5 Productivity Hacks for Small Business Owners

As the new year approaches, people around the world will be creating idyllic resolutions and setting lofty goals for 2020. Many of us will want to get in better shape, make more money, spend more time with family, and so on. But for small business owners, their resolutions for the new year will revolve around improving the success of their business.

In the modern business world, improved productivity equals overall business success. If you are able to streamline processes, reduce waste and improve the efficiency of your time and resources, your business can be in store for a good year.

Measurable productivity is key to small business success

The following productivity hacks are designed to help you do just that. Taking into account tips from successful business owners and advanced productivity practices, this guide simplifies some important tips to help you and your team be more productive in the future.

  • Be more analytical

This step should seem obvious, but far too many entrepreneurs still go by their “gut” when making major decisions, despite the fact that data points another way. The principles of Six Sigma would tell us that everything can be analyzed statistically, and every decision can be made with the help of hard data.

Even if your business practices are already analytically based, you can look for new ways to make logical, analytical decisions. Focus on collecting more data and always reference it when going forward.

  • Monetize your time

For small business owners, your time is literally money. Every moment you spend on a task – or waste unnecessarily – affects your bottom line in one way or another. One way to take control of your time is to figure out how much your time is actually worth. 

Decide how much you would be making if you earned an hourly wage and then analyze how your time is spent based on that. Would you pay someone that much for each task on your daily schedule? If not, delegate some of those tasks to a team member.

  • Support your team

Knowing how valuable your time is, you understand how important it is to delegate menial tasks. However, you likely will not feel comfortable giving away control of much of the day-to-day if you cannot trust those below you to get it done correctly.

With this being the case, you need to provide as much ongoing support to your team as necessary. This means having resources readily available, providing the proper training for each position, giving team members a proper workspace and listening to their input for improvements. Assuming you hire good people, they can provide new perspectives and give you better ideas on each of their individual positions. 

  • Automate wherever possible

It is almost 2020, and that means that there is an app, a machine, a piece of software or an automated process for everything. Again harkening back to the value of time, you need to take advantage of all automation tools that can take tasks off your list or simplify the work of your team.

Automation not only means saving time, but it also helps reduce waste and decrease mistakes. A major principle of the lean philosophy, reducing errors helps in every area of your business. 

  • Seek continuous improvement

No matter how efficient your business might be, it can always be better. Many small business owners fall into the trap of comfort once they find something that works. However, what works in 2019 may be obsolete by 2020.

You never want to be the one who misses out on the next big thing because you are happy with the status quo. But you also don’t need to jump on every trend and make so many changes that your team cannot keep up. The answer? Make slight changes, one at a time, the success of which can be measured analytically. 

While this list is certainly not comprehensive, implementation of the above-listed productivity hacks can help reduce waste, improve productivity and make for a more efficient team in the decade to come

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.