With all you have to do as a small business owner, does it sometimes feel like time is really not on your side?
Face it; you have a business to run, employees to oversee (if you’re not a one-person show), customers to keep happy, not to mention about a dozen or so other tasks on a daily basis.
That said how can you keep organized and make sure you’re meeting your daily schedule of appointments and more?
Don’t Leave Daily Tasks to Chance
So that you can be sure you’re not leaving any stoned unturned in running your small business, efficiency and organization are keys to a successful operation.
In order to maintain those two important keys, there are several things you should be doing.
For starters, make sure schedules are followed as closely as possible.
For example, if your business is supposed to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., don’t show up at 9:10 a.m. or close the doors at 4:50 p.m. Always remember that many customers have schedules they must stick to also, so be considerate of that fact.
Secondly, it is important that you keep your company’s flow moving during the day.
While issues will come up at times, getting too backed up can present a log-jam for customers, especially if you’re running a business where appointments make up a good portion of the day. Leaving customers waiting in the lobby can wear on their patience, so don’t make it a regular practice.
Book More Success with a Regular Schedule
One way to keep things flowing nicely is a salon appointment book.
With such an item, small business owners can put a schedule together days or even weeks ahead of time. This helps in pacing themselves on any given day, knowing whether they have a full slate of customers to deal with or something less than full.
Another important factor in keeping organized is when you have employees to oversee.
It is imperative that you make it known to them that being organized and sticking to their work schedules is expected, not requested.
Never let them (or yourself for that matter) lose sight of the fact that without your customers, you don’t have a business to begin with.
Your employees also must be in sync with your values when it comes to treating your customers with respect.
Sure, some customers can quite frankly be a handful to deal with at times.
They can even be wrong at times, but you don’t want to let them know that (if you have to, let them know in a mannerly way).
When both employees and customers are organized in their thoughts and actions, it is a win-win situation for both parties.
Also take the time to plan around breaks in your small business schedule, things such as vacations etc.
If you have one or more employees who will be taking time off, make sure you have their work covered.
Telling customers you’re behind on their orders because you’ve got a short staff quite frankly won’t cut it. Planning ahead and being organized can lessen the chances of things falling through the cracks.
Another item to never lose focus of is staying on top of scheduling software, making sure you have the best tech product in the business.
While some small businesses may still go the old-fashioned way of doing things – that is writing dates down on a calendar – many more have successfully transitioned to doing everything electronically.
As a result, there is less chance of error, more ease with which to get one’s business dealings done, and a perception to customers that your business is not lagging behind when it comes to technology. Face it; technology can not only make your life easier, but also that of your customers.
In a day and age when being technologically green can be a real detriment to small businesses, it behooves your company to be on top of technology.
One way to go about that is by making sure your business is well-organized.
When that is the case, your customers will love you even more.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.