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Time Management Tips for Women Who Are Small Business Owners

Small businesses are essential to the American economy. There are more than 33 million small businesses in the US, and these organizations employ almost half of all American employees. 

The number of women-and minority-owned small businesses is steadily rising, introducing more diversity, increased equity, and new values and perspectives to the economy. To continue thriving, it’s essential to overcome the common obstacles small businesses face such as financial management, staff retention, and productivity. 

In this guide, we’ll explore four ways your business can strengthen its time management strategies to get more done. Let’s get started!

Identify your goals.

Start by determining where you are with time management. Do you fall into patterns of getting distracted or unmotivated? Or, are you wearing too many hats to complete everything that needs to get done at your business? Identify how much time you’re spending on various tasks, the tasks you lose or waste time doing, and when you are most productive. 

Next, set goals that align with your areas for improvement. These goals could be to:

  • Streamline workflows and eliminate time-wasting activities.

  • Meet project deadlines consistently. 

  • Increase productivity and minimize distractions.

  • Improve distribution of tasks to other employees (if applicable). 

Once you’ve outlined your objectives, you’ll be able to determine which tasks to prioritize in your workflow. 

Prioritize and schedule tasks.

Determine which of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks are most important to the overall health of your business. In other words, which ones do you need to keep the business running (and thriving)?

For example, a dog boarding or daycare business owner would prioritize the following tasks:

  • Daily: Feeding and caring for dogs, cleaning kennels, updating pet parents, managing check-ins/outs. 

  • Weekly: Managing inventory, sanitizing the facility, creating staff schedules, performing routine maintenance on equipment, and processing payroll. 

  • Monthly: Reviewing financial records, examining customer feedback, creating marketing campaigns and promotions, and evaluating progress toward business goals. 

Next, create a calendar for yourself that outlines when you’ll complete each task, when you’ll take breaks, and deadlines for larger projects. Set up these agendas at the beginning of each week to give yourself enough time to complete your top priorities.

Delegate and outsource when possible.

More than 80% of small businesses in the US operate without any additional employees besides the owner. If your business is one of these, it can be difficult to complete everything on time to keep customers satisfied. 

In this case, your business can:

  • Outsource tasks to external parties. If you have the budget, consider contracting another business or service to complete tasks that take time away from your core priorities. Many businesses outsource projects like accounting, marketing, and cleaning.

  • Leverage automation. Automation refers to the practice of using technology to complete tasks with limited human intervention. Returning to our dog daycare example, this small business might save time by using its software to automate reservation confirmation and reminder emails, pricing, and daily updates to pet parents.

If your business does have employees, it might be time to delegate some of the tasks on your plate to other staff members. Delegation frees up more of your time to focus on business-critical objectives, improves employee independence and skillsets, and fosters growth at your business

Make sure to create a delegation plan for the employee who will take over the task. Define the task or objective, select the employee based on their strengths and expertise, provide detailed instructions and training, and give constructive feedback when necessary.

Practice self-care and work-life balance.

It’s essential to take breaks and practice self-care to prevent burnout, protect your well-being, and strengthen your business in the long term. Put this into practice by using strategies like:

  • Establishing boundaries: Set boundaries between your work and personal life by designating specific hours and spaces for working. Prioritize time for other hobbies and activities outside of your business, and learn how to say no when you don’t have the bandwidth for a task or obligation. 

  • Nurturing personal well-being: Carve out time for self-care activities like exercise classes, meditation, or watching your favorite TV show. Focus on healthy eating and sleep habits so you feel your best. 

  • Seeking support: Build a support network of friends and family members who can offer encouragement. Connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and networking communities for female business owners to build professional relationships and get advice. 

In addition to small, daily breaks between tasks, remember to take time off from work for holidays, weekends, and vacations when you can. This downtime gives you a chance to recharge, fostering a sense of creativity and motivation. 

Every second counts when you are a small business owner with a lot on your plate. Use these time management tasks to accomplish more during your work day, grow your business, and protect your peace and wellness along the way. 


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