You’ve probably heard the old joke: “Entrepreneurs quit working 40 hours a week to work 80 hours a week.” But there’s some truth to it: business owners work 72 hours a week on average.
What if there was a way to have 25 hours each day instead of 24?
We can’t make make days longer (sorry!). But we can give you some practical tips and strategies to free up more time so you can achieve work-life balance, spend more time with family, and relax with friends.
Automate Meeting Scheduling with Calendly
A typical email or text exchange to schedule a meeting goes something like this:
Client: Let’s meet this week to discuss specifics.
You: Sure, how’s Wednesday?
Client: I’m not available then. What about Friday?
You: Sure, what time on Friday? I’m available after 2:00.
Client: I’m only free in the morning. Let’s shoot for next week.
You: All right, let’s do next Monday then. How’s 3:00?
And so on.
Calendly lets you automate scheduling. Instead of hammering out the details across a dozen emails, you can send a link which lets anyone reserve a time on your calendar. Once they’ve chosen a meeting, you’ll both receive a calendar invite.
Even more importantly in current times, Calendly integrates directly with Zoom, creating a Zoom link automatically and sending it in the calendar invitation.
It simplifies the process so your email exchange can look more like this:
Client: Let’s meet this week to discuss specifics.
You: Great– use this link to choose a time that works for you.
Rather than spending time making payments yourself– typing in credit card numbers, expiration dates, and the like– use autopay wherever the option is offered. Payments are made automatically.
Although it isn’t offered for everything, you can cover most recurring payments like rent, utilities, internet, and vendors you work with every month.
Automating payments doesn’t mean not keeping tabs on them. You should still review payments regularly in case of error. But the time spent actually making the payments is now off your plate.
You also never have to worry about missing a payment or being late. (Peace of mind, anyone?)
Delegate Where You Can’t Automate
Where you can’t automate, delegate.
Just because you’re the best at something doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your time. Assign tasks to your staff where possible. That’s what you hired them for, after all.
Outsource Where It Increases Your Net Revenue
You want to keep proprietary information and mission-critical processes in-house wherever possible, but there are a lot of tasks you can outsource: booking travel, meal preparation, research, etc.
How to Know When Outsourcing is Profitable
How do you know when to outsource a task? It’s an extra expense, right?
There’s a very simple formula to determine when outsourcing is a better course of action. Just look at the opportunity cost.
If it costs less to pay someone else to do it than the amount of money you earn in that time, it’s a good sign it’s better to outsource the task.
Think about how long it takes you to complete a task like booking travel. The ticket, the hotel, transportation– everything. Is it really worth the opportunity cost of finding more clients, streamlining operations, applying for grants, or the other things you could have spent your time doing?
Take meal preparation as another example. You can use an ingredient-and-recipe delivery service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. These services free up the time you would have spent driving to a store, choosing and buying groceries, and meal planning. They cost more than storebought groceries but dramatically less than eating out every day– and they’re better for your health to boot.
The Bottom Line
Time is your most precious resource. To be successful, you have to use your time wisely, and that means using it as strategically as possible. You may only have 24 hours each day, but by applying these strategies, you can get a few hours of your life back to spend on the most important activities that will move your business forward.
Want More Time-Saving Tips?
As part of EnrichHER’s Business Financing Accelerator, you’ll gain access to 50 coaching sessions with growth experts who can help you streamline your operations, identify the most productive uses of your time, and choose the best path to business growth for your unique situation. Best of all, you’ll plug into a community of other high-achieving entrepreneurs who can recommend the best (and most cost-efficient) technology to take tasks off your plate.
You’ll also learn how to optimize your grant application process, navigate the venture capital circuit (even when you don’t have connections to VCs), and succeed in loan application processes– all in just 4 hours per week, including post-course assignments. Click here to learn more and enroll in the next cohort.
EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. Since 2017, EnrichHER has deployed upwards of $4 million through its platform and matched business-owners to $13 million in working capital through its Accelerator. By providing capital, coaching, and connections, we are fueling the fastest-growing demographic of business owners. Our network has engaged with over 23,000 advocates through its digital community and in-person activations.