Three Time Management Tips for Self Employed People

People in all kinds of jobs are feeling the pressure of time constraints. New technology

Female Entrepreneur

and new ways of work make it easier to get more done, but we manage to fill any found time with new projects and business ideas. Entrepreneurs generally like to be busy; it is in their nature to try new things, maximize the use of their time on building valuable businesses, and strive to have more-and-more customers to serve.
The following three tips will help to maximize the use of valuable working time, and help to set priorities.

1: Get up and get started. Many entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have recently moved from a more traditional job into self-employment, might benefit from getting out of the house early each morning. Setting a destination and a schedule that might include dropping kids off at school, a quick walk to a coffee shop, or an early morning visit to the gym can help to mark the beginning of a day. Promptly then returning to a home office will allow the work day to officially start, curbing procrastination and other issues caused by moving too casually from bed to work.

2: Take inventory and allocate time. While working as an entrepreneur, each day can bring new challenges or opportunities that can be hard to manipulate into a predictable schedule, but many broad categories of work should be defined and have time allocated to them. Begin by listing broad categories that may include:

  • sales
  • administration
  • production
  • new ideas
  • business improvement projects

Decide how much time each category needs to allow you to do at least the minimum required to be successful. Decide how many times in a week, month, or even year you have to dedicate time to these tasks. It may be helpful to place appointments on a calendar for each of the categories. Even if they move to make space for other work, you will be more aware of the impact of the change than if you just add them to the bottom of an ever growing task list.

3: Stretch, but don’t over commit. Consider how many working hours actually exist in the year. 52 weeks minus 3 if you deserve a vacation, minus 2 for statutory holidays (let’s pretend that entrepreneurs take them). With this conservative calculation there are around 1800 hours to be scheduled. Think about your responsibilities to both your business and customers and how they fit into the calculation, then use what is left to prioritize special projects or new initiatives. The inventory from tip number two above could be a good place to start. If after subtracting all of those things from your available time, you estimate that 400 hours remain, you can think about the new and innovative things you want to do in those hours.

Entrepreneurs like to be busy, in many cases they are successful because they are willing to work hard. Working long hours comes naturally when the extra effort aligns with better performance. But, no one wants to burn out. Effectively managing your time by making the most of each day, allocating specific time for the things that matter and taking on a reasonable number of new initiatives based on how much time is available will help to ensure a balanced life and successful work.

Posted in Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Company is now open for business

Summer Company is now open for businessYouth_Group

Supporting youth entrepreneurs continues to be a focus for the team at the Halton Region Small Business Centre. By providing our youth with the proper tools and guidance they need to bring their business ideas to life, we can help succeed and continue to support a strong economy. One of the programs that we coordinate and deliver on behalf of the Province of Ontario is the Summer Company Program.

The Summer Company Program provides youth between 15-29 that are enrolled in high school or post-secondary school an opportunity to experience what it is like to live the life of an entrepreneur and open their own business. The program application process opened on January 25, 2016, and is now accepting applications from students who would like to open their own Summer Company. Continue reading

Posted in Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Summer Company, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized, Youth Entrepreneur Program | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 – New Year, New Beginning

With the beginning of the year we typically see many new clients who want to take the

Try something new

first step into entrepreneurship. At the Halton Small Business Centre, we can help make those first steps easy.

We want to ensure that all new business owners start off on the right foot and receive the relevant information without burdening them with “information overload.”  To help accomplish this, we host a weekly information session entitled Getting Started.  In this session, staff will guide you through a checklist of things you should consider when starting a new business.  The sessions are casual, informative small groups of five or less. Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Small Business Books, Halton business lending library, Halton small business centre lending library, resources for Halton small business, market research, Small Business Financing, Summer Company, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized, Youth Entrepreneur Program | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your business idea viable?

How do you take a business idea to the next step? Most entrepreneurs have a business idea

ThinkstockPhotos-454939047

that they think might be viable but they are not sure what to do next. The concept might be something that they have been considering for a long time but now they are thinking about taking the next step. So how do you take an idea or a concept from an abstract stage to a concrete one?

One of the most important elements of this stage is to really understand what the idea involves. It’s time to really to formulate and build off your ideas and a great way to start is by writing things down. It is at this point  when an entrepreneur needs to start jotting down some bullets that will not only show the viability of an idea but will also help create a confidence level to further develop the idea and turn it into a reality. Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to take advantage of Halton Small Business Centre’s Lending Library

 

Did you resolve to read more in 2016? If you’re looking to focus your

Woman reading a book

reading so that you can learn about how you can start or grow a business, the Small Business Centre can help. The Small Business Centre operates a resource library from its main location at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville

The library includes:

  • worksheets and guides that visitors can take and keep.
  • books on business that visitors can borrow.
  • market research resources both in print and on computer workstations that can be accessed while in the office.

Books on Business

Books in the Halton Region Small Business Centre’s library cover a range of topics and writing styles, but tend to fall into three main categories:

1. Topic specific advice: From books like the Social Media Bible for onlineLending Library marketing and Book Yourself Solid for sales, to Bookkeepers’ Bootcamp and the Canadian Business Contracts Handbook for technical advice, there are many books that can provide insight to entrepreneurs who want to improve their management abilities or learn how to solve a specific business problem.

2. Business or industry specific advice: Books from the Start and RunHalton library series are a great solution if you are pressed for time and want to gather information quickly on a specific type of business. These books are often technical in nature and offer advice regarding topics such as pricing, business planning, marketing, staffing and legal considerations. Titles include Start and Run a Creative Services Business, Start and Run a Bed and Breakfast, and Start and Run a Landscaping Business.

3. Success stories and other forms of entertainment and inspiration: For readers who are not trying to find an answer to a technical question, but instead are seeking inspirational stories, frameworks for thinking, or commentary on business ownership, titles like Smart Women Take Risks, Starting from Scratch or Masters of Success can help to put readers into an entrepreneurial mindset.

Check them out

Most books at the Small Business Centre can be borrowed and enjoyed at home. The lending policy will allow a visitor or client to check-out up to three items for up to three weeks at a time. Simply select the items you would like to borrow and fill out a quick form at the Centre’s front desk.

Other Valuable Resources

In addition to the books that can be checked out, the Small Business Centre has reference material that can be used while visitors remain in the office. Resources for market research include the InfoCanada Business to Business Marketing Guide, Scott’s Directory Online, Super Demographics (an interactive demographic mapping tool), and the Canadian Associations Directory.

 

Posted in Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Small Business Books, Halton business lending library, Halton small business centre lending library, resources for Halton small business, market research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Season’s Greetings!

This gallery contains 6 photos.

It’s hard to believe that another busy year is wrapping up and we have already planned many events and programs for 2016. Here’s a recap of what 2015 was like for the Halton Region Small Business Centre: We refreshed our … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Company 2016 – coming soon

The Halton Region Small Business Centre coordinates and delivers theYouth_Group Summer Company Program on behalf of the Province of Ontario. The Summer Company Program provides youth from the ages of 15 – 29 that are enrolled in high school or post-secondary school an opportunity to experience what it is like to live the life of an entrepreneur and open their own business. The program will be accepting applications starting in mid-January, 2016.

During the summer break, students that are accepted into the program receive up to $1,500 of financial support to help with start-up costs as well as 12 hours of training and mentoring with business centre staff and local business professionals. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students are then eligible to receive an additional $1,500 award. Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Financing, Summer Company, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized, Youth Entrepreneur Program | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment