While this year may feel like a big blur, it is, in fact, summertime. For thousands of small business owners across the country, this is a unique time for them and their employees to make up the business lost during the countrywide shutdown. For others who run seasonal businesses, this is their peak season and their only opportunity to bring in revenue for the year.
Either way, owning a business during the summer season requires an even more profound emphasis on time management skills. Whether it be planning for the future, finding ways to skim wasted time from your day, delegating responsibilities, recording employee time, or managing work-life balance, this is the time to separate your business from the pack.
So without further discussion, we’re bringing you a few mindful time management tips for your seasonal business to keep you focused on maximizing output.
Plan for the Future
Planning ahead is a good idea in general, and as a business owner who is responsible for other’s well-being, it’s even more important. Now, we don’t mean planning ahead what to order for lunch next week, rather, more concrete purchases or decisions that directly affect your business.
Planning does not have to be a headache or some overreaching five-year plan. Instead, consider goal setting and project management for short-term use. If you’re looking for ways to start planning smart and actionable goals for your business, read a step by step guide here. If you manage multiple people in your business, all with unique tasks, a project management tool can help you organize workflow for employees and make sure your business is staying on track to the goals you set.
While planning ahead requires some time upfront, it far outweighs being lost down the road, or looking back and realizing you failed to seize an opportunity.
Keep Track of Employee Time
Most businesses operate on an 8-hour workday. What are you doing during those eight hours that leads to results? Is it possible that some staff are not working their full eight hours regularly? While you may like to think everyone is working their eight hours daily, you know that’s also not always the case. Implementing time tracking software in your business can help in a number of areas:
- Project management and understanding of your business costs
- Improved payroll
- Time card tracking
Understand that time worked directly relates to the workload you can or can’t put on employees when it comes to project management for specific tasks.
Alternatively, if you notice certain employees are consistently working extra hours, you may notice a change in their behavior and be able to reach out or take some work off their plate so they are emotionally sound.
Time tracking can also help you determine your costs in your business. If your payroll outweighs your service or product pricing then at the end of the day you need to either adjust your prices or reduce working hours of staff to remain profitable.
Crunch the Numbers
Tracking your business finances may not seem like a time-saving technique but pennies can stack up quickly and the last thing you want is to be scrambling during tax season. If you haven’t already, transition your banking from a traditional bank to a digital small business bank that is curated for your unique needs as a small business owner. For seasonal businesses, the window to bring in revenue is condensed into small windows. For a marina it may be four months, and a plowing service even shorter, whether dependent. Seasonal businesses rely on doing business at scale, compressing upwards of 70% of their annual revenue into this short window.
Digital banking offers everything you can do at a regular bank but from the convenience of your phone. Tracking finances digitally can allow you to invoice suppliers through your app, track cash flow in easy-to-read graphs, and best of all, save you time going to and from a physical branch. With an emphasis on speed in order for seasonal business owners to increase production, digital banking can keep you focused on your task with the confidence your finances are accessible at all times.
Trust Your Team to Help
You can’t do everything on your own. It’s tough to hear, and it’s probably something you tried to do when you first opened your business, but you need to lean on others to find success. Sharing responsibilities with others can help empower your employees and show them you have trust that they will do the task to your standard.
Learning how to delegate is key to becoming a successful business leader and can drive your business to greater levels than if you were trying to tackle each task. If you find yourself needing to be involved in every step of every action your staff takes, you are ultimately wasting time and delaying any progress your business should be making.
Find Work-Life Balance
Finally, as a business owner, you must make sure you and your employees have a healthy degree of work-life balance. This can mean a few things, but at the end of the day, you want them to be excited to come to work and happy outside of work.
Employees who dread coming into work, or feel they aren’t appreciated risk leaving the business, putting you in a bind to hire and train new staff which takes time and money. These employees, however, may stay but not be productive, again leading to wasted time and dollars. Ask yourself how you can make your business a fun place for employees to come to work on a daily basis. Can you offer flexible hours, offer coffee or snack options, or employee discounts?
Making sure you and your employees can strike a healthy balance between work life and personal life is vital for production and general well being.
Summer is not very long, and this year it is even shorter. Take the time to organize your business and optimize systems to maximize your precious time and accomplish all the goals you have set.
Time Tracking Improves Time Management
Time tracking designed to save you time and put money back in your pocket.