In the early days of your business creation, you’re driven by passion and desire to bring your product or service to the world at large. Whether you’re aiming to be the world’s next billionaire, or simply looking to create financial security and live life on your own terms, the entrepreneurship journey can be rewarding, but it’s often demanding and difficult. After all, there’s only so much one person can do!
Because we’re all working with the same 24 hours in a day, and many of us maintain “day jobs” to help finance our entrepreneurial projects, it’s crucial for founders to improve productivity. Killer skills and a willingness sacrifice will only take you so far.
Here are six productivity tips so you can get more done in less time – so you can reach your business goals and have a bit of time to relax, too.
Who wants to be chained to a computer all day? Many of today’s business applications include a mobile app or mobile web access so that you can take care of tasks from your tablet or smartphone. This frees you up to take care of tasks while you’re waiting for appointments, during your commute on the subway, and in other small moments, you can steal throughout the day.
Because these apps allow everything to sync in the system from the cloud, all the information you add to an account from your phone will be readily accessible on your computer when you’re ready to sit down and work.
Handling everything you need to do for your business manually is time-consuming, and often means certain things don’t get done. With tools such as Zapier and If This Then That (IFTTT) you can create actions that will automatically happen under certain conditions.
For instance, when you receive an email with an attachment, the attachment can automatically upload to Google Drive. When you post a social media update on Facebook, it can automatically go to Twitter, too. Though these take time to set up initially, automation will save you a great deal of time and energy in the long run.
Digitize All Records
Using digital solutions instead of standard pen and paper keeps things simple. There’s no risk of losing important documents, and it’s easy to share files for collaboration.
For example, when you meet new business connections, it’s common to exchange business cards. Instead of keeping a pile of them in a desk drawer, you can use the Salesforce business card scanner to upload the contact information to your Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Look for Integrations
What apps and programs are you already using? Look for ways you can integrate the things you’re already using to simplify their overall use and improve your workflows.
For instance, your CRM may integrate with accounting tools, email marketing tools, chat, and collaboration tools. These integrations will save you a lot of time because you can take care of things from a central location and trust that the data will transfer where it needs to.
If you find an app you must absolutely use for your business but realize it doesn’t have the necessary integrations to create a smooth and efficient workflow, you can look into using the automation tools listed above to create your own integrations.
While you may have a broad and unique skill set, the reality is most people don’t possess 100% of the skills and expertise they need to optimally start and maintain their businesses. When it comes to something you don’t know well, or just don’t have the time to do yourself, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring contractors to help you get the job done. You can hire people as needed, for a one-time gig, or ongoing help, depending on what your business needs.
As your business grows, you can also use contractors to scale your products or services. When you reach a certain point, you may decide to start hiring official employees and offering benefits, or you can continue to offer independent contractor status to allow your staff to maintain the flexibility of their own.
Thanks to platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr, it’s easy to find people with the skills and expertise you need to complement your own at affordable rates.
Pay Close Attention to Free Solutions
One of the most important lessons to learn as an entrepreneur is that free tools are helpful but aren’t always the best option to ensure maximum productivity.
In some instances, it’s well worth it to pay for the premium version of something to get extra features to make your life easier. Remember, investing in your business is investing in your future – and it’s worth it, as long as you’re smart about it.
If there’s a service you’re not sure about, take advantage of free trials to see how it might fit into your workflow before you commit to paying for it. Many services that offer a free-forever version with basic features offer limited trials of higher tier plans with additional features.
Using these productivity tips to help you boost productivity should make it easier to reach your business goals faster.
However, for the greatest productivity, it’s also important to recognize the value of rest. You cannot burn the candle at both ends and expect to work at your best. It’s better to walk away and take a break to produce higher quality results than to slave away for hours on end and have a mediocre result.