Running a business takes time–a lot of it. You use much of it to routine tasks that you can streamline, automate, or outsource.
1. Data Entry and Research
While you cannot avoid both of these tasks, you’re better off working with an offshore data entry company instead. To understand this, let’s do some math.
Let’s pretend you spend at least 30 minutes updating your records. If you do that every day, about 15 hours of your time goes toward this routine task alone.
Meanwhile, research usually takes at least 40 minutes to an hour. Even if you do this once a week, it still accounts for around 3 hours a month. Now add both, and data entry and research could be worth one full day of your life.
2. E-Mail Marketing
No doubt, e-mail marketing works. For every dollar spent, the return can be a whopping $42. It is also effective in almost all levels of the sales funnel, from acquisitions to retention and even re-engagement after customer abandonment.
However, it can be painstaking work. On average, e-mail marketers spend around 20 hours a week or 5 hours a day. To spend less time, you have two options: outsource it or use autoresponders. Automating it can reduce your work hours to five weekly.
How about workplace e-mails? Usually, a person spends 2.6 hours each day going through everything. Limit it with these tips:
- Discourage reply-all unless everyone needs to see the messages.
- Unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read.
- Set a time for e-mail checking (pro tip: don’t read e-mails first thing in the morning).
- Create boundaries. Inform everyone the best time to e-mail you.
3. Social Media
How much time does an average person spend on social media these days? According to Statista, it’s about 144 minutes or nearly 2.5 hours per day in 2019.
This doesn’t account for the time dedicated to marketing. A 2016 report revealed that over 35% ended up doing social media work for at least 11 hours weekly.
While social media is now a formidable digital marketing strategy, it can be one of the routine jobs on the list. Get smart with it by:
- Automate it. Use tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule posts.
- Analyze your data. You can use it to optimize your strategies, like the best time to schedule a post for the highest engagement.
- Streamline your social media tools. Which social media gives you the returns you like? Focus on those.
4. Accounting and Taxation
While you need to file taxes only once a year, the amount of time spent on it is mind-blowing. In the United States, people spend nearly 3 billion hours for preparation and filing. That’s way more than what they give to arts and crafts and golf.
Worse, unless you have a good background for each, you’re prone to make mistakes, some of which can land you in legal trouble.
To spare yourself the headache, invest in tools such as Quickbooks and TurboTax. They’re handy if you want to do accounting and taxation DIY. Otherwise, get a professional on retainer. This way, you pay only when you use their services.
Skipping these tasks can hurt the business, but spending too much time on them can be just as detrimental. Learn how to manage them, so you can have more energy for other essential to-dos.