lists on a basic board he's designated for his woodworking business: To Do, Doing, and Done. The app's versatility makes it perfect for managing both business and personal concerns.
Other Useful Apps for Small Business Management
Square is a mobile payment app that's useful for owners of restaurants, bars, and retail locations equipped with the company's POS devices. Additionally, QuickBooks Time is a time tracking app that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks accounting software, allowing users to handle everything from payroll to taxes on their mobile devices. The QuickBooks Time app also features real-time reports that demonstrate how much time employees spend on each task and compare the data with estimated labor costs.
Delegating Tasks Strategically
Delegating tasks is one of the most valuable skills a small business owner can develop. Putting all the responsibilities of a company on a single person's shoulders will inevitably lead to burnout and feelings of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, business owners with limited budgets have to worry about overspending when hiring new employees. To delegate strategically, you'll have to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses and make hiring decisions that maximize the productivity of each employee's role.
For example, the owner of a diner may choose to hire a digital communications professional rather than learning how to run online advertisements and use social media herself. In contrast, a younger entrepreneur who's tech-savvy could benefit from handling the company's social media accounts alone. When creating an Ohio LLC for a new company, a small business owner can avoid spending hours on the task by using an LLC formation service.
Once you've developed a system for capturing thoughts and translating them into actionable steps, you have the framework for handling any problem that arises in your business or personal life. Incorporate technology into your task management system so you can access it from anywhere, share information with team members, and run a successful small business from your phone.
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