Time management tips for shop owners

April 27, 2023

When you’re a small business, every penny counts–and that means every second, too! Time management can be a struggle and accomplishing everything on that to-do list can be tricky. Often smaller tasks can distract from what’s important. Plus, let’s face it, nobody wants to spend all their time doing monotonous tasks like counting inventory or pricing products. We’d all like more time to ourselves, to spend quality time with friends and family, or catch up on our favorite TV shows. But there are only twenty-four hours in a day, so the trick is learning to manage those hours in the most efficient way possible. Do yourself a favor, and make more time for the important things with these time management tips.

1. Make a list

Okay, this may be an obvious one. But don’t overlook it just because it seems too simple–it seriously works!  Write a list of things you need to accomplish. You could make daily lists, weekly lists, even yearly lists. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture among all the intricacies of everyday life, so a list is a great way to stay organized, stay focused, and keep your goals in sight. Here’s a “to-do” list template.

2. Prioritize your goals

Now that you’ve written your list, it’s time to prioritize. Put the most urgent or time-sensitive tasks at the top to be accomplished first. Be realistic–not every task is a high priority, and you can only do so much in one day. So make a realistic list of priorities, and accomplish each item on the list one at a time. Finish one task before beginning another. It’s simple, but it’s an effective practice that will pay off in the long run.

3. Set a time limit

If it’s not overly pressing, it’s a good practice to set a time limit on certain tasks. Sure–sometimes a task needs to just get done, and putting a time limit on it is only going to stress everybody out. So look through your lower priority tasks, and decide how much time to assign to each one–if it’s more of a priority, maybe set more time. Once your time is up, move on to something else. Not only will the time limit make you more productive, because you know you only have so much time to work on this task, but it also keeps you from spending too much time on a single task.

4. Delegate!

You can’t do it all yourself! It’s too much pressure to expect of yourself, and it’s not nearly as efficient. If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely a harder worker and probably take on too much for yourself. You know your business than anybody, and you don’t trust anybody else to do the work as well you do. You might be right, but it’s important not to burn yourself out too soon, or take on more than you can handle. Furthermore, imagine all the time you could save by giving some of your tasks to someone else on your team!  You might know your business best, but that means you’re the best person to teach your staff. Hire employees that are reliable and trustworthy, and take great care in teaching them all the ropes. Soon enough, they’ll likely be doing just as good of a job as you. Additionally, it might be a good idea to hire externally for tasks that may take too much time or too much effort for you and your team to accomplish. Delegate whatever tasks you feel comfortable so that you can spend your own time more wisely.

5. Get an integrated inventory system

What takes up more time than the menial task of manually updating stock, inventory, and information on your point of sale? Stop wasting your precious time, and get yourself a fully integrated point of sale, like Oliver POS. Integrated POS systems automatically sync your inventory, your plugins, your customer information, your orders, and so much more. Updating information is time-consuming, monotonous work, and takes away from time you and your staff could be spending on more important tasks.

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