Have you ever considered how your daily productivity affects your bottom line? It’s a fact that if you improve productivity you can increase your company’s growth and profitability. If you aren’t managing your time effectively or don’t have adequate systems in your business, you are most likely wasting time, which can add up to thousands of dollars in lost opportunities. Here are the three most common ways that you may be leaving money on the table — and some steps you can take to increase your bottom line.
1. Time Management
In business, your time is money. If you are reacting to emergencies and interruptions all day — emails, phone calls, questions — you could be dropping the ball with your current or potential clients. Missed deadlines, unreturned calls or emails erode your client relationships, your professional image and your credibility!
There are some simple steps you can take to improve your time management. Begin by planning your day and scheduling things you want to accomplish on your daily calendar. For instance, you might carve out a specific time to follow up with clients and leads. This will help you get organized, stay focused and keep your goals top of mind. Also, pay attention to those things that cause you to deviate from your plan. Interruptions are usually one of the most common culprits, so start questioning whether they are necessary when they occur.
A lack of effective systems can lead to breakdowns in communication, frequent mistakes and chaos in the workplace. This causes things to slip through the cracks and the tendency to operate your business in “fire fighting” mode. These issues can add up to many hours of unproductive time and potentially thousands of dollars in lost sales opportunities, as well as unhappy clients.
A good place to start evaluating your systems is to evaluate the processes that take the most time. For example, if scheduling customer appointments takes up much of your day, there are other options to help you save time. You could automate this function with an online scheduling program or hire an admin or virtual assistant to help you. If you set aside time to develop your systems regularly, you will improve your productivity over time.
Consider whether you’re charging enough for your services. Money in your bank account doesn’t necessarily mean that your business is profitable. Factors such as overhead, your time, travel, labor and materials must be factored in to your pricing to be sure you are turning a profit. It doesn’t make financial sense to keep your rates low out of fear of losing clients, because in the long run what you’ll lose is your business!
The first thing to do is to be sure that your financials are in order. Many business owners don’t have the time for bookkeeping, so it’s easy to put this aside to deal with later. If you want to tackle this task yourself, an effective tactic is to block off time on your calendar to work on it regularly. Another option is to delegate or outsource this function to an expert in this area. If you have a good grasp of your financials, you will improve your bottom line.
However you slice it, better productivity means bigger profit. Managing your time, systems and finances improves productivity and puts you in charge of your business, so you don’t leave money on the table!
Business Coaching & Consulting Services
For help applying these principles to a specific project in your business, please contact me for Business Consulting Services. If you’d like some personal coaching to identify and find your way through a variety of productivity issues toward better work habits, contact me for Business Coaching.