Effectively managing your time as a SME is incredibly important. In the early days, you may have to focus on running the business, performing the service and driving the sales all by yourself. Even when you progress and grow, you may still find that you are performing the same tasks but have added employee duties to consider too. Days can disappear and have you wondering exactly what has been achieved.
One of the best ways to organise yourself is by bringing a VA or PA into the company, someone who can help you to manage your administrative tasks and leave you to run other areas of the business. But exactly how much time are you spending on these tasks? Are you able to calculate how much fee-earning time a PA or VA can give you back if you do take them on-board? If the answer is no, then it is important you do. The most effective way we have found is through the use of Time Management Software.
These tools track the amount of time you spend on individual tasks and give you a fantastic overview of where your time goes. Whether you work as an individual, or have a team to monitor, there are selection of applications of the market that can be tailored to suit your needs. Below are a few that we believe can benefit SMEs the most:
Toggl describe their software as ‘insanely simple’, and we are inclined to agree. Their focus is on productivity, which is why they have created a time tracker that is built for speed and is incredibly easy to use.
If you have billable time, then it should always be tracked to make sure you are making the money you should. With Toggl, this can be done with the touch of a button. In fact, if you forget to log the data, you can even add it in later. This is also a great tool for teams, with offline tracking capabilities and all projects synced to a single, company account.
Still an impressive tool for small businesses, Paymo is perhaps the more professional option. Offering the same project management options as many others, and helping you to track every minute of billable and non-billable work you perform, Paymo is another user friendly time management solution.
The added features you get with Paymo are what makes it a little more comprehensive though. There is a project accounting section to the application, one that enables you to invoice clients, send estimates and even calculate expenses. For a small business looking for a complete solution, Paymo is the place to look.
The final tool on the list is Timecamp. Very similar to the others in many ways, the key focus of this particular company is prioritising projects and tasks. Their software is geared towards completing projects to the budget allocated, and within deadlines. They do this by classifying some tasks as more important as others.
This is yet another useful tool for teams, as the analytics and reports created give an indication of exactly how many paid hours individuals have logged. You can easily analyse attendance and absences of employees too, and manage exactly who is available and at any given time.
So, the first step to knowing whether you need some extra help is to find out exactly where your time is going. All of the applications we have spoken about offer a free trial, so get involved, analyse your time and see what areas of the business are keeping you from making money. If you would like us to help you with this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.