5 Great Ways to Improve Productivity That You Can Try Right Now 55

How to Grow Your Online Business by Hiring the Right Team

This article was written by Jon Platy, the content producer for Principal Homebuyers, blogging and writing content for their site. In the last few years he has worked harder to become more productive in his work and swears by the Pomodoro Technique.

In today’s economic climate, where everyone, whether a consumer or a business, is struggling, it’s more important than ever to get the most out of the working day.

If you own a small business, and want to ensure that your employees are as productive as possible without you having to be the bad guy and crack a whip constantly, then check out the following productivity enhancing ideas:

Boost Your Productivity Today with These 5 Tips

1. Remote Working.

When you think of “working from home” it’s easy to imagine someone lounging in their pyjamas watching daytime TV while they have a spreadsheet open (but forgotten) on their laptop.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  If you allow your most trusted employees to work from home, in most cases they really will work.

Remote working is a privilege, and most people see it as such. By allowing your employees to work from home you save them the hassle of a daily commute, meaning they have more free personal time.  This can be a brilliant motivator.

2. Collaboration.

Investing in unified communications tools or a good groupware solution will make it much easier for people to work together.

Even small teams can benefit from unified communications systems, version control systems, and groupware.

If people need to talk frequently, or will be editing the same documents at the same time, then anything you can do to make that go more smoothly will increase productivity.

3. Automation.

How much time are people wasting on manual backups, fiddly document editing, or entering data into archaic expenses spreadsheets.

The technology is there to automate a lot of tedious tasks.  It might take a while to set it up, but over the course of months of repeating that task it will save you a lot of time.

4. Ditch the Distractions.

Try to make sure that each employee has the time they need to do their job.

Your programmers shouldn’t be answering the phone, your HR manager shouldn’t be unpacking deliveries, and your PR person shouldn’t be helping your secretary figure out what’s wrong with that Excel spreadsheet.

Granted, in a small company sometimes it is “all hands on deck”, but those moments should be the exception.

If your employees are spending more time on tasks that are outside of their job description than they are on their actual job, your key projects will be suffering.  Sort it out.

5. Be More Flexible.

If there’s one thing that can destroy productivity, it’s low morale. And if there’s one thing that destroys morale, it’s being micro-managed.

Give your employees a chance to prove themselves, and let them manage their own work day.  Stop worrying about them being five minutes late back from their morning break, or taking lunch early.  If people need a few more minutes to clear their heads, give it to them.

Some people work well in short bursts, other people can spend all morning struggling for inspiration, then have a marathon of productivity.  As long as the work gets done, does it matter how they did it?

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Becoming Your Own Boss: Tips on Getting a Business Off The Ground 16

How Writing a Blog Can Help You Live the Life You Dream About

Becoming your own boss is a complicated process, and not everyone does it the same way.

I got lucky. I was still working when I got my business off the ground, so I had a source of income while I was working the kinks out of my business. I did most of my work for the new business when I got home or on the weekends. I asked for a change in job responsibilities at the office so that I didn’t have as much on my plate.

This all gave me a chance to start earning money without going into debt. When it was feasible, I stopped working my regular job and transitioned into working for myself full time. It took about a year and a half.

Establish clear boundaries.

 

Sometimes people don’t take you seriously when you tell them that you work for yourself. They think you are always available to chat or have lunch.

I had a number of friends that would call me at all hours, assuming I was available because they wanted to talk. Granted, it was nice to have that freedom at first. But, I soon realized that if I was going to be successful, I couldn’t let those kinds of distractions interrupt my workday.

Save before you start working for yourself full time.

I was in pretty good shape when I made the transition, but looking back, a few more months with a paycheck would have been wonderful.

When you start your own business, money can be very tight. You never know what you are going to make month to month.

I had one customer that initially made up most of my revenue. That customer only paid on a quarterly basis, which meant that times were tough in between payments.

I had to spend money to build the business, which meant there wasn’t a lot left over. If I didn’t get a payment right on time, it was very difficult to deal with.

There were times when I had to ask for a loan from family members simply to pay my bills.

Reach out and build a support network.

4 Tips to Track Your Remote Employees' Progress Without Demoralizing Them

It can be really difficult to adjust at first. You have great days and you have terrible days. You meet goals some months, while other months you are left wondering where you went wrong.

If you make a mistake, you alone are responsible for it and your business and reputation can suffer. It is easy to feel depressed at times. You may even start to feel like you can’t handle running a business and that you made a big mistake when you left your office job.

Remember that you are not alone. All entrepreneurs have these moments, which is why it is so important to connect with others in the field.

Take time for yourself.

I had a honeymoon period of about half a year. It was really exciting to see the business get bigger. Each milestone that I met was a reason to celebrate.

However, heading into the second year, it was more difficult. I was tired. Things weren’t as exciting because they weren’t new anymore. And then, year three came along. I was done with working such long hours.

I was done with having no time off. Burnout is certainly an issue in this business, so you have to figure out how to balance your personal and your professional needs.

It took me a long time to get where I am today. I had to do a lot of research. I had to educate myself on business. I had to find an SEO expert. I had to figure out who my main competitors were and keep an eye on them. I also had to stay current with what was happening in the field so that I didn’t fall behind.

No matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I could never get caught up. Running a business is a big responsibility.

If you are interested in starting your own business, you want to set yourself up for success. Try to cut back on your living expenses. Make sure you have substantial savings. Set up an area in your home where you can work, free from distractions.

If you are married, get your spouse on board. He or she can help pay bills while you are getting your business off the ground.

Your business is only as good as you are.

Make sure you have a support system of other business professionals. These people can help you acknowledge your weaknesses, encourage you to keep moving forward and advise you on common mistakes.

You can try and go it alone, but it will be very difficult for you. As with anything else in life, your support network has a lot to do with your success. You are probably strongly invested in your business; after all, it is something that you created. Make sure you have people that you trust to help you along the way.

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Grace Lee has been practicing in the field of digital marketing for several years now. She has already brought numerous sites in search engines’ first pages in search results. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts about Google algorithm updates and other matters related to SEO.