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Top 6 Productivity Hacks for Small to Medium Businesses Enterprises (SME)

Most small business entrepreneurs spend too much of their valuable time on things they shouldn't be doing since they are always working as 'jack of all trades'. Their time gets divided into meeting with clients and prospects to further the business, as well as checking up on things that effect their business. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, how do you remain productive when there are so many things begging for your attention?

We have compiled a list of the top 6 hacks you can use to realign your working methods and focus your complete attention and energy on what matters – your BUSINESS!

1. Understand the value of your time:
Prioritise your tasks. Start by making a list of the tasks you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. This should include even the smallest tasks of checking your email to the larger tasks like creating your budget. Organise this list in order of the things your business could not live without to the things that would be nice to get done but are not vital to your business. Designate a completion status to each of these tasks that can range from quick and easy, time consuming, must be done by self, must/can delegate etc. We recommend you batch your day into productive chunks to enable you to get the most of each day, for example, you could try assigning your tasks a monetary value, that way you will be able to club and prioritize the task that get you the highest ROI's, for example sending out a sales email could be worth AED 100 whereas administrative and HR related works may be valued at AED 20. By doing this you will get into a rhythm with each task instead of having to start and stop throughout the day.

2. Decide what's vital versus what's nice to do:
Once you have done this you will have identified the tasks that are better suited to be carried out by a skilled expert. Tasks like calendar management, document production, human resources support etc. can be outsourced to a virtual executive assistant. This will help you free up your time and reduce your stress levels so you can concentrate on tasks that require strategic decisions from the business owner.

3. Using business softwares to improve your productivity:
Traditional methods of working will only yield traditional responses. Boost your productivity by using business support software like MailChimp, Trello, Slack or Pivotal Tracker to form realistic expectations about when work will be completed and review your team's ongoing performance. These useful apps allow you the freedom to even delegate tasks and manage your team virtually.

4. Harness the power of Social Media:
Staying on top of industry information, industry best practices and marketing trends is the key to success for any business. Medium and small size businesses require the use of social media to stay connected with the latest news and to further drive their own business. Entrepreneurs can use social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer which not only helps to simultaneously post on various platforms but can also provide you with an analysis for your marketing campaigns.

5. Use a tool to block distraction:
While the uses of social media to improve and promote your business are plenty there is also that huge drawback that canvassing all these platforms can be very time consuming and distracting. We already live in an age of instant news and updates hence it is very necessary to be able to tune out the distractions that will take you away from your work by constantly interrupting you. If this is an issue you face consider using apps like Stay Focused or Cold Turkey that can help you to either block out social media sites or to set a daily usage time limit.

6. Monitor, measure, tweak, repeat:
Last, but not by any means least you need to monitor and measure your activities to see the profitability and efficiency in everything you do. Using Google analytics is a good option to understand which online marketing activity is driving most traffic to your website. Constantly updating your working procedures with a few changes here and there will help you be productive and also assist you to be ahead of the curve in your industry.

Putting these tips to use on a regular basis can help you determine the areas that are slowing you down and will help identify the tasks you should be delegating.


Author: Tresica Mascarenhas
Tresica Mascarenhas is our in-house Conversations Champion, a self-driven professional who works to use storytelling and targeted messaging to create business evolving content. She has considerable experience in the fields of administration, marketing and human resources from diverse industries like Aviation, Media and Finance. Tresica has been involved in the set-up, coordination and managing of local branches for international establishments.
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