Have you been trying so hard to increase productivity and boost efficiency in your business but have yet to figure out the best way to go about it? This post is for you.
Staying productive can be challenging, regardless of your pursuit in life. You have to battle Remote Work distractions and fatigue to keep yourself moving forward. The battle is an endless one.
However, the good news is that with the right strategy – and some determination – you can improve productivity in your work and business.
I will be sharing 25 of these strategies in this post. Yes, they don’t guarantee instant success, but they are definitely worth giving a go.
This post is for business owners, freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, bloggers, and anyone looking for ways to increase their productivity.
Let’s dive in!
How to Boost Productivity as a Business Owner
To succeed in business, you need a way to efficiently use your most limited resource: time.
That said, here are ten ways to increase productivity in business.
1. Create a Marketing Calendar
Marketing is the air businesses breathe. Starve your business of it, and it might choke to death.
To efficiently manage your marketing while keeping up with the day-to-day running of your business, you need to create a marketing calendar.
What is a marketing calendar?
Simply put, a marketing calendar is a plan that covers your marketing activities over a certain period. Say a year – sometimes less.
It spells out the marketing activities that need to be done, when they have to be done, and who needs to do them.
Arming yourself with a marketing calendar makes it easier to track and manage your marketing budget. It also helps you to keep your business organized.
A marketing calendar isn’t that hard to create. Lucky for you, we have a post on our blog that teaches you how to create one without breaking a sweat.
Could you go check it out right away?
Why spend precious time on repetitive tasks like data entering when you can automate them? Automating mundane tasks can significantly boost your productivity level when done correctly.
The best part is that there are lots of inexpensive automation software that you can leverage to streamline your business process.
They include Zapier, Hootsuite, IBM, Xero, and a host of others.
Which segments of your business can you apply automation to?
- Order processing
- employee onboarding process
- Customer support
- Data gathering
- Employee expense management
Delegation is one foolproof strategy to improve productivity in the workplace. Unfortunately, some business owners and managers find this hard to do.
Why is that so?
The fear of people messing up on a task. Fear of the job not being done as expected.
Yes, delegating tasks to others can be scary — but it can be effective, too. Why not start by giving it a try and see where it takes you to? You’d be amazed at the results it would bring.
4. Use the Right Set of Tools
Using the wrong set of tools is a big productivity killer in business. You must avoid doing that at all costs.
What to do? Find tools that help streamline your business process and utilize them. For example, Slack can help you manage team communication. Utilizing an employer of record service provider such as Remote can streamline the hiring and management of remote employees. Using an internal helpdesk tool like Freshservice can enable your team to collaborate remotely and automate their tasks. Using a cloud solution to host your account software like CaseWare in the cloud, and it enables employees to access their data securely.
For task management, defer to Asana.
TMetric is an excellent choice for time tracking.
These are just a few that you can try your hands on.
Do these tools cost money? Definitely!
But in the end, it will be well worth it.
5. Cut Back on Meetings
Meetings are meant to help make an organization become efficient and work better. The problem, however, is that excessive meetings are counterproductive.
Worse still, they can be mind-draining, especially when they drag for hours on end. Lucky for you, you don’t have to know everything about how to keep track of business expenses manually.. Online tools like Mint, Quickbooks, Fyle, and Expressbooks can help out.
What to do?
Minimize the meetings. As a rule of thumb, keep them on a once-a-week schedule. And the shorter, the better.
So, how do you collaborate? Use a proper asynchronous review tool to help you with your review needs whether you’re working remotely or on-site, or a meeting minutes tool to track your meeting notes.
6. Review Your Workflow Frequently
Review your workflow to identify what is working and what is not — take an agile approach. Doing so will help you spot bottlenecks in your business operations and deal with them decisively.
One of the things you can do to eliminate bottlenecks from your workflow is by reducing the number of work-in-progress (WIP) projects in your workflow.
7. Embrace the Remote Work Culture
The COVID era has proved that remote culture holds the key to the future of work. In 2020 when the pandemic hit the hardest, the shift to remote work was massive.
In the US for instance, as many as 72% of the workforce shifted to remote work.
And contrary to popular opinions, remote work doesn’t hamper productivity. A study by the Quantum Workplace showed that employees had better work engagement when left to work at home. Moreover, there are plenty of remote work management tools that make it easy to manage work and collaborate with the team working off-site.
So, encourage your employees and teams to work from home. Better yet, hybrid remote with on-site work. You’d be amazed at how your business productivity would improve. You can easily hire employees globally using an EOR service like Remote.com. You’d be amazed at how your business productivity could improve
8. Keep Your Expenses in Check
It takes money to make money. And in business, you will spend a lot of money to keep things going.
That said, it’s important to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly expenditures. Doing this will not only help you maintain a high level of productivity but also profitability.
Lucky for you, you don’t have to know everything about how to keep track of business expenses manually.. Online tools like Mint, Quickbooks, and Expressbooks can help out.
How to Boost Productivity as a Freelancer
Maybe you don’t own a business but a freelance practice. It is still important to maintain a high level of productivity to see success from your freelance practice.
Here are things you can do to boost your productivity and deliver results to your clients.
9. Start Early
The beauty of freelancing is that you get to own your schedule. You can choose to start work by 5am or 5pm – it’s your call.
However, it’s best to start your work routine as early as possible every day. Doing so gives you the head start you need to stay productive and get stuff done.
10. Keep Your Phone Away
Nothing distracts us like our mobile phones. If you are not careful, you might spend your entire work hours on Snapchat, IG, Facebook, Twitter…the list is endless.
The best way to combat distractions from your phone is to keep it at arm’s length from your workspace but within earshot.
If that’s not possible, you could silence your phone.
11. Get a Social Life
One of the downsides of freelancing is the soul-draining loneliness that comes with it. Don’t drive yourself deeper into loneliness and isolation because you want to make more money from your freelance hustle.
Get off your bum and get a social life. Join a sport or reading club, sign up for a gym session. Anything that brings you closer to real people is okay.
Having more gigs than you can handle can be a blessing. Or a burden if not well handled.
To this end, if you are getting more gigs than you can take on, you have two options: turn them down or outsource.
The latter is a more viable option as it will help amp your earnings.
What platforms can you use to outsource work? Upwork, Fiverr, and even Facebook work pretty well.
13. Install the StayFocused Chrome Extension
Earlier on, we talked about keeping your mobile phone away to avoid distractions and boost productivity.
Keeping your phone away will not automatically make you immune from distractions. After all, you can still access Facebook and other time-wasting websites from your computer.
This is where StayFocused comes into play.
StayFocused is a productivity-boosting Google extension that limits your access to time-wasting websites, helping you stay focused.
To use, all you need to do is feed it with the URLs of the website you would like to block. The rest is taken care of automatically.
14. Watch Your Health
You can end up overworking yourself in the quest to do more and make more money. And when that happens, you are bound to break down.
In the end, you lose both time and money.
You do not want that to happen.
Hence, it’s important to watch your health. Go for checkups regularly. Take breaks during work.
Eat well. Exercise as often as you can. Maintain a healthy routine.
15. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking can be tempting. It makes you believe that you can get more stuff by doing more than one thing at a time. But in the end, nothing gets done.
Truth be told: one brain doesn’t function well when we work on multiple tasks at a time.
Rather than multitasking, pick one task at a time and work on it. Then move to the next.
You’d be amazed at how your productivity will increase.
How to Boost Productivity as a Solo Entrepreneur
The journey of solo entrepreneurship can be fun and challenging at the same time. You own your time, there is no boss to answer to, you can fire any client at will, etc.
But on the flip side, the workload can be really burdensome since you are a one-man army.
Here are things you can do to maintain optimal productivity as an affiliate marketer, eCommerce retailer, or you run any form of solo entrepreneurship.
16. Create a Routine and Stick To It
Discipline, not talent, intelligence, or necessarily luck, is what guarantees success.
One easy sure way to maintain discipline while you run a business is by creating a routine and sticking fast to it.
How do you go about that?
Start by creating a morning routine. Do the same for the rest of the day.
Write down a list of tasks you will like to work on for the day. Run through them at night before going to bed to see which you couldn’t accomplish.
17. Take Breaks
Learn to give yourself short, frequent breaks while you work. Doing so can go a long way to help you re-energize and stay productive.
How frequent these breaks should be is entirely up to you to decide. It could be four 10-minutes break sessions a day in which you can play your favorite Solitaire game or spend time with your pet. Or maybe a full one-hour break every day.
Remember, you can always be flexible. But like discussed earlier, create a routine for your break sessions to maintain productivity.
18. Always Have a Goal and a Plan
How many clients would you like to acquire every month? What sales volume are you looking to make every week?
Having a goal in mind gives you direction. It gives you the drive to slug it out when quitting seems like the best thing to do.
At the start of every week or month, have something to aim for. It can be as grand as raking in a million dollars in sales or as simple as replying to every unanswered email.
When you’ve figured the milestone you want to accomplish, create a plan around it. A plan will help give credibility to your goal.
19. Prioritize as Much as You Can
The key to staying successful in business is knowing what matters and what doesn’t.
Promoting your business via Google or Facebook ads matters. Designing an awesome, beautiful business card doesn’t matter that much. You might not even need one.
Attending networking events matters. Honoring every birthday, dinner, and non-business invitation from friends and family doesn’t.
When you’ve figured out what’s most critical to the success of your business, place it high on your priority list. Give it everything you’ve got.
It should be the first thing you attend to every morning. Others can follow after.
19. Avoid Complacency
It’s so easy to settle and stop pushing when you finally start seeing success. If you do, you are opening the doors of your business to complacency.
Complacency can make your business grow stale. It can rob you of the success you struggled so hard to achieve. It can make you a mediocre entrepreneur.
Avoid complacency no matter what!
What to do?
Every time you accomplish a significant goal, celebrate it, and then move on to a bigger one. Just keep pushing yourself beyond your limits.
How to Increase Employee Productivity and Boost Sales Performance
The success of your business is largely dependent on the people who help you run it. So, if you desire to boost your sales performance, it’s important to take pragmatic steps to keep your employees highly productive.
Here are some creative ways you could go about it.
20. Reward Efforts and Not Results
Results are overhyped. Often, they are a product of luck, not necessarily hard work.
For example, an employee that hit a big sales goal might be lucky to have run into an affluent client.
Whereas, another who hasn’t made any significant sales could easily be judged as lazy and underperforming. In truth, it could be that that employee hasn’t been lucky despite the tough grind.
For this reason, reward efforts, and not just results. By doing so, you will motivate the least-performing employee in your team to put in their best.
21. Encourage Continuous Learning
The world is ever-changing. What worked yesterday might not work today.
To stay ahead and relevant in business in an ever-evolving world, encourage your people to keep learning and expanding their skillset.
And they can do so inexpensively. How?
Through courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera or LinkedIn or attending an in-person course, like this excel course with Acuity Training.
22. Keep Communication Lines Open
Communication is to business what air is to us; your business can’t survive without it. So, by all means, get your people talking. When they do, ideas will stream in, solutions to your operational problems will be found.
Need some ideas to set up an internal communication system? Consider setting up an intranet website on WordPress. There are lots of free and paid WordPress themes that can help you do that easily.
23. Create a Routine and Stick To It
Write down a list of tasks you will like to work on for the day. Run through them at night before going to bed to see what you couldn’t accomplish. Making a timeline could also support achieving the right routine for you.
24. Create a Sales Funnel
Not everyone that books a demo is ready to make a purchase. For this reason, it is important to nurture your leads via a sales funnel.
A sales funnel helps move potential customers from the initial interest stage to the buying stage.
Creating one isn’t so hard. We’ve written a detailed blog post that explains how to go about it.
25. A/B Test
If a strategy isn’t working, tweak it. Try a different angle. Try a different approach. A/B test!
A/B testing isn’t rocket science. It simply involves trying different ways to achieve a result to see which works the best.
There you have it; 25 strategies to stay productive and efficient in business, work, or your career.
If you want to grow your sales and attract more customers to your business, Adoric can help. Sign up for a free account today to get started.