As an entrepreneur, you need to wear many hats. You’re the MD, the accountant, the marketing department and your very own office secretary, so inevitably life can become quite hectic - filled with long days at the office, neverending to-do lists and an ever-growing repertoire of responsibilities.
Most of the team here at Transmit Start-Ups have run our own businesses before - so we know exactly how challenging it can be. So take it from us, getting organised can help your days to play out with less stress and increased productivity.
The more organised you are, the more time efficient you will become. If your business’ systems aren’t organised effectively, then the small tasks will pile up to become big tasks, things can get lost and too much of your valuable time can be spent trying to source information that should have been readily available to you.
We share our top 5 tips to help prevent loss of control within your business and stay on top of your duties to help your business continue to grow!
Make use of lists
Make regular to-do lists and review your goals each and every single day. Looking at your goals can help to keep you motivated and remind you why the smaller, mundane tasks need to be completed to get you to where you want to be.
Take some time in the evening before, or the morning to write down all the things you need to achieve in the day ahead, then tackle the most important/urgent things first.
Batch tasks & prioritise
‘Batching’ refers to collecting all similar tasks into groups, and completing them one group at a time. For example, designate one hour per day to check through and respond to outstanding emails, this will then help to avoid getting distracted by emails when carrying out tasks that require concentration.
Learn to prioritise your grouped tasks and approach them in order of importance. Learning to effectively delegate is also a very useful skill, it can be hard to remember after starting out as a ‘one man band’ but when you branch out your business, utilise your employee base and don’t let yourself drown.
Use ONE ‘master’ calendar
With so many technologies and devices coming to be part of our everyday lives, it’s become difficult to keep everything in one, easy-to-access place. But having your calendar, schedule and important events all in one place can make things simpler to keep up to date and ensure you don’t miss anything.
If using an online calendar that you can access across all your devices works for you, then stick to this, with the option for alerts and reminders this can be a great choice. If you’re more of a pen and paper person, get a good working diary and make it a habit to carry it everywhere you go, with a schedule of when you will check it each day.
Switch off pop-up notifications
Disable pop-up notifications on both your phone and your laptop to avoid being distracted when focusing on a task. Giving a singular task your devoted attention will allow you to complete it much more quickly, with a study from Gloria Mark of the University of California finding it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus on a task following an interruption.
Your messages, emails and various other notifications will still be there once you have completed the task at hand, so switch off and know that you will be better equipped to respond to any queries when you’ve no longer got the nagging sense of needing to do something else at the back of your mind.
Take advantage of ‘spare’ time
As an entrepreneur, work becomes your life and your life becomes work. It can seem that most of your time is invested in your business, which when it is your passion is great but it can still take its toll on your stress levels.
Be sure to factor in regular breaks throughout the day, take a walk, read a book, listen to some music, just for ten minutes every so often to keep your head clear and your motivation levels high.
Transmit Start-Ups’ favourite apps for organisation
If you think you might need a little help, there are some great apps out there to help you become more organised;
Xero is an easy-to-use online accounting software designed with time-saving tools to help you grow your business. It allows you to access and manage your business finances anytime, anywhere, from any device. Xero takes the time-consuming task of balancing your books out of your hands and allows you to easily monitor your business effectively and confidently. If you’re a UK business with an annual turnover of up to £50,000 you can sign up to Xero for Startups and save 50% on the standard plan. Try a free 30-day trial here.
Capsule is a CRM system with a difference. It’s not overly simplistic, neither is it too complex. It serves as a database of organisations that you have contact with and the people that work within them. It enables you to create tasks and to-do lists and track these as they progress. The unique thing about Capsule is that you aren’t tied into a contract and can cancel the service at any time! Try free for 30 days here.
Penelope is your virtual personal assistant. It is a phone answering and diverting service that is ideal for small businesses. If you spend a lot of time out and about, you may not have people based in the office to cover any incoming calls. Penelope enables simultaneous calling, so that one number triggers calls to the office, your home landline and your mobile. You can transfer calls easily between colleagues whilst you’re on the move, receive all voicemails by email and hold conference calls. You can also add the Moneypenny service if you would like a real person to take calls when you’re unavailable. You can try penelope free for one month here.
Tide gives business owners back their time by providing simple, yet powerful business banking. Where it can take weeks to secure an appointment or hours on the phone to speak with your bank, Tide offers access to your account number and sort code within five minutes. You won’t even need to leave the office to set up your account. Tide makes accounting simpler and you can create and pay invoices in a few clicks, anytime, anywhere. Quote TRANSMIT during sign-up to get three months of free transactions. Register here.
For a full list of our favourite business tools, visit our resources page.