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  • Sue

Time management for small businesses

Whilst it's good to learn time management skills early on in life so that we have it as a basic life skill, it's absolutely crucial when it comes to running your own business, particularly when you alone are everything from the Chief Executive, Managing Director, social media expert, resources and finance manager, publicity, PR and marketing manager …….I'm sure anyone running their own business can easily add more to that list.

Juggling tasks, activities and events within the limited hours of the day takes time management and planning to a new level, because if we get that wrong then our carefully built networks that generate clients might start to crumble, and clients who are looking to have their work efficiently carried out on-time and on-budget might begin to wonder why that's not always happening......people begin to see less of you because you're juggling too many balls at once, so there's a danger that you might 'drop off the radar'; clients might not get their work done on time and so start to look elsewhere.

After all that hard work to generate a buzz around your business so that people know your name, your business name and what you do, you definitely don't want the above scenario to creep up on you. So it's imperative that you use all the time management tools that are available, technical or otherwise, to ensure that you stay on top of the game. Good diary management, a simple whiteboard and your favourite planner will go some way towards ensuring that nothing gets missed. A weekly or monthly planner will highlight areas where there could be a pile-up of work (all deadlines coming together at once) or show that no dedicated time has been set aside for blogs, social media posts and your own admin tasks that ensure your business runs smoothly. These things need to be built into your everyday schedule - there's no point in having lots of publicity and lots of clients and then letting the running of the actual business take a back step. That will ultimately impact on the kind of publicity you get (word of mouth is a powerful thing) and consequently less clients, and eventually a dwindling business.

Many people outsource back-office tasks, ensuring that they concentrate on their core business and aiming to ensure that nothing gets left behind. They see it as an investment so that they can concentrate on growing the business, not just letting it tick over. But in the meantime, if you're the only one in your business, then ensure that your time management skills are top notch!

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