I’ve heard it said that a small business owner suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, sometimes referred to as shiny object syndrome. If you are an entrepreneur you may relate to Dug in the movie “UP”, you are right in the middle of an important project when a new “shiny” idea grabs your attention…. “Squirrel!” So, to remind you how to avoid running off after every new “squirrel” that crosses your path you can use ADD as an acronym that stands for: Automate, Delegate & Delete
Automate – Top 5 tools to help automate your business
- IFTTT – If This Then That – Allows you to integrate applications that do not natively have a connection. You can create “recipes” in the app to integrate a number of applications to automate many parts of your business, not just your bookkeeping
- Expensify – Classify and track expenses on the go. This app allows you to take a picture of your receipts while you are out using your smartphone and gives you easy access to classify your expenses on the go. You can make your bookkeeper your “wing man” in the application and they have access to all of the receipts that you collected during the month
- Mile IQ – An easy to use mile tracking app for tracking business miles driven. The app automatically tracks your drives as long as it is running on your smartphone. All you have to do is classify the trip as either a business trip or personal by swiping left or right in the application
- Last Pass – Password protection software. We all need that extra layer of security. With LastPass you only have to remember 1 master password and the application remembers all of the rest of your passwords and enters them automatically. You have the ability to share passwords with others and generate secure passwords from within the application. They also have a feature that does an audit of your current passwords to see if you need to enhance your security
- Apps.com – Lists apps that are compatible with QuickBooks Online that meet strict requirements and have undergone a testing process to be approved. Once an app has been approved by Intuit, you can sign up for the app through a QuickBooks Online subscription. These apps provide additional automation features the work well in the QuickBooks online environment.
Delegate – only do what ONLY you can do
Do you find yourself losing productive time during the day doing administrative tasks? Do you find yourself “doing the work” rather than working on your business? How many tasks are on your to-do list that ONLY you can do?
We all fall into the trap of thinking that we are the only ones that can do a particular task, but as entrepreneurs in order for your business to thrive, you have to learn to delegate. There are millions of people in this world who make a much better admin, house cleaner, bookkeeper or assistant than you do. You have to look at the value of your time, your time is the most valuable commodity you have and the only one you can’t get back. Look at the tasks that are on your to-do list today and see if you can’t come up with a list of tasks for an administrative assistant . Then, get to hiring and offload those tasks to someone better qualified to handle them. You have a unique gift which is why you went into business in the first place. Spend your time doing THAT thing that makes you and your business unique in the world.
Delete – does that really have to be done?
When you ask a business owner to really look at their daily task list, at first their gut reaction is that everything on that list MUST be done. This step is usually the hardest for any business owner (after delegation) but is one of the most critical. There are tasks on your list that do not generate new business, do not generate revenue and do not move your business forward. Take a really hard look at your task list today and see if there aren’t tasks that you can completely eliminate without causing harm to your business. I think you will be surprised.
Small business owners are visionaries, always coming up with new and innovative ways to solve problems. It is the backbone of our economy and employs far more people than big business. Entrepreneurs need to have space and time to come up with the next great thing that will make all of our lives easier. These tips and tricks offer one suggestion as to how you can find more time and space to solve the world’s problems.