Experts

3 tips to help you manage your time as a small business owner

Small business owners wear many hats, working in multiple roles with numerous tasks, deadlines, and processes. With only 24 hours in a day, it can often feel impossible to get everything done. But by making simple tweaks to the way you manage your time, you can be more efficient and productive, giving you a chance to focus on the most important aspects of your business.

Ryan Yee
A watch helps you manage your time

Ryan Yee is an award-winning copywriter with 20+ years of experience working alongside major US brands, emerging start-ups, and leading tech enterprises. His copy and creativity have helped companies in the B2B marketing, education, and software sectors reach new customer bases and enjoy improved results. Find out more on his LinkedIn profile.

How to manage your time efficiently?

Despite the availability of time-tracking apps and digital B2B payment platforms, recent research by Clockify reveals that 82% of small businesses don’t have a dedicated time management system in place.

The impact of poor time management can be damaging to your brand, not to mention your bottom line.

But rising costs only tell part of the story. Poor time management can increase the chance of missing important deadlines, more staff getting sick, higher staff turnover, a lack of professionalism, and even financial penalties. The need for effective time management tools tailored to small businesses has never been greater.

manage time while working remotely

How can small businesses improve time management?

As a small business, there are several ways to help you and your team better manage time. At a glance, here are some effective time management strategies to think about:

  • Prioritize tasks
    Make to-do lists and identify deadlines
  • Get organized
    Declutter your workspace and learn when you’re most productive
  • Learn to delegate
    Learn each team member’s strengths and invest in training
  • Remove distractions and time wasters
    Work in time blocks and make time for breaks
  • Set realistic goals
    Start small and break long-term goals into mini-goals
  • Automate reports and analytics
    Consider AI-powered analytics and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • Use time-tracking tools
    Record work hours and gain insight into time spent on each task

Here are three top tips to improve your time management strategy.

1. Add time-saving VoIP phone systems for your small business

Effective time management must focus on increasing the productivity of the business. An effective solution is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system for small businesses. 

Essentially allowing you to make calls from the internet and send VoIP SMS from a computer, it can save time by centralizing your business communication systems and reduce the chances of missing important calls and messages. 

Other features that set internet-based phone services like VoIP apart include: 

  • Better accessibility; VoIP apps allow small businesses to make and take calls from virtually anywhere in the world
  • No additional hardware or software required
  • Lower call charges
  • Little to no maintenance fees
  • Clearer voice quality

VoIP technology is broadening the horizons of small businesses craving higher productivity levels, so it’s definitely worth considering to better manage your time.

2. Organize priorities better with the Covey Time Management Matrix

Steven Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, spotlights a time management model that’s ideal for small businesses looking to manage their time more effectively.

The four simple quadrants help you visualize how and where your time should be spent:

Time management matrix

3. Use online time management tools

Although modern online time-tracking tools are readily available, many small businesses remain unaware of their benefits. 

Effective time tracking plays a big role in increasing productivity, which can also improve profits. Time tracking can also increase bill and payment accuracy, set clear objectives, and communicate your progress better. 

Here are some of the most popular time-tracking and planning apps for small businesses (and many offer a free tier option, too):

  • Clockify™

Clockify is one of the world’s most popular time-tracking and project-management tools. It offers employee monitoring features to effectively analyze where time is being wasted and where it is best spent.

  • Toggle

Primarily offering timesheet software, the difference between Clockify and Toggl is that Toggl payment plans are more expensive and don’t include employee monitoring options.

  • Asana

Asana is a collaborative work management platform, perfect for organizing, tracking, and managing busy workloads. Asana effectively reduces time spent creating emails and taking part in meetings, while increasing productivity on assigned tasks.

  • Timely

Features include real-time KPI tracking, weekly timesheets, and the ability to keep all tracked work private to each individual user.

  • RescueTime

RescueTime was created with maximum employee efficiency in mind. It starts with a user’s daily browsing habits, which provides small businesses with valuable insight into what’s pulling your staff away from the work. It can even block specific desktop apps and websites affecting concentration and productivity levels to focus time better.

Google Calendar, Google Sheets, and Google Forms can also be used by small businesses looking to manage their time better.

Big analog clock on the nightstand, reminding you to make time for yourself

Make time

It’s a sobering thought that the US economy alone loses approximately 50 million hours in productivity per day due to unrecorded work activities.

Simply follow the steps outlined above and you’ll be well on your way to effectively prioritizing and organizing your workload. Just like Melio, not only will using these tools save time, but it will improve cash flow too. Harness the power of the latest time-tracking tools for small businesses and achieve your business goals that much faster and smarter.

*The purpose of this page is solely to provide information and should not be considered as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice; you should consult a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.