It’s the little things: Five quick tips for small business owners

Whoever coined the term ‘it’s the little things’ was absolutely right. It works in so many areas of our lives when it comes to having gratitude and making things work.

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

4 min read

Business owners in their busy lives might just forget it’s the little things that can improve business efficiencies, so maybe now’s the time to go back to the basics.

Encourage employees to connect virtually

Remote work has many benefits, but it can be isolating. Encourage your employees to stay connected virtually as they work from home during the pandemic.

You could also hold weekly or monthly virtual socials or activities to help your staff bond. Set up a Slack channel or a Microsoft Teams chat (or whichever collaborative software your company uses) solely for socializing. Invite your staff to share interesting news articles, memes, recipes, fitness tips, photos, etc. This will help start conversations and help your staff connect over shared interests.

There are two main benefits to this. First, talking to each other can speed up the process of finding answers and solving problems. Staying connected increase staff morale and positivity.

Second, so much of what is communicated between people is non-verbal. And your employees will learn a lot from each other simply by seeing the other’s facial expressions and body language, avoiding the potential for miscommunication.

Single task occasionally

It’s not always going to be appropriate to single task, but when you do, you'll be more productive and get through tasks quicker.

Single tasking refers to focusing on one thing, with minimum interruption, until it is completed, whether it's a whole project or simply responding to all your flagged emails.

Block out some time to concentrate on that task alone. It’ll help get things completed and crossed off your to-do list. While you may be used to multi-tasking, and it may seem more efficient, increased focus on one task alone will get work done better and faster. It will also increase your creativity, energy, and focus.

Set goals – for yourself and your employees

It’s always better to have a target to reach rather than meander aimlessly around without direction. Setting goals for everyone in the business can provide focus and clarity. Make the goals clear, specific, and tangible. Then plan how you are going to reach them, mapping out any challenges and opportunities that you could meet along the way. Seeing them become a reality will be motivational, while your business benefits too.

Decide to delegate

As your business grows, you will have to concentrate on the more important, high-priority tasks. So, you should rely on your workforce to free up some of your time.

Delegating is not easy for many business owners. But it is critical to avoid burnout. While you might not believe anyone could possibly do a job as well as you, the truth is, in many instances, they can.

Start off by giving employees small responsibilities and see how they are handled. When you see them being done well, it will help build trust in these employees and you can start delegating bigger tasks.

Think of it this way too: delegating helps employees develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities. You will be empowering your workforce to work independently and feel valued, while delivering more value.

Reward employees who can improve business efficiency

As simple as it sounds, not every business rewards its employees for showing initiative when it comes to increasing productivity, cutting costs, or streamlining processes. If an employee can do any of these things, and so contribute to making your business a success, then show your gratitude with an extra day off, a small bonus or a weekend away paid for by the company.

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