4 Ways to Combat SMB Fatigue

SMB Fatigue

Have you ever thought you could use a clone? If you work for a small business, you probably have.

Small businesses normally have less money and resources to run companies, which means employees face a barrage of responsibilities that don’t always align with their job titles.

This is painstakingly true for small business owners. As founders, leaders and decision-makers, SMB owners have a hand in every aspect of business. Time is limited and business can bleed into nights, weekends, and holidays. With so many questions awaiting feedback, decisions may be backed up or actions delayed as owners focus on what they’ve rated as higher priority items.

So how can business owners maximize their output and minimize the time involved? They need to combat their SMB fatigue, and here are the four best ways to do that.

1. Automate

Picture this: Your bookkeeper emails about the status of an invoice pending payment. You remember the invoice but are uncertain about the amount. After a quick search of your local files and your company’s files in another system, you find the contract and past invoices. But you have questions. The amount doesn’t align with what’s in the contract and an endless email thread ensues. Finally, when all is ironed out, the bookkeeper then has to schedule face-to-face time for you to sign the check. But, of course, you’re out of town on business and can’t get to it.

Shouldn't you implement a process that takes care of this?

Yes, and automation is the answer.

For example: Accounts payable automation cuts the time to review, approve, and get bills paid by 50 percent. The cloud-based process shepherds the bill from approver to approver, sends out reminders when reviews lag, creates an audit trail, and enables digital payments like ACH–all automatically. It even houses all AP documentation–invoices, contracts, past payments and more–so that you can check everything in one system.

By automating your AP process you can go out of town and not worry about bill pay.

2. Mobilize

Mobile is the payments trend to watch. Twenty-five percent of small businesses do more than half of their work from mobile devices. Like previous generations, businesses are no longer bound to physical offices. And if a small business owner doesn’t have the means to conduct business on the go, they are throwing away time and productivity.

It’s not access to a smartphone or tablet that’s a problem for most owners. After all, these are standard 21st century tools. The problem may stem from their software–meaning programs that the company uses may not have mobile applications, websites, or compatibility.  

First, find out what you’re working with. If your solutions offer mobile options, make sure you’re fully utilizing them. And, if your solutions are aging or not compatible with mobility, it’s time to consider a change to the cloud. It’s secure, easy to use, and completely optimized for mobility.

3. Delegate

Take back more time by offsetting your lower-priority duties.

You no doubt have qualified team members that can take on responsibilities without your input. Honestly, do you need to be involved in approving any bills below $100?

Empower delegation by working closely with those taking over duties during the transition. Communicate priorities, guidelines, and budgets. Give them resources if they have questions. The time it takes to onboard them will pay off exponentially in the long-term.

And delegation will pay you back even more so as your business grows. Not only are you entrusting team members, but you’re building a deep bench for management.

4. Train

Training supports the long-term vision for taking back your time. Commit to building your team with multi-faceted experts. While you may have a working knowledge of many particular areas, empowering the professional development of employees through certifications and conferences allows them to enhance their knowledge and bring in best practices from other organizations. Not only will training create a stronger team for you, it will also enhance employee morale and create a higher level of loyalty.

Combat that SMB fatigue—use this blueprint and take the time to apply it. You may find you don’t need a clone after all.