As we start and grow our businesses, many of us adopt practices and take on administrative baggage that might hold us back from working toward our goals and vision. With the vast majority of 2016 still ahead of you, now is the time to take an honest look at your business and ask yourself, “What should I be doing differently?”
So, where do you begin? Here are a few simple ideas to get you started…
Four Ways To Save Time And Streamline Your Small Business
If you think you’re doing your business a favor by multitasking, think again. A Stanford University study revealed that multitaskers have a hard time filtering out irrelevant information, and they’re more distracted and less productive. Give up on trying to multitask—it’s a surefire way to mess up. Focus on one thing at a time to get more done, more accurately, and in less time.
Use your own photos or source from a site that has clearly stated attribution information.
When you pull images from the Internet for your blog and social media, you may or may not easily be able to tell who they belong to, what rights you have to use them, or what attribution requirements apply. Avoid running down a rabbit hole to chase the information you need by using your own photos or finding an online source of images that has very clear use and attribution rules. When I’m not using my own photos, I use freedigitalphotos.net (they have large selection of free photos). I also regularly purchase images from Canva—at $1 per image, you can’t beat the economy of their offering.
Don’t let paperwork pile up.
Even though we live in a digital world, we still have a lot of cold, hard sheets of paper floating around our offices. In fact, approximately 50 percent of the waste generated by businesses is from paper. Many of us still keep printed copies of client agreements, invoices, receipts, and other documentation.
If you let your paperwork pile up, the process of filing it in its proper place can become a gargantuan endeavor that requires hours of your time. The bigger the pile, the more work you’ll have on your hands because you’ll need to sort through and organize it before you can actually put it in its place. Instead, place it where it belongs within hours or just a few days of when it hit your desk to avoid a marathon cleanup session down the road.
Give your business a raise.
Many of us grandfather long-standing clients into rates from years gone by. It’s a wonderful way to show your appreciation for their continued business. Unfortunately it can cost you when your services are in greater demand and you discover your time spent on lower-paying clients doesn’t allow you time to take on more lucrative work.
If that’s the case, you may want to consider raising your rates to existing customers. I recently did this and found that overall my clients (with one exception) were fully accepting and understanding. Just be sure to review the contracts you have in place before taking that leap. And give your clients plenty of advance notice and an explanation as to why you’re increasing your pricing.
Running a more efficient small business doesn’t always require making big changes. Little tweaks can mean a world of difference in how much you can accomplish and how smoothly you can tackle your day-to-day to dos.
What changes will you make this year to streamline your business and make it more successful?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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