A lot of online businesses fail because owners don’t put time management strategies into effect in order to build success. Too many will convince themselves that all it takes is two to three hours per week in order to generate a strong revenue. Unfortunately, this is far from being accurate. Although few people may experience this kind of success, an online business platform needs time invested in order to flourish. Don’t assume that you’ll be an instant success if you post a few products and start a marketing campaign.
According to statistics, approximately half of online small businesses will fail in the first four years. While there are many factors that play into why these companies fail, many of them do so because owners didn’t put as much time into the business as it needed. Here are nine popular strategies for time management you should consider to help the business succeed.
1. Avoid Multitasking
While some people can multitask exceptionally well, studies have shown that less than three percent of the business world can do it effectively. Many experts agree that it’s better to keep your focus on one single activity and accomplish it before taking on another task. When your attention becomes divided, there is greater potential for making errors and mistakes. Each additional task will get less attention while adding strain to an individual. Stress is another factor that comes from excessive multitasking, which could lead to a variety of problems both physically and mentally.
2. Desk Space Organization
Nearly half of Americans admit that they are disorganized and that it plays a role in keeping motivated. A messy workspace can distract from productivity while creating hazards that could prevent a task from being accomplished. Keeping a tidy work area is arguably one of the most pertinent time management strategies you can implement. It will make tools easier to find and save you from wasting time looking for specific items. Keeping an organized workspace can also instill professionalism, which can play a role in the success of the online business.
3. Creating the To-Do List
A “to-do” list can help you plan out your day and keep you focused on what needs to be done. While you may feel that you can keep everything you need in your head, writing them down has a way of solidifying the information. For many people, the act of writing things down engages the mind to remember. This is why teachers will often have students write down lessons and information. You have to put additional thought into what you’re writing, which has a greater chance of being stored in your memory.
4. The Mobile Office
Mobile technology is more than just being able to stay on top of your social media profiles while you’re out and about. Three out of five workers admit to working outside of the office environment. As many online business applications and features can be accessed from virtually anywhere you have a live Internet connection, you can get more out of your day by using mobile technology. Whether you’re posting new tidbits of information on Twitter or monitoring the sales from your eCommerce site to ensure they are not going down, you shouldn’t underestimate what can be done from your smartphone or tablet.
5. Schedule Email Time
Too many people will spend a great deal of their time checking email messages. Although there may be important information coming, this activity can sap a large portion of your day. Unless you’re in constant and direct contact with clients and customers, try to schedule a specific time that you browse the inbox. This will give you more time to focus on the things that are productive for the company. In most cases, reading email isn’t putting money into the coffers of the business. Every second you wait reading email is one that could be spent making the company successful.
6. Time Logging
Using a spreadsheet or a pad of paper, log the amount of time you spend throughout the day on various activities. Take note of the time you started a project and write down when you stopped. This can help you identify areas that you need to work on in order to become more productive. You may be amazed by how much time is taken by various distractions. It can also help you determine the amount of time it takes for reoccurring projects. For example, you can determine how long it takes you on average to post a product onto an eCommerce site. It may help you plan out your day.
7. Reduce Distractions
Even those who operate online businesses from their home offices are often distracted by others. This is especially true for home-based professionals who have families. The best way to keep focused on your tasks is to set boundaries for the family and outside influences. If this means you have to lock the door to your home office, then it may be something you should consider. Every moment that your focus is taken from your job reduces your ability to remain efficient. Eliminate everything that can pose a threat to exhausting your time. For many of you, this may include removing games from the computers you use while working.
8. Outline Your Goals
Many experts believe that outlining goals makes accomplishments much easier to manage than merely focusing on the end objective. For example: You can say that your company needs to have a certain productivity quota, but what goes into the process of achieving it? Create a step-by-step procedure for certain activities can help you and employees reach those goals. Instead of focusing on the end result, everyone is intent on each of the smaller steps to succeed. It can also help boost morale and confidence as each step is accomplished.
9. Taking Time For Yourself
A lot of online business owners get burned out within a short period of time. You don’t want to feel like your small business is taking up 100 percent of your life. This can induce high levels of stress which could directly affect your productivity. In order to give your customers and clients the quality they deserve, you need to set time aside for yourself. A successful online business will mean nothing if you mentally and physically crash from over exertion.
Time management strategies are only part of building a successful online business. It will take dedication and motivation by you and the staff to keep the organization from going under. You shouldn’t assume that you’ll be successful because you have a great idea or sell a popular product. Put the necessary time into the business and build something that can outlast competitors.