As a business owner, time is your most valuable resource. We often get stuck spending time on tasks that aren’t critical to growing the business. Here are 5 time-saving tips you can implement today to boost your productivity.
1) Stop checking your email so damned often!
Like most people, this is something that I struggle with every day. I like to respond to people in a timely manner and the longer I wait, the more likely it is that the message will get swallowed somewhere deep into my inbox. However, most emails aren’t that urgent and nothing catastrophic will happen if you don’t reply for a few hours.
Here are a few tips that I’ve been using to try and ease my email addiction:
- Only check your email 3 times per day on set intervals
- Use a tool like Boomerang for Gmail to have important messages pop back up at those set intervals
- Create a handful of canned responses for common messages that you receive. You may have to tweak this slightly for each person, but 90% of the message will be good to go.
- I’ve also been testing Polymail for Mac and I really like it for going through my email fast. There are a few things it’s missing at the moment, but they are adding new features all the time.
So close out your email tabs and spend that time doing more important tasks.
2) Use marketing automation software to send your welcome emails, email trainings, etc.
If you aren’t using marketing automation software like ActiveCampaign in your business, this might be the biggest time-saving tip of all for you. You can setup campaigns that deliver various emails depending on when someone subscribes to your email list. For example, someone signs up for your new product and you want to deliver a 3-part training video series over the course of 7 days. You can set the emails to deliver on Day 1, Day 4, and Day 7. Or at whatever intervals you’d like.
Another common use is abandoned cart reminders for e-commerce stores. If someone adds a product to their cart and then leaves the site, you can automatically send them a reminder email after 24 hours with a coupon or discount code. This is incredibly effective at capturing those potentially lost sales.
3) Use a business dashboard software rather than manually pulling in all of your data
How much time do you spend GATHERING your data from Stripe, Paypal, Google Analytics, etc.? Wouldn’t it save you a significant amount of time if all of this data was automatically populated in real-time to a slick-looking dashboard? Then you could spend that time analyzing the data and strategizing ways to improve the business. Check out a solution like Cyfe. It can automatically pull in data from all of your online sources, track your important KPIs, and save you hours in wasted productivity.
4) Use formulas to automate your Excel workbooks
Do you have reports that you still like to create in Excel? There are some incredibly powerful functions like Vlookups and PivotTables that allow you to pull data from one sheet to another, create auto-updating tables and charts, create IF statement and validation rules, and much more! Luckily, we offer a course to teach you a lot of this Excel functionality. You can check out the Excel Ninjas course here.
5) Hire a virtual assistant to perform repetitive business tasks (social media, etc.)
This may be your first hire, but even at 10-20 hours per week, this person can free up a lot of your time to work on your business rather than in it. I bet that once you find someone you like, you won’t have any problem finding additional tasks for them to complete for you. Make a list of every task you complete throughout the course of a week and I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how much of it you can outsource to a virtual assistant.
This person can do things like:
- Schedule social media posts
- Enter business cards from potential leads into your CRM
- Do content research for blog posts
- Organize your schedule
- Make travel arrangements
- Lots of other things!
You can find virtual assistants through sites like Upwork or dedicated services like Virtual Staff Finder. Check out Chris Ducker’s book Virtual Freedom for more on hiring and working with VAs.
There are a lot more time-saving tips I could give, but these 5 should get you started in boosting your productivity and growing your business faster.
What are your best time-saving tips? Let me know in the comments below.