12 Important Productivity Tips to Help Your Small Business Thrive

productivity tips to help your small business

In order for any business to thrive, it needs to have a productive leader and team. However, productivity means a lot more than simply keeping busy. Sometimes, you can keep yourself busy working on tasks that essentially amount to nothing and lead you down a dead-end path of wasted time and energy.

As a leader, it’s important to understand how to make the most of every moment you have and the decisions you make. To that end, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) weigh in with their answers to the following question:

“What’s one productivity tip you have that’s especially relevant to small businesses, and why is it important for them to follow?”

Here’s what they recommend small business owners do in order to increase their productivity.

1. Have a Concrete Plan in Place

“As a small business owner, you must have a concrete plan in place. If you want to stay productive, make sure you spend time creating an annual business plan. Start by picking your major goals for the year. Now, break them down and figure out what you need to do each quarter to reach your larger goals. This strategy will help you stay on track and productive when time and money are tight.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

2. Prioritize Your Responsibilities

“As a small business owner, you probably wear multiple hats and try to take care of several processes at a time. If it is not yet possible to delegate a part of your responsibilities, prioritize. Remember that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts. Find your 20 and slowly add on more resources so that you can grow.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Delegate Admin and Non-Core Tasks

“One productivity tip that is important for small business owners is to delegate admin or non-core tasks and to focus their time and energy on the key activities that will drive their business forward. It’s very common when you’re starting a business to wear multiple hats, and that’s OK, even necessary at the beginning, but once your company is growing, you must start delegating.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

4. Automate and Digitize Tasks

“Automating and digitizing are especially important for productivity in today’s world. You can cut down on manual tasks and put them into an automated system, which streamlines the process and increases efficiency.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

5. Define Success

“Defining success and what true ‘productivity’ is (and how that may vary between organizations, teams or individual roles) is a key starting point. If an individual or team isn’t clear on how leadership defines productivity, they may get stuck doing busy work in the name of false productivity.” ~ Christopher Tarantino, Epicenter Innovation

6. Stick to a Schedule

“Create a schedule and stick to it — as much as possible at least. Running a business isn’t always predictable, so you can’t be rigid. However, you should set up regular times to complete certain tasks so you get into a regular routine. Using scheduling tools, whether it’s Google Calendar or another app, can make it easier. You get more accomplished when you get into productive habits.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Hire an Experienced Bookkeeper

“When your business is just starting out, it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself. Bringing an experienced bookkeeper on board means that you’ll never take your eye off the ball when it comes to managing cash flow and expenses. Then you can focus more on growing your business — a much more productive role for an entrepreneur than doing the books.” ~ Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.

8. Use a Strict Filing System

“Being organized is the key to being productive as a business owner. Knowing where everything is will enhance your organization’s efficiency. To stay organized, I have a strict filing system so I know where to find any document.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Create a Standard Operations Guide

“Small businesses are wise to focus on productivity, as resources are often thin. One tip for boosting productivity for small business owners is to create a standard operating procedure guide — even if there aren’t employees yet. Having well-conceived procedures in place will ensure lean and efficient growth no matter the size of the organization.” ~ Richard Fong, ProcessingCard.com

10. Leverage Productivity Technology

“One very effective way to boost your productivity is to leverage productivity technology. Use tools like Asana, Time Doctor, Todoist, etc. that can help you streamline your tasks and make them more efficient. This will increase efficiency and help you reach your goals faster.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Track Business Performance

“As you grow your small business, it’s important to track its performance often, especially before it really takes off. This ensures that you can create suitable strategies that appeal to your audience so you can develop strong customer relationships and boost conversions.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

12. Build Flexibility Into Your System

“Make sure you build flexibility into your system. The advantage of a small business is that you have the bandwidth to treat everyone like a human being. That will increase job satisfaction, happiness and, therefore, productivity like you can’t believe.” ~ Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.