Whether you’re working a side hustle or running a solo business, you will need to be able to make the most of your work time, and often there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done that you want to complete on every given day. Therefore, it is necessary to find ways of using your time most effectively. Here are a few ways that I have found to make the most of my time as a solo entrepreneur.
I am Prioritizing Activities
Every day, I determine that I have one major project that I want to complete that is directly related to my major goals that I intend to accomplish during the next month and year. For the most part, I make it the first thing that I do each day and after that, I work on other business-related projects.
I am Batching Tasks
Easy, small activities are often necessary to make a business work. Reaching out to a single potential client may in itself be a small task, but if you don’t send out emails or make phone calls, you’re not likely to get the results in your business that you would like. You need to make time to do these mini projects. I often batch similar tasks when it’s appropriate. For instance, after making progress on my major morning project, I might send out a series of personalized emails to potential clients based on templates that I have created.
I am Creating Templates
I have created several templates that I use regularly to help save me many hours of work over a month. I choose a specific template to use for the business, and then personalize that template for that specific customer. This one strategy alone saves me many hours of work because I don’t have to rebuild every email from scratch.
I have several different kinds of templates. Some inform others of specific products or services that I am offering. Some thank others for purchasing and informing them of a related product or service that I offer. Some are regarding questions I want to ask them about their needs, and some are just to say thank you for anything that they did for me. I even have some wishing a person “happy birthday” or happy work anniversary.
The way I start developing these templates is simple. Whenever I need to write an email, I save a copy of that email in a folder marked “templates” and then organize them under different headings. Then whenever I need to write another email, I go to the file and copy the email and personalize it to the specific receiver.
I Am Streamlining Communication
When communicating with others, it’s best to use the most expedient method possible. When I can, I contact a lot of people all at once through email marketing, but if that’s not a good option, I do it through a direct email, if not an email, then a text, if not a text, then a phone call. I might use direct mail for the initial contact. I try to only meet someone in person if I contact them first in one of these other ways and have an appointment with that person or entity. It does save me a lot of time.
I keep a list of all my previous contacts and other information so that I can keep them informed on what I am doing. I send them email marketing campaigns so I can keep in touch with all of them. Every time I send one, I remind them of what I have to offer while at the same time giving them advice based on my expertise. I make it an added benefit to what I have already done for them.
To connect with new customers, I often do that via social media and lead them to my email newsletter so that they too can get the information that I’m giving to my existing customers.
I Am Creating a Procedure Manual Even Though I am the Only Person in my Business
Every day, week, and month, I measure how I spend my time. “What you write down and measure improves exponentially”. Writing down how you use your time will help you improve your time use exponentially as well. Keeping that information all in one place will help in this process.
I write down everything I do and every habit that I develop and create a procedure manual. I observe how I can improve my productivity in every part of my business and brainstorm the various ways that I can improve that production and experiment.
There’s another added benefit. Once you know what needs to be done, you can create positions to fill with people who can do what you don’t do as well as what someone else might be able to do it. No need to spend hours trying to decide what their job description should be, you’ll have everything you need to determine that in one place.
In addition, as you develop trust in those who work for you, you will be able to get others to not only do what you no longer want to do but also do those things that you love doing when you need a vacation.
Revising the Plan as Business Grows
As my business grows, this business model will grow with it. As my business grows, my business will become more complicated, not less, so having a plan to utilize my time better is definitely an important step in the business planning process. I will be able to bring more people in as I need them and do it more efficiently.