This is one of those perpetually-unanswered questions nearly all small business owners and entrepreneurs ponder. You are your entire company, or close to it. You have all the same To Dos as a larger company but without departments of people to get things done. “Free time” is not existent yet you still search for a way to set aside some time to focus on improving your business.
While finding time to improve your business while running your business is never easy or simple, I have identified 8 ways that have worked for me over the years.
8 Ways to Make Time to Improve your Business
- Work ahead whenever you can Did you get a last minute cancellation? Perhaps you found yourself unusually slow one Thursday afternoon? Even with a constantly-busy schedule, we all find ourselves with random, unexpected pockets of time here and there. Instead of opening Facebook to scroll through your feed, take those opportunities to work on those “extra” things for your business that you otherwise never have the time to.
- Outsource some of your work There could be a couple business tasks that you find to be a total drag or that could easily be handed off to someone else. Don’t try to convince yourself that you have to do it all. Even with the added costs of outsourcing, you likely will find that you feel less stressed by permanently removing a few things from your plate.
- Take advantage of your less busy seasons Business owners know when to expect a rush and when things usually slow down. If you know you are headed into some seasonal down time, focus yourself on plowing through as much of your Business Improvement Wish List as you can during those times. Getting through even just some of that list will feel hugely rewarding.
- Batch your work Need to send out invoices or sign checks? Do them all at one time. Need to schedule some Facebook posts for your business? Schedule a week’s worth of content in one sitting every Sunday afternoon. Have 5 or 6 emails waiting for you in your inbox? Designate a time in your day to read and respond to all customer emails at once. Not jumping around from task to task means less time overall because your brain is staying focused on 1 topic at a time.
- Create your own Business Improvement Wish List to keep track You definitely won’t make a dent in your business To Dos if you haven’t written down exactly what you want to improve in your business. Plus, what feeling is better than crossing something off a To Do list?
- Book a retreat for your business I recently returned from a social media business retreat. It was my second business retreat and so well worth it. It gave me an opportunity to analyze my business in a whole new way, identify the most important things to improve, and gave me the plans of action I needed to get those improvements done.
- Schedule work-free time into your week Have you ever hit a point where you sat back and thought, “Enough. My brain is shot. I can’t look at this anymore.” Then after a good night’s sleep or some forced time away, you can return to that same task and feel much calmer about it and like you have a fresh perspective? Usually, you can complete that same task in much less time, too. Our brains and bodies need a break sometimes, and giving ourselves the breaks we need can actually mean getting work done more efficiently (and less aggravatingly) the first time.
- Create a mastermind group with like-minded business owners No one knows your pain like another person in your same shoes! I feel fortunate to be part of a fantastic mastermind. Talking through a problem with like-minded business owners means hearing fresh perspectives from people who I trust and who know my business, industry, and its challenges.
What tips do you have for finding ways to work on your business?