Time is the most precious commodity for any entrepreneur. It’s the currency you spend to make money, and it’s a limited supply. That means that time management should be one of your priorities.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their time on things that don’t help them grow their businesses. From manually updating social media pages to staying up-to-date on industry news, these seemingly unassuming time-wasters can have a monumental impact on your bottom line.
If you’re in the business in making every second count, focus on essential to-do list items and grow your business more effectively by avoiding these ten micromanagement time-wasters.
1. Postal mail management
Physical mail might seem like a relic of the past in the age of Slack and email, but many entrepreneurs waste their time struggling to manage it. There’s little reward in shuffling through snail mail for an hour or two each week when you could offload that task onto technology.
With the help of a virtual address service, entrepreneurs can focus on core tasks while a fully-staffed virtual address location takes care of sorting and processing their mail. Whenever you receive mail or a package, the service will ping or email you, and you can decide what happens to your mail from the comfort of your office. You can reference resources like this for a better understanding of how virtual addresses work.
2. Social media updates
Many business owners don’t even bother checking Facebook or Twitter anymore because they’re tired of seeing pictures from their friends’ fancy vacations and cat memes. However, you can automate updates, so you don’t have to waste your time on social media every day.
If you want to be present on social media, it’s best to hire a social media manager to take care of updates so you have more time for business-building.
3. Handling customer service inquiries
Customers want answers fast, so most established businesses have a customer service desk. But entrepreneurs shouldn’t be the ones responding to every inquiry. Instead, use chatbots and AI-powered customer service reps.
These machines can answer simple questions and route more complicated issues to the right person on your team, so you don’t need to waste time with them. As an entrepreneur, you should build a customer base and work with your team to provide excellent service, not respond to simple request emails.
4. Customer outreach
Marketing is essential, but many entrepreneurs rely too much on cold-calling or other outreach types with a low response rate. Don’t spend several hours trying to track down someone who won’t benefit from your product just because you’re worried about “wasting” a connection if they don’t want what you have. Instead, look for those already interested in what you have to offer by building targeted lists.
5. Project management
There are lots of project management tools out there to help you stay organized, but finding the right one for your team can feel like a time-waster in itself. Don’t waste your precious time picking software or using systems that don’t fit what you need.
Instead, hire an expert who will make the whole process easier. You can also conduct online product reviews to find software that makes sense for your business model.
6. Niche-based networking
Niche-based networking is a term used to describe the process of seeking out and targeting people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Instead of trying to sell to anyone and everyone, you focus on connecting with those who are likely to be interested in what you’re selling. It saves time and energy by avoiding those who won’t be interested in your product or service.
7. Boring business tasks
Many entrepreneurs are bored by business-based tasks that don’t require their creativity or innovative spirit. However, other people are good at this work, so entrepreneurs shouldn’t waste their time on it.
Instead, outsource tasks that other people are good at to free up your time for things that better suit your skillset and interests.
8. Funding research
Some entrepreneurs want to stay on top of industry news by paying for reports from market researchers. However, you’ll find plenty of free resources available online. If you’re looking for specific information about a topic, you can always Google it.
There’s no need to pay someone else to tell you what’s already out there (although they may use different sources). It’s better to spend your time on other activities that will grow your business faster and help you make more informed decisions.
9. Industry news
We just mentioned that you could find industry news online for free, but even when you pay for subscriptions, they only update every few days.
Instead of wasting your time trying to get the latest information on something like Google’s latest algorithm update (which happens about once a year), focus more of your energy on sales and marketing tactics within your own business.
By focusing on these activities, you can learn more than you could ever want to know about your product or service.
10. Trying to please everyone
As a small business owner, it can be difficult not to want all your customers happy with your brand because every client matters. But every good entrepreneur knows that even five-star brands make mistakes sometimes. So if someone complains about something, try resolving the issue rather than changing their mind.
You’ll have better luck in the future if you can show your customers that you care about them instead of worrying about gaining every single person’s business. By doing so, you’ll avoid wasting time on activities that won’t help your business grow while focusing on those people that will help you spread the good things about your business.
Remember to focus on what’s essential for your business and take time to slow down. The more you do this, the less your business will feel like a money pit and more like a well-oiled machine that brings in revenue. You’ll also have more time to put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.