Small business owners can easily get caught in the vicious, life-sucking cycle of working harder, working more, working longer hours. One small business owner told KMA co-founder, Tracie Thompson, “If a small business owner is sleeping more than four hours a night, they’re not working hard enough!” Eeeek! Can you say “burnout”?
Being a successful entrepreneur or successful in your business does not mean that you have to sacrifice health, family, leisure, self-improvement or self-care in the pursuit of increasing your business. “That sounds lovely,” you say, “but how exactly would you suggest I accomplish that, KMA?”
The answer is to create a new mindset of “exponentiality.” In the world of AI the concept of exponentiality is the science of getting double the results for half the expense or time. In the world of small business, we know it as “efficiency” or more commonly, “working smarter, not harder.”
The first step is to track where you’re presently spending your time. Things to consider: What actions are resulting in bringing money through the door? How much can you reasonably accomplish in one day? Are you leaving time for new opportunities? Where are you getting stuck? How can you optimize the way run your business? Are your processes effective? When you have the answers to these challenges, you can proactively take steps to creating paths to greater revenues without being buried alive in your business. . . and that creates what we’re all in it for – Freedom!
Don’t get caught in the Great I AM, syndrome. Acknowledge what you do well. Recognize what you don’t do well. Entrepreneurs know that TIME often equals MONEY. How much time, i.e. money, is it costing you to muddle through the business-related stuff you don’t know or aren’t good? Could you be using that time generating revenue?
Efficiency Now Equals Better Results Later
Take the time to objectively look at what processes need to be implemented in your business to increase effectiveness. Golden nugget: you won’t be able to have a full business if you don’t have efficient systems. In fact, your systems are the business!
Don’t get caught up in the short-term delusion of “efficiency” – the idea that you’ll create that file tomorrow, or just put it here for now or figure it out later. After all, when your business is rockin’ (yes, “when”, not “if”) and you’re booked up and busy counting your cash, how are you going to handle all of the administrative tasks then?
Focus on the reality of long-term efficiency. Studies show that this one act increases revenues by 66% for most business owners. Getting greater results with less effort shows up in our business as a byproduct of systems, systems automation and repurposing, delegation, and elimination. In simple terms, have a process for your work, automate what you can, outsource what you don’t do well, and figure out what you don’t need to do at all.
Simple Ways to Increase Efficiency in Your Business
- When creating content or a workshop or communication, create it as a reusable template and customize as needed
- Declutter your workspace. File logically and systematically – think Marie Kondo!
- Learn how to use free tools such as Trello, Canva (basic), Hootsuite (basic), PicMonkey, and more!
- Avoid distractions and get things in a Co-Work space or event
- Get your own or share a Virtual Assistant to handle routine tasks
- Hire an expert to handle complex tasks that overwhelm you
- Time block your calendar and respect the time blocks!
Use Your Time Wisely
Speaking of time, take a look at your time management. Track how you’re presently spending your time. Create a list of “must-do’s” and “would-like-to-do’s.” Schedule the “must-do’s” and keep the list of “would-like-to-do’s” handy. When there’s down time, like waiting at the dentist, pull out the list of “would-like-to do’s”, and work on it. Use that time to check your social media, reengage contacts, read a great business book, etc.
Is there space in your calendar for unexpected delays? Buffering your time will lower your stress and increase productivity. Speaking of stress, don’t forget self-care! What feeds your spirit and your body? Schedule it in and make it non-negotiable.
Efficiency is a Cornerstone of Ongoing Success
Focus on those things that are going to accelerate your business and work those for all you’re worth. Stay in your flow. Consistency and reproducibility will free up time for you to focus on what really matters most in your business – acceleration, getting to the next level, getting more clients, or getting paying clients!! You might feel time crunched at first but there is freedom around the corner. Efficiency is a key ingredient to sustainable business growth!
Liz & Tracie
Chief Success Officers
Together We Achieve More!
Need more insight on building a sustainable business? Get our bestselling book, Suck It Up, Buttercup: 10 Tough-Love Strategies To Get You Off Your Butt and Making Money. It’s available on Amazon in digital and print formats!