Anyone who operates a home-based business franchise — whether part-time or full-time — knows that good time management is essential for success. But when you’re juggling the demands of your business and your responsibilities at home, trying to “Do it All” in a timely fashion can be a bit overwhelming.
We’ve discovered four strategies to make any home-based franchise operate more efficiently while allowing entrepreneurs time to focus on what really matters:
- Utilize online and electronic tools as much as possible. Whether it’s emailing customers and clients instead of calling, moving data from paper to an Excel spreadsheet, scanning a document and saving it to your computer, or backing up your files to a cloud-based server, utilizing technology (and the Internet) as much as possible is a vital tactic for streamlining tasks.Though paper copies are always helpful, creating and maintaining electronic versions of your documents (and workflow) saves space– and time. Just remember to arrange things by date as often as possible, and always have a system in place to backup your files!
- Pay Expenses Automatically with Online Bill Payments. If you aren’t already taking advantage of this time-saving technique, we highly recommend starting now! Online automatic payment systems are one of the best ways to oversee both your personal and business finances. If you already use your hometown bank—whether it is a large national bank or a smaller local branch— there is usually an online option they can help you set up. Once you have online accounts, don’t forget to keep your personal and business accounts separate. This will help make things like invoicing, tracking expenses, and annual taxes much easier. Check with your bank or accountant to explore the best options for you and your business. You’ll be glad you did!
- Delegate the time-consuming tasks that are not unique to your personal strengths (or priority projects). As much as as we’d all love to be able to do everything ourselves, sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. Delegating is one of the best ways to help your small home-based franchise business work smarter, not harder. Start by making a list of your day-to-day tasks. Then divvy it up by what you must be responsible for, versus what a freelancer or virtual assistant can do for you. Now you’re ready to find a VA or Independent Contractor to tackle those tasks [we recommend browsing Fiverr and Freelancer first]. With a dedicated teammate by your side, at least twice as much will get done in the same amount of time– leaving you free to focus more readily on your personal and professional priorities.
- Schedule–and enjoy–personal “down-time” with family and friends. Even the most driven entrepreneur needs a break once in awhile. In fact, time away from work is necessary for our physical, emotional and relational health. There is certainly no shame in taking in an occasional weekend—or longer—to recharge your personal batteries. Scheduling regular “unplugged” time away from the daily grind—even if it your business is being run out of your own home—can help even the most enthusiastic and zealous business owner feel better– and work better. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to take on the work you love!
We hope these tips help you make the most of your home-based franchise business!
What was the most helpful strategy for you? Tell us in the comments!