Sustainable time management tips for the self-employed and entrepreneurs: More money through efficiency and sustainability

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Time management is only for people who have too much time, many and especially self-employed think - and overlook the fact that efficiency and sustainable business significantly contributes to the success of a company.

Sustainable time management tips for self-employed and entrepreneurs: More money through efficiency and sustainability Sustainable time management tips for the self-employed and entrepreneurs: More money through efficiency and sustainability

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


How self-organization and time management significantly contribute to the success of your business


You may have heard about time management before, but you have never had the time to study it. But as a self-employed person you should, because time is money - and it's your money and your time wasting on bad work organization, not your boss's money. The impact of this can be demonstrated once a year by the global productivity study by American consulting firm Proudfoot Consulting:

In German companies, an average of 32,5 days are wasted a year - due to management errors such as too much administration, duplication of work and endless conferences. Time is money: the German economy loses 170 billion euros a year as a result. The Germans are still doing well in international comparison: 30 percent of the working time worldwide is spent unproductively.

Optimize processes: Work organization under control


Maybe you are just a relatively small company, maybe even a one-man operation with a very manageable structure and few orders left. But the more your business grows, the more customers it has, and the more jobs you need to handle side-by-side, that is, the more your business grows, the more important it becomes to have your work organization under control.

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Because the bigger you get, the more effort you have: The bureaucratic effort grows, for example due to demands of the tax office or the hiring of employees, you have to create more files, manage more projects, keep track of more appointments and much more. Then it is good if you have worked in a well-organized and structured way from the outset, preferably right at the start of your formation. After all, if wrong work techniques are involved, it is even harder to change these behaviors afterwards.

Ecological business on the rise


An equally important aspect today is sustainable, ecological management: More and more entrepreneurs understand the importance of being actively involved in the environment and of carrying these activities outside. Because entrepreneurs are an important pillar of society.

The environmentally conscious, efficient organization of all workflows needs to be well planned and thought out. Take advantage of periods in which you have few jobs targeted to practice time management techniques and implement sustainability rather than just sitting around waiting for new customers. Then you are prepared when suddenly you are overrun by orders and customers.

Work organization under control = company under control


But even if you intend to remain a microenterprise, it is important that you have your time management under control: the better you plan your time, the more you can accomplish in the time you have available. Because the success of your company depends not only on your expertise: "Who has his work organization under control, has his business under control," a (slightly modified) proverb. Not without reason: For what advantage do you have, if you have many orders, but only little money for it, because you have not properly assessed your time and bad negotiation? Or what brings you, if you deserve well, but have forgotten important dates at the tax office? And what do you get out of it, if you are competent and committed, but delay important decisions and thus lose customers?

The health suffers


But not only productivity, but also your health suffers from bad time management. "Of course," you will say, "Everyone has stress, that's something completely normal these days. If you have time, you are doing something wrong. " In fact, it is just chic among start-ups to be rung several times a day by mobile phone or to complain about the constant on-going load. But does that make sense? The fact is: Who does not begrudge himself regular time off, stays permanently unhealthy and thus productive. And thus the success of the company is again endangered. Therefore, ensure a balance between work and private life and separate both - as a self-employed person, this is not as easy as you may have noticed. Only then can you be motivated and happy in the long term.

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As a self-employed person, you have a clear advantage in designing your work organization: you are not dependent on the requirements of a supervisor, but you are the boss yourself and can organize it in the way that suits you best. But that also has its drawbacks: you have to organize yourself practically, nobody forces you to work and nobody stops you from working too much. And you have to make all decisions yourself. This can be onerous in the long term.

Organization helps to work more productively


After all, optimal work organization not only helps you to work better and more productively, but also to convince others of your qualities. How an optimal effect on others, be it employees or customers, is practically also the result of a good self-organization. Because: Other people notice uncertainties very quickly - whether these are missing motivation and goals or poor planning and preparation of your work. The more motivated and confident you are of yourself and the better organized and prepared you will meet others, the more competent you will be to the outside and the better you can convince others of yourself. And the more organized you work, the better and more efficiently you can plan and conduct work processes with others.

You find time management techniques cumbersome and believe they have no time for that? This only seems to you at the beginning. Research shows that you have to practice a technique twenty-one times before it becomes flesh-and-blood. Then do it automatically! Your previous, possibly less effective way of working, you have learned at some point. Just try something new!

Steps to successful time management


Good work organization therefore affects the success of your company in several respects. Take a look at the following examples of typical self-employed situations. They make it clear that the best organization can greatly enhance the success of a business and that reading it helps you to do so. Maybe you will recognize yourself in one situation or another.

Before reading this textAfter reading this text
Mr. A. just can not get motivated to work. Tomorrow, tomorrow is his motto. How should that be?Mr. A. has been aware of what he has and what is needed. Since he now knows what he wants, it is much easier for him to control it and he does not postpone even unpleasant work.
Mr. S. does not manage to win new customers because he himself is not quite convinced of his performance.Mr. S. has analyzed his strengths and weaknesses and now knows what he can and can not do. That motivates him.
Mrs. P. is not sure which projects you should accept and which not. Therefore, it often acts indecisive on potential customers and gets bogged down in various projects. She lacks a clear, clear company profile that sets her apart from the competitionMs. P. has made her goals clear and now knows what she wants. Then she chooses the projects and rejects projects that promise no long-term success. This will help you focus on the essentials and do your job better.
Ms. L. is often tired and exhausted. She works day and night and yet she will not finish. She often has the feeling that she is working and can not get anything done.Ms. L. has learned to incorporate her performance curve into your work routine, take breaks more frequently, and consciously do exercises to reduce stress. Since then she has been working less, but more productively.
Mr. K. often forgets appointments and loses a lot of time searching for addresses, important notes and work materials.Mr. K. has created an efficient system of order in which it is easy for him to deposit and recover things. He also found the right organizer for his addresses and scheduling after some trial and error.
Mrs C. wants your customers to be always satisfied. If someone complains, that's a big blow for you, because she just can not handle her own mistakes.Mrs. C. has learned to say "no" to clients too. In addition, she now sees complaints as constructive criticism since she learned how to handle mistakes.
Mr. F. Feels simply overwhelmed by the daily rushing to him work: Doing his real work, do the accounting, receive customer calls, stay in the industry always up to date - that's just not.Mr. F. has hired an employee on 400-Euro-Basis, to whom he simply delegates work. He has also simplified the bureaucracy and now knows better with the daily flood of information from newspapers, industry magazines, textbooks and eMails deal. For customers, he is only partially accessible.
Mrs. N. takes a long time to make decisions. If the decision is then made, you often think about it for a long time.Mrs. N. has discovered systematic decision-making methods for herself. So she can clarify her decision making process. And even after she is no longer uncertain, but can make it clear that the decision was deliberate.

Which work as a self-employed person comes to you


Above all, of course, you wanted to become self-employed in order to realize your thoughts, creativity, wishes etc. You probably haven't even thought of many other fields of activity. Many tasks are new. Occasionally you will feel overwhelmed. Because new tasks are usually not as routine as they have been done a thousand times. But that's exactly it Sense of planning: You should practice certain work steps and movements. In addition, the equipment should be correct for this, ie it should be neat. Planning makes sense for this: To get routine at work.

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Your actual professional activity


As a consultant, it is your background knowledge, as a hairdresser, the ability to cut hair: The professional activity is the core of your company, you build on it. And that is also your main activity. But you also need to maintain and improve your competencies to compete with the competition, so it's important that you regularly educate yourself and exchange views with other professionals in your industry to keep up to date with the latest industry trends and trends. After all, that's what you build on, and therefore training in any form is part of your schedule.

Dealing with customers


In addition to your technical skills, your ability to convince others of your abilities is what you need. It will not happen overnight, you need a bit of patience to win the trust of your potential customers. Therefore, you should regularly invest time and money in appropriate advertising. How this looks in detail is different from industry to industry: As the owner of a gift shop lovingly designed advertising leaflets for the mailboxes make sense, as the operator of an Internet portal, you should search engine optimization, eMails and actions on the Internet.

However, before you start your own advertising campaign, you need to find out what the most effective form of advertising would be, for example, through the experience of professionals, by asking potential customers or simply by trying them out. Advertising must be planned, regardless of whether you are in charge of advertising or commissioning professionals: you must prepare the advertising material, for example, by designing leaflets or setting content and budget. Even if your ad is just a phone call, you should first write down and practice what you want to say. Only after the planning comes the implementation. The time required for this is very different: When you run a special action at a trade fair, you naturally need to plan more time than if you want to display a newspaper ad.

It is important that promotions are carried out regularly. Especially in the beginning, self-employed people like to make the mistake of neglecting advertising when things are going well. This can take its revenge when customers suddenly switch to the competition, because then you are under duress to have to do something quickly and this often does not work. Better: Schedule regular actions that remind you of customers and attract new customers - even when you are very busy. If you always offer good service and accept customer complaints as suggestions for improvement, then you will be able to maintain a customer base. And finally: In everyday dealings with customers, your knowledge of human nature is required. Without the ability to assess other people, especially customers, at least reasonably well and to anticipate their behavior (which does not always succeed) you will not be successful in the long term. Also in this area there are further education.

Technical work


Even if you are not an IT specialist: Even with a computer, you should nowadays know yourself as a self-employed person, or at least have someone on hand who can help you - whether it's installing software or creating and maintaining websites. The better you are familiar with the device, the more time you save in the long term, for example because you can update your website yourself. You must also make the VAT advance notification via the Internet. So plan the training in basic functions.

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Accounting, costing and financing


Keep track of your earnings and expenses. Especially if you submit your bookkeeping as a revenue surplus bill at the tax office, you can easily do this yourself and should also do that to keep track of yourself. You need to know what current expenses you have each month. You should also calculate that you still have a nest egg for unforeseen cases. With that you make the prices. But you should also know what your work is worth so you do not sell too cheaply. That requires research on the prices of your competitors. After all, you must bring these prices close to your customers, or negotiate with them. And finally, if you can not afford the necessary capital yourself, you should take care of appropriate funding, such as state subsidies or bank loans.

Tax and legal issues


Tax and legal issues are often so complicated that in special cases you can not avoid consulting an expert. Of course that costs money. However, you should not rely fully on experts, but especially for general questions even keep an overview. Use appropriate information portals on the Internet, appropriate publications, further education or counseling services, for example your professional association. But above all, make yourself up to date with the authorities and always keep official appointments, for example with the tax office or employment agency. Authorities can cause you unexpectedly great difficulties in case of doubt.

Planning and organization


You need to organize your own time in such a way that you achieve your goals. In addition, you not only have to organize your own work, but also coordinate it with customers, cooperation partners and employees. Therefore, you should thoroughly study the necessary techniques, and practice them. Because even if it takes time, in the long run you save time

How optimal time management pays off in dealing with customers and employees


You have now learned how optimizing time management has a positive impact on your work organization and productivity, and is therefore crucial to the success of your business. But having your business organization under control will also help convince others of your qualities. Because an optimal effect on others, whether employees or customers, is practically also the result of a good self-organization.

Just think of the motivation: If you do not believe in the success of your company and are not sufficiently motivated to enforce it, you will hardly be able to convince other people, because they notice uncertainties very quickly. The more motivated and confident you are of yourself and the more consistently you pursue your goals, the sooner you will affect others.

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Optimal planning and preparation has a positive effect


And also optimal planning and preparation of your work has a positive effect: Imagine, you would have to conduct a customer discussion or give a lecture and are not prepared at all: they would be terribly nervous and would not make a particularly competent impression. If, on the other hand, you have thought through and prepared work processes well, you can also respond to criticism of how you work, because you know what's behind it. And the more organized you work, the better and more efficiently you can plan and conduct work processes with others.

Keeping your time under control also makes you feel more relaxed. Because what would you think of a salesperson who is bustling around you all the time around the store or who is barking at you unfriendly on any question because he's stressed out? Presumably, you would find these people unsympathetic and look for the distance. And would you be happy as an employee about a constantly annoyed boss? Presumably, you would rather be suffering from a poor working environment and less motivated work. Since you, as an entrepreneur, do not want to achieve such effects on the part of customers or employees, you should take the tips for stress reduction into account because relaxed work also makes a significant contribution to your company's success.

Implement goals consistently


After all, goal setting, planning and implementation also mean that you act consistently, for example by saying "no" or standing by your decisions. But you can only do that if you are aware of your goals and have thought through your decisions well. Consequence, however, gives you respect for customers and employees alike.

As you can see, good time management is not only beneficial to you, it also makes a significant contribution to the success of your business. Because only if you have your organization under control do you also have professional expertise and can convince other people of your product or service.

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