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These time management tips for small business owners have been created from my experience of coaching business owners with small teams.

As a business coach, I work with business owners to help them simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their income and result.

If you’re a small business owner, either working by yourself or with a small team, you can probably relate to the feeling of not having enough time.

Whether that’s juggling endless tasks, wearing multiple hats, worrying about cash flow or managing a team.

This article will help you if you’re currently time poor and have said any of the following:

“I’m so busy.”

“There’s just not enough time in the day.”

“I have so much to do.”

Time management skills are essential capabilities to develop for every small business owner

The good news is it’s a capability that you can develop, or you can speed up the learning process and work with a business coach, like me who specialises in time management.

If you currently feel like there are never enough hours in the day, and you want to get more of your time back, these six tips can help you manage your time effectively and so you can have more time for the things and people that matter.

Read also:

8 time management tips to manage time effectively 

How do business owners manage their time?

Many small business owners manage their time badly and are constantly feeling frazzled.

They are busy but not effective.

Too many activities on the to-do list and no clear focus on where they should focus their time and energy.

The best way for small business owners to manage their time is to get clear on what they do best and brings in the most revenue.

Then focus more of their time on those activities and delegate or outsource everything else.

How can a business improve time management?

There are a number of time management tips small business owners can use to improve time management skills.

It all starts with getting clear on the goals you want to achieve.

The next step is to get clear on where you create the most value.

Then conduct a time audit to understand where you are currently spending your time.

If you want to free up more time, delegate low value work and look to multiply your time in the areas that create the biggest impact. 

Read also:

Goal setting: how to set and achieve your goals 

How do you manage time effectively?

Small business owners can manage time effectively by having a smaller number of goals and maximising their time in the areas that bring in the most revenue.

Start each week by getting clear on the five goals you want to achieve, your priorities.

Then simplify your time to focus only on three activities each day that will help you achieve those goals.

This process of simplifying maximises the time you have and increases focus and productivity.

By planning ahead and getting clear on the outcomes you want, you won’t lose focus or be distracted.

What are the benefits of time management?

How much time are you spending on the things that really make a difference?

And, how much time are you spending on stuff that distracts you from achieving your goals?

For many small business owners, less than half of their time is spent on non-revenue generating activities.

When you are time-poor, that is a lot of time.

The benefits of effective time management for small business owners includes identifying and focusing on their most valuable strengths and opportunities

A focus on maximising strengths, finding better clients, creating better marketing and building a better team.

But effective time management is about creating a balance between work and personal life.

When you can leverage time you will have more time to spend with the people that matter most, to travel more and to do more things that are important to you.

What are some good time management skills?

Time management skills for small business owners to master include:

  • Goal setting
  • Planning
  • Delegating
  • Leadership
  • Focusing
  • Prioritising
  • Strategic thinking
  • Scheduling
  • Collaboration

5 tips to manage your time as a small business owner

Your time is your most precious resource as a small business owner, so it’s essential to maximise the time you have.

Here are 5 time management tips for small business owners, that you can use to simplify your time and multiply your results. 

1. Change how you think about time

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Some of the small business owners I work with were working eight or nine hour days before they started working with me.

They were filling their time with stuff and simply stretching time because they believed working harder and longer was the path to growth.

The thing is, working less on the right things is the way to go.

Time is elastic.

It can fill up our day if we let it.

But, it is a choice where you want to invest your time.

This time can be invested in your biggest opportunities in your business or on stuff that doesn’t move the needle.

It can be spent working longer or with the people who matter most.

Where you invest your time is a choice.

If you think you don’t have enough time, maybe the value of your time is not enough of a priority.

2. Take a time audit

It’s difficult to change your relationship with time if you don’t know where you’re spending it.

Invest the time to understand exactly where you’re spending your time right now.

Start with writing down every activity you’ve undertaken in the last 28 days, big or small.

Alongside each activity write down how much time you think you invested on the activity.

It doesn’t have to be exact right now.

Then identify the value of the activity.

Ask yourself three questions:

  • Does this activity make money?
  • Do I enjoy this activity?
  • Am I doing my best work with this activity?

By conducting this time audit you will get clear on how much time you are investing in activities that you love to do and actually grow your small business.

It will also show you the time investment in activities that don’t really grow your business.

Then over the next 90 days aim to spend more time doing the work that grows your business and look to delegate or outsource the stuff that doesn’t.

3. Make your time a priority

How we spend our time is a choice.

To multiply the results, we want with the time we have we need to make time a priority.

The simplest time management tip to implement is to start scheduling time and projects much more effectively.

But this focus only comes with being clear up front on the outcomes you want to achieve.

When you have this clarity it helps you stay focused.

Some of the simplest prioritisation tips for small business owners include:

  1. Lay out your five goals for the week on a Sunday night
  2. Write down three things you want to achieve each day
  3. At the end of the day, write down three things you achieved
  4. Then, lay out three things you want to achieve the next day
  5. Use time blocking to focus time on one single task or project

4. Focus your time on making progress

Procrastination and perfectionism are huge time wasters that keep small business owners stuck and trapped.

The key to overcoming procrastination is to simply get moving.

To take action on the activities that really matter.

We all want to build momentum and feel motivated in our business.

The way to do that is to focus on making progress.

We feel happy and confident when we are growing and making progress.

Start managing your time so you feel like you’re making progress every day.

Simplify your task list so you achieve something every day.

Achievement creates positivity which builds momentum.

When we spend our time procrastinating or on low value tasks we don’t feel like we’re making progress.

Change the narrative.

5. Set better goals

If you have 10 or 15 goals, you want to achieve each quarter you’ll run out of time.

When you have more than 10 items on your to-do list each day, you’ll probably run out of time and won’t finish them.

Then, if you’re like many small business owners, you’ll beat yourself up for not finishing your to-do list.

Managing time effectively starts with effective goal setting.

Effective goal setting starts with having a small number of measurable goals to achieve within a specific time frame.

Having a small number of important goals stop distraction, saving time.

It creates more focus, meaning you’re not wasting time chasing shiny objects.

If you want to set better goals, start with identifying five measurable goals you want to achieve in the next 90 days.

Then laying out the first step to take.

Summing Up

These time management tips for small business owners were created to help you, the business owner, free up more time.

More time to grow your business and more time to spend with the people that matter most.

Try one time management tip to get started.

Let me know in the comments how you get on.


P.S. Whenever you’re ready….. here are 5 ways I can help you free up your time to grow YOUR business:

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If you want to free up 30 hours of your time in the next 30 days and multiply your revenue, book a Focusing Call with me and come away with direction, clarity and focus on what you really want to achieve.

Mark Pettit Administrator
Strategic Business Coach , Founder, Lucemi Consulting
About the Author Mark Pettit is a leading 1:1 business coach to ambitious entrepreneurs who want to free themselves up to jump to the next level of time freedom and business growth. He is the founder of Lucemi Consulting, a coaching and consulting company. Visionary, creative, and generous, he is a hero to entrepreneurs seeking to work less, do more of what they love and multiply their revenue and profits.
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