If only I had more time. If only I had more resources.
Every business owner has felt that way once in a while—or once every hour. Lack of time and resources can prevent companies from seizing new opportunities, innovating and growing. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Quite often, misalignment of teams and poor prioritization of tasks and goals are root causes for a company’s inability to get things done. Research by Sage shows that nearly two-thirds of business owners (63 percent) feel like they don’t manage their time effectively. Wasted time leads to a lack of focus, which can easily undermine a company’s ability to make money.
That last part is important for business owners to keep in mind. Eighty-two percent of businesses fail due to lack of cash flow, according to a U.S. Bank study. And businesses bleed about $26,000 per year, per knowledge worker, due to lost productivity.
So how do you fix it? By freeing your team—and yourself—from burdensome activities that are currently consuming way too much of your workday.
Which tasks should you send to the chopping block first? Unnecessary meetings. They waste a lot of precious time and money for your business. (See this handy calculator from Harvard Business Review to estimate the financial impact of your meetings.)
Reduce the meeting burden by implementing other tools for information sharing and collaboration, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can start moving your business forward.
Here are three more strategies that can help you find more time to focus on meaningful work—and rediscover the reasons you started your business:
Align your team’s goals
Make sure everyone in your business is committed to delivering customer value. To ensure that your customers remain customers, your company’s teams must be aligned in this goals from top to bottom—namely, to deliver on the promised customer experience as soon as a deal closes.
Remove administrative blockers
A recent study by Deloitte found that 74 percent of business and human resources leaders rate their work environment as “complex” or “highly complex.” Completing core administrative tasks like submitting expenses, managing sales orders and invoices, and exporting and reconciling data can be mind-numbing, especially for your most skilled employees. The solution is to automate manual tasks wherever you can. Redundant processes, another big time-waster, also should be eliminated.
The technology and tools are available and more affordable to your business than you might think. So what are you waiting for?
Monitor the health of your business
Do you know how your business is performing against its key performance indicators (KPIs) on a daily basis? For example, do you know how many jobs are in the pipeline that haven’t been started? Do you know how many capacity hours are available? Do you know which work hasn’t been invoiced?
With the right solutions in place, you can track your business performance in real time and help your teams focus on tasks that will deliver the greatest value for your company. (Hint: These are things that make money, save money and help keep you in business.)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a business owner who wouldn’t like more time or resources. But the truth is, many have more than enough of both already at their fingertips. They just need to do a better job of managing available time and resources so they can position their teams, and their business, to achieve amazing outcomes.