Could Your Small Business Be More Efficient?

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Time is Money

Small businesses are aware that they should be watching their cashflow very carefully, keeping an exact eye on the income and expenditure of the finances. But, the saying the "time is money" is most certainly true, and for none more so than the small business owner. Every business has the potential to be more efficient than it currently is, and there are quick and easy ways to implement strategies that could increase the efficiency of your business considerably:

Better Timekeeping: If you keep track of your time diligently it is possible to identify parts of your schedule where you could save valuable minutes each day. Just 5 minutes of surfing the web every hour means an individual can lose up to 45 minutes working time each day, if every staff member does this that is a huge amount of downtime.

Use a Calendar: It is helpful to have a specific calendar just for business use. This allows you to keep your personal and business activities separate, and to focus more on what your business has coming up in the future. Also mark on the calendar if meetings repeatedly over run with a specific customer or supplier - so that next time you make an appointment for them you allocate a little longer than the specified time.

Have a clear-out: Instead of buying more storage containers to keep files in, have a big tidying session instead and clear out all of your business clutter. There are certain documents that businesses must keep hold of, but make decisions about what needs to be kept and what can be thrown away, and do it!

Be ruthless: Only keep documents that you are likely to need in the future or are required to keep by law. This will stop clutter from building up around your office. If documents are required to be kept by law but will not be needed on a day to day basis keep them in a place where they won't interfere with the documents you will need on a daily basis.

Go virtual: You can store copies of documents online rather than physically keeping them in your office. This makes it far easier to find documents at short notice, allows for greater organisation and frees up space in your office.

Forget 'Snail Mail': Traditional mail is the most inefficient way of contacting anybody - not only is it slow, with delivery times varying, it also costs money and is sometimes unreliable. Only use 'snail mail' if you need documents signed by hand, but do everything else electronically whenever possible.

Reducing the time that day-to-day tasks take you, even by 5 minutes, will add up, saving your small business time - and time really is money!



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Small Business

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Stefan Topfer

Stefan Topfer

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