With Spring Around The Corner, Are You Ready To Spring Clean Your Business?
Most people will know what a spring clean is, it’s common practice to give your home a nice spring clean. However, have you ever considered doing the same for your business? I’m not talking about a literal clean, I mean going through your business and seeing what needs clearing out or organising.
Do a time analysis
An easy way to spot waste is to see where your time is being spent, are you utilising your time efficiently or are you wasting time? We all know the popular saying that time is money, so it is essential that you are using your time wisely.
You will need to ensure that you have the right balance between time spent working ‘for’ your business (serving clients/ customers, etc), time spent working ‘on’ your business (business administration/ networking, etc), and time spent away from your business (leisure / other responsibilities, etc).
A good place to start when trying to determine where your time is being used is via a time tracking productivity tools. There are many of these available however some of the most popular are –
- Rescue time – works in the background and tracks the time spent on different applications/ websites. You also have the ability to block applications/ websites that you find annoying/ distracting/ tempting allowing you to focus solely on the tasks required. The tool also produces reports which allows you to analyse how your time is being spent. There is a free version, as well as premium versions available.
- Toggl – works as a standalone time tracker which allows you to track time just by clicking start (like a timer) but there is also the option to track a selection of applications/ websites using the browser extension. The tool also produces a variety of different reports which allow you to analyse how your time is being spent. There is a free version, as well as premium versions available.
- TopTracker – allows you to track your time according to your requirements and preferences, there is also the option to take (blurred) screenshots for extra reassurance that time is being spent productively and effectively. The tool was built for both freelancers and teams in mind and is designed with a friendly interface and various privacy settings. Free to use.
Identify areas that need improvement
Once you have enough data to analyse how your time is being used you can then start taking the steps needed in order to better utilise your time. Some areas that might need improving include –
- Processes and procedures (tools/ automation/ etc)
- Financial operations (invoices/ expenses/ etc)
- Digital operations (website/ social media/ etc)
You will need to look for areas that are taking up time and decide how you can improve them – can you outsource tasks? Is there a way you can do something quicker? How many tasks are time wasting and unnecessary?
If you find a lot of your time is being spent procrastinating, what can you do to improve this? There are some tools that I listed about which can address this.
I know the problem, just not to solve them
There are a huge number of tools and resources available which can help you become more productive and efficient – I did a blog post about productivity a while back – click here.
Some of my favourite tools from that post include –
- Project Management Tools – these can help you manage your projects and/ or teams more effectively which a wide range of features such as to do lists, calendar planning, and messaging there is everything you will need to manage your business all in one place – two of the most popular are Asana and Trello
- Social Media Management Tools – these tools allow you to post to multiple social media accounts all in one place, you can either schedule posts for a later date – two of the most popular are Buffer and Hootsuite
- Online Payment Platforms – there are also tools available which allow your customers to pay for your services online – two of these services are Hiveage and PayPal
There are many more brilliant tools out there, however if you do not want to do the work yourself then you can ask advice from a Virtual Assistant, Business Coach, or an Online Business Manager. These services will come at a cost, but they will be able to look at your business and advise you on ways to runs thing more efficiently.