10 productivity tips for small business owners

Learning new ways to become more productive is a popular topic these days. From Inc.com to Entrepreneur.com, there has been a recent surge in the number of articles about productivity tips for small business owners.

In this blog, you get a deep dive into 10 productivity tips and habits for small business owners. Try out a few of these small business productivity hacks over the next few weeks on a daily basis. You’ll see the difference that a few changes can make.

1. Get out of the way of your sales team

To start off our list of top 10 productivity tips for small business owners, you want to give your sales team the resources and tools to close sales and maximize profits for your company. But as a business owner, sometimes you are the bottleneck of sales approvals.

Using a discounting spectrum or equation, you can create automated safeguards in your CRM for your sales team to work within. With your custom safeguards in place, your sales team can send out offers and begin processing orders within the parameters you set and significantly quicker.

2. Write on the walls

Productivity apps are a fantastic way to stay organized and get through your daily tasks. But productivity can sometimes feel limited in digital form. 

You can actually boost productivity by getting a marker out and writing on physical surfaces, such as:

  • Your office walls.
  • Sticky notes.
  • A big piece of paper. 

Managing team priorities this way gives your team a clear visual image of what tasks look like. 

After getting everything out on paper, move that information into your CRM system to digitally delegate activities to your team. There are a lot of benefits of simply getting out of your seats, huddling around a whiteboard, and quickly updating each other while re-prioritizing tasks.

3. Keep your mornings (or an entire day!) meeting-free

Next on our list of productivity tips for small business owners is to minimize your meetings.

Meetings can break up your day and make it difficult to do deep work that benefits your business. 

Having a dedicated period of time where you are uninterrupted by meetings is a great way to stay on track and get more done in one sitting. Block time off in your calendar to ensure you have enough time to get the most important work done.

Figure out the time of day you can naturally get in the zone and block off time to complete tasks that need extended focus. If possible, choose one day a week as “No Meetings Day” for your small business and see if there is a lift in everyone’s productivity.

4. Get annoyingly specific about time

Try scheduling meetings ten minutes earlier than you normally do. For example, if you normally do half-hour meetings, shorten them to 20 minutes. 

By shortening the length of meetings, whoever organizes one is forced to stick to and keep everyone on a tight agenda. If you have 3 half-hour meetings tomorrow and everyone is able to get through their stuff in 20 minutes, you’ll gain back 30 minutes of productive time.

5. Maximize energy by working in 90-minute cycles

90-minute stretches of work produce the best productivity. Despite how hard we try, we’re human and our energy levels change throughout the day. After around 90 minutes, our brains need meaningful rest. You might think that this wastes your time, but it actually lets you get more done as it prevents your brain from getting foggy.

It’s the opposite of being productive to jam your break time with more emails or any other work you want to catch up on. You might feel like taking a coffee break is a waste of time, but breaks give you an essential period to regain energy and do even better work. Focus on renewing your energy during breaks and avoiding working non-stop.

6. Understand the value of your time

As a small business owner, you have to assess which tasks are best suited for your skillset and which tasks you can delegate to others. This is important because you have to value your time and know that your responsibility as the owner are in order to find time to focus on growth. 

One of the best productivity tips for small business owners is to value your time. Some ways you can value your time include:

  • Hire a full-time or part-time employee.
  • Outsource work to a freelancer.
  • Onboard a contractor for temporary work.
  • Use automation software to complete admin tasks for you.

It might seem risky to spend money on the above, but think about how much your small business productivity would grow if you focused on only what you do best. 

7. Focus on deep work, not shallow distractions.

There are a million and one distractions in the workplace that seem like they need your full attention. This is a huge struggle for small business owners who feel like they are constantly putting out fires in their workweek. It causes burnout and even restricts you from focusing your efforts on growth opportunities. 

Instead of hyper-focusing on everything, dedicate a few long hours to deep work. These few hours of uninterrupted work allow you to fall into a deep concentration and give back to your business. You’ll feel accomplished at the end of your workday and see that the list of tasks you thought originally deemed important isn’t what’s driving your business forward.

8. Free up your time with technology.

When you first started your business, doing manual work for tedious tasks might not have seemed like a big deal. After all, you worked hard to get your business to where it is today. But as larger tasks come your way, you need to focus your efforts on new business ideas to make the biggest impact and grow your company.

If you find yourself spending hours on repetitive tasks, it’s time to find a technology solution to do it for you. Free up time in your day for more important things by automating your sales process with software solutions like Method.

9. Decide what’s vital versus what’s nice to do.

Prioritizing your daily list of tasks is hard because sometimes it can seem like every single task is important. It’s a valuable skill to decipher which tasks are most pressing and need your attention now. 

Start by creating a list of tasks that you do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Be as detailed as possible and include the smallest tasks to the larger tasks. It might surprise you to see how many tasks there are in a day!

Now to the hard part – prioritizing the tasks. To do this, think about the tasks that your business couldn’t survive without. Then move on to what would be nice for the business to have but not essential. 

The last step is to rank how well you can complete each task. Make sure to identify which tasks are:

  • Easy and quick to do.
  • Hard and time-consuming.
  • Required to be completed by you.
  • Able to be given to someone else to do.
  • Able to be combined with other similar tasks.

Now you have lists of tasks that you can comfortably fit into your schedule and delegate to other team members. 

10. Find out what your team is good at and delegate.

As a small business, your team is probably also a small one. With the team you have, you want to start delegating tasks from your to-do list to your team. A few things to consider when delegating tasks include:

  • Your employee’s interests and skillset. 
  • Their workload and time availability. 
  • Whether or not they have the resources to complete the task.
  • Splitting tasks or combining tasks to boost productivity.

By giving tasks to your team, you free up hours in your workweek and reduce your stress levels. 

In the long run, these productivity tips for small business owners help your mental health, the quality of work you produce, and the growth of your business.

Take small business productivity to the next level with a free trial of Method:CRM!

Image credit: BullRun via Adobe Stock

About the author

Icon of a paper airplane

Subscribe to our
newsletter

Get the latest small business
insights delivered right to your inbox.

Related posts

Subscribe to our blog

Sales, marketing, and software insights from the #1 CRM for QuickBooks.

Sign up to get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.