How can business owners make enough time for things that are important, without putting business priorities including profitability and long-term success at risk?
Individuals start businesses for many different reasons. For some, it might be to achieve a more balanced lifestyle and to spend more time with the family, for others it might be because they have a passion for a product or service and wanting to make a difference or it might be simply to decide when and how much they want to work.
To pursue their goal, the one thing that is key, is time. Time is a resource most growing businesses find themselves lacking, and one that can’t be recouped once it’s spent.
How can business owners make enough time for life’s important priorities without putting profitability and long-term success at risk? Here are three ways to do so:
Pick up the pace with automation
Time moves fast when business moves slow and this can often prevent growing business from focusing on strategic initiatives and making the right decisions. Insteadtime is taken up by relatively low-level administrative or routine tasks. While these tasks are essential to keep the business running, they distract and draw the founders away from more strategic work that can generate real long-term value. Ideally, growing businesses should hire staff to handle those tasks, but only businesses with ample working capital can afford that.
The alternative: automate as many of those tasks as possible. Cloud-based ERP platforms like NetSuite, for example, can automate a range of processes from inventory management to financial reporting, helping growing businesses handle these day-to-day requirements at a much faster speed, with less effort. Other processes like marketing and CRM automation, can speed up how business owners engage with new customers. Ideally, founders should consider process automation from the start: using the right ERP platform with automation capabilities from day one can save time that might be spent retro-fitting the business with new technology at a later stage.
Empower your people
At some point, every business grows beyond its founder – but bringing on new people can often cost the business more time than it’s meant to save. While it is essential to ensure employees are performing up to standard, it’s easy for founders to fall into the trap of micro-managing their people. Business owners should trust their employees to get the job done with minimal hand-holding. This can be done by giving employees access to the right tools and data to help them navigate the day-to-day tasks of the business. With inventory and logistics management, for example, that might mean giving the logistics manager higher-level access permissions to the ERP system, while also letting customer service staff see stock levels in real time.
Set yourself a ‘SAFE ZONE’
Business owners have many reasons to stay connected to their business 24/7. While cloud-based ERP platforms, and other tools give them access to all their operational data from any device and at any time, founders may consider designating certain times to check on the status of their business – ensuring those times don’t interrupt more important matters like family meals, hobbies, or other personal pursuits.
And ideally, technology platforms should consolidate and streamline all the data into a single intuitive dashboard that will take only seconds to assess, limiting the amount of time founders spend to get the insights they need into their operation.
Having time for your business as well as your personal life is essential. It is therefore important that time is spent well, not only to achieve success as well as professional and personal growth, but to enjoy a meaningful and well-balanced life.
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