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How your business can make money by saving time

A small business owner using a digital payment tool.
Sarah Samuels
Published at | Updated:

Almost half of small business owners work over 50 hours per week, while 82% work more than 40 hours, according to a poll by the Alternative Board.

As the owner of a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you often have to be everything at once: your company’s bookkeeper, social media manager, marketing expert, and customer service representative. All of which take time. And a lot of it.

Just imagine what you could achieve if you were able to reclaim some time from working on these tasks. In this article, we’ll discuss the potential return on investment (ROI) of saving time. We’ll also examine when and why it’s worth spending some money or other resources to gain another hour in the day.

What you earn by saving time

When we talk about ROI, we are referring to a metric used to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific investment (of money, time, or any other resource). You can then use this metric to compare your investment to other investments to determine whether and to what extent it is worthwhile.

ROI is calculated by dividing the benefit derived from the investment by the cost. Saving time on tasks keeps the benefit constant but lowers the cost, thus raising your return on each of them.

But, that’s not all. With extra hours in the work week, small business owners (and their teams) are able to focus on what’s really important to them.

This extra time can be used, for example, to strategize ways to grow your business and increase your revenue. It’s also an opportunity to improve your relationships with customers and vendors, which may result in more sales and better deals. So, every hour you save can have an impact on your bottom line.

With more time, you can foster a good work environment that improves productivity and motivation–both for your employees and yourself. You will also be able to focus more on your employees’ well-being and personal development.

Additionally, using this earned time to recharge and hang out with friends and family will help you achieve a healthy work-life balance. Remember that SMB owners are especially prone to stress and burnout, which have a serious negative effect on revenue, so it’s vital to protect yourself against them.

How to save time in business

Here are some easy steps you can implement today to save time. Some of them are completely free and others come with a small fee. Since saving time has its own ROI, it’s worth spending (wisely) to improve it.

Digitize payments

One way for small business owners to regain hours in their schedule is to digitize their payments using an online platform like Melio.

Through Melio’s user-friendly interface, you can schedule business-to-business (B2B) payments in advance to ensure everything goes out at the right time, not too early or too late. Instead of interrupting your daily workflow to pay a bill that’s due, you can set aside some time once a day, week, or month—whatever works for you—to schedule all your payments in advance. This way, you never have to worry about missing a payment again.

Plus, say goodbye to the tedious and time-consuming task of writing and mailing checks. Using an online payment platform means you won’t have to deal with checks.

You can pay whichever way works best for your business. ACH bank transfer? Yes, please. Debit?* Sure! Credit card?* Why not? And, if your vendor still insists on getting paid by check, that’s not a problem either—Melio will mail them one* on your behalf so you can both maintain your workflows.

Digitizing payments also means you can streamline your bookkeeping. Melio syncs with leading accounting software, which means that you can keep track of all your bills, invoices, and payments with one simple, easy-to-use tool.

Use AI to streamline tasks

Business owners can take advantage of new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to save time. Systems such as ChatGPT can boost productivity by creating engaging content in seconds, providing initial customer service, or even analyzing customer feedback.


It’s important to remember that you don’t need to do everything yourself. If you have a team, take stock of their strengths and assign them additional tasks. It’ll take some of the workload off of you and it’s also good for your employees’ professional development.

If you’re a solo practitioner, consider outsourcing some of your more time-consuming or dreaded tasks.

Embrace content management systems

Another way to maximize your productivity is to utilize a content management system (CMS) for your marketing needs. These tools make it easy and quick to create and manage your website or draft, edit, and schedule your social media content.

Frequent social posts are a great way to engage your customers, but can often distract you from other priorities. With a CMS, you can plan out and schedule all of your monthly content in advance, instead of spending hours on it every day.


When you’re a small business owner, time is your first and most precious resource. Less time spent on each task means more time available for you to focus on generating profits and growing your business. Plus, it’s more time to focus on your life outside of work and helps you avoid burnout.

Melio can help you digitize your payments and regain precious hours every month, raising the ROI of your time. Sign up for Melio today for a more efficient way to manage your payments and streamline your bookkeeping.

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.