If your small business is like many others, you’re the sole employee. You’re the one responsible for every aspect of operations management – from answering phones, taking and returning messages, giving estimates, following-up with customers, selling the product or service, and managing customer satisfaction. And that’s only the operations of your small business. Don’t forget managing accounting, marketing, innovation, and competition!
Over half of Canada’s small businesses have fewer than five employees. Resources are tight, and time is precious. As the owner or manager of a small business, your own personal productivity is very important to the success and longevity of the business. Out of the small businesses that close every year, one-third of them do so because of the owner’s personal reasons for the closure. Being able to juggle several tasks for many hours a day requires a commitment by youto invest in products and systems that will enhance their own productivity.
Some tools to enhance your small business’ productivity
- If you don’t have one already, consider an office-on-the-go phone such as a Blackberry™ so you can send and receive email, view websites, calendar schedule activities and keep track of customer information wherever you are.
- Investigate collaborative technology that lets you work seamlessly with clients or other service providers in a virtual environment, sharing content and ideas in real-time, like Google Docs or Microsoft SharePoint.
- For personal productivity, there are many products and services available that claim to make our lives easier and more efficient, such as Skype, FreshBooks and Microsoft OneNote. Do some research to decide what’s right for you and your business.
Also consider investing in the following:
- Proper office furniture with file drawers to accommodate well-organized and labelled information
- A separate business telephone line for your office if you work from home
- A good everyday document scanner
- A printer and fax machine (yes, people still use fax machines!)
- A label maker printer and document shredder
If you’re the chief cook and bottle washer of your business (so to speak) make sure your work environment is set up in a way that maximizes your personal productivity. Your goal is to never, ever lose a customer’s name or contact information and to never miss an appointment. Never, ever. Promise? Good.
For more reading on managing productivity in a small business, check out these past blog posts:
- Keeping your small business productive in summer
- How to manage and enhance small business productivity
- Understanding your prime time for small business productivity