As a business owner or manager, it is highly likely that you have attended several time management seminars. Self-help gurus have made a small fortune with their tips on how to better manage your time. However, most of those suggestions have probably made no impact at all, because they are not relevant to real-world time management issues that affect the average business.
Proper time management is crucial to your business, because time really is money. When your employees are unproductive, your money is wasted. That’s why it is important for you to help them save time.
Jane Porter, a contributor to Entrepreneur, made a few great points in an article where she highlighted that most people who waste time at work (without even realizing it!), have the following habits in common:
They overload on admin: This is a big issue for small business owners, who tend to put off these tasks until they have no choice but to do it. They would be more effective by outsourcing most of their admin tasks, while they focus on income-generating aspects of their businesses.
They micromanage employees: By hiring suitably qualified people who can work independently, you will save time and achieve higher levels of productivity.
They allow daily developments to drive them: Some business owners tend to spend their days putting out small fires, instead of focusing on strategies for business growth.
They waste time repeating the same thing over and over: While it is very important to keep the lines of communication open between your company and your customers, it is important to avoid wasting time by finding more effective ways to communicate.
From what we can see, most of these issues can be addressed by making use of modern technology.
Better Manage Your Time With Technology: The Advantages
Technology providers have opened up the world to businesses, employees and clients alike. Here are some of the advantages that it offers:
Clients: Having a quality, informative and easy-to-navigate website allows customers to access information quickly and at any time of the day or night, whether you are at work or asleep. Around 85% of consumers research products and services online before they make the leap to buy offline.
Employees: Employees can use technology to quickly relay information to clients via SMS, live chat, online meetings, or email. If they are properly trained and motivated, this will save time and increase efficiency.
The Company: Technology saves you time and that of your employees. Your website helps you to avoid repetition, online collaboration can expand your client base, while live chat reduces the cost of and time spent on phone calls. Email saves time, especially when you use templates, and postage costs.
3 Ways to Help You Better Manage Your Time
However, live chat and email are in fact the most basic of technologies utilized by companies nowadays. Today, we will share how technology, in particular software, can address some of the biggest cost drivers that are affecting your business right now and show you how you can better manage your time.
1) Save Time by Hosting Small Team Meetings Online
While these smaller meetings are often attended by small groups of people, scheduling conflicts and unproductive behaviors lead to considerable wastes of time. Statistics show that 37% of time at work is spent in meetings, with managers attending around 60 meetings per month. One survey showed that 39% of attendees have dozed off during meetings, while 70% of them brought other work along. That’s not counting the time wasted on travel and scheduling complications.
These figures point to one thing: Meetings are a waste of time, because participants may be there, but they are not “present”. They are thinking about traveling back to the office, traffic jams and whether they will get to the next meeting on time.
Ray Williams, the author of Breaking Bad Habits and The Leadership Edge wrote the following in an article for Psychology Today: “My experience in working with executives and managers is that 40-50 percent of their time is taken up with meetings, that either they call, or have to attend. Which leaves precious little time left to actually get work done.”
Perhaps, a great contributor to meeting fatigue is the fact that meetings often involve travel and waiting time. Companies can save on both those aspects by making use of online meetings or web conferences instead.
2) Start Hosting Large Conferences Online
Annual general meetings and conferences are of utmost importance in larger organizations. In the past, companies printed copious amounts of thick conference books that contained all the research papers and presentations, which employees often left behind. However, there have been great technological advancements in the field and companies started using CDs, DVDs and USB sticks to deliver conference notes.
Recently, conference hosts have started understanding the benefits of online conferences for large groups of attendees:
- Presentations are delivered in real time, which is great for those presenters who don’t have time to prepare it to be delivered and distributed digitally to individual attendees. It can still be digitally copied for future reference.
- Attendees can attend the conference from any place where they have access to an Internet connection. This saves valuable time and travel costs.
- It saves paper as notes no longer have to be printed – but at the same time, nobody has to oversee this time-consuming process.
- There’s virtually no admin involved. In the past, organizations required an entire team to manage the administration of a conference. However, online conferences can be scheduled in no time. Attendees are instantly invited online and can confirm attendance without the need of lengthy phone calls, conflicting schedules and unavailability.
3) Save Time on Sales Calls
With the fuel price constantly on the rise and the fact that consumers require more hands-on support before committing to a purchase, online presentations offer an innovative solution. Instead of wasting time on sending brochures and to- and fro- correspondence, potential customers could attend an online presentation, facilitated by your top sales reps.
Mikogo is simple to use, and prospects don’t need to download software or plugins to attend. You simply send them the link and arrange a time to connect. When the client joins, the sales team can present your product or service in the same way as they would in a live meeting.
Online presentations provide the same person-to-person connection on which salespeople thrive, but at the same time, it saves hours of valuable time and costs.
Download Mikogo to experience screen sharing first-hand and boost your online communications.
Discussion: Do you have more tips on how to better manage your time? We’d love to hear all about it in comments below.