Small business time management and your website

Being a small business ourselves we understand that time management is crucial at meeting targets and achieving our desired growth (or sometimes survival) objectives.

All small business owners should spend time on the following:

  • Raising Capital
  • Administration
  • Advertising, Sales and Marketing
  • Production
  • Client relations
  • Compliance
  • Human resources (Recruitment and development)
  • Management

Even if you are a small one man operation you have to spend time on all of the aforementioned. In bigger businesses these functions are performed by specialist departments with managers overseeing the proper functioning of each department.

Being a web design company we will probably be expected to focus on the Advertising-, Sales- and Marketing Activities of a small business alone. Not so easy!

Of all the business functions or elements in a small business a website can assist in saving time and helping an organisation to be more effective in its entire operations. Here are some examples:

  • Raising Capital

A website can assist in potential investors finding you. It will definitely help to convince potential investors that you are passionate about your business, that you have been around for a while. A website is the public image of a small business.

  • Administration

We use our forms and surveys to gather information from clients when registering for training sessions which we sometimes present. Accountants can use online forms to enable them to register companies quicker. Any business can create a request a quote and understand more precisely , exactly what it is that a potential client requires

  • Production

We use our own website as well as other websites to create manuals on how to do more difficult things when it comes to managing your website’s content. We have written a public website marketing manual for our clients to read. A lot of businesses which requires technical knowledge can use their website to upload documents and brochures for their staff and clients to refer back to when the information is needed.

  • Client relations

Even small business can sometimes end up in the public spotlight after a negative event. The website can be used to make a special announcement, a press release statement. In our business we sometimes experience problems with Internet connectivity in some parts of South Africa. Before we are blamed we could refer clients to our website to see whether the problem they are experiencing with their websites are not a network problem. We live in an area where we also often do not have cell phone signal. Our client are able to find alternative contact details on our website. It is very frustrating for web design clients not to be able to get hold of their web design company. A frequently asked question can save a client time with difficult questions.

  • Human resources

By having a website it is much easier to recruit potential employees seeing that they can have a good idea on what the business is all about. It is easier for new employees to be trained on what the business is all about. Vacancies can be advertised on your website, saving you time with answering potential job seekers. Company policies, leave forms can also be shared in an employee only section of a website. A forum, also in an employees only section can be a great communication tool where employees can share creative ideas.

  • Management

Any business needs a clear vision, strategic planning sessions and open and transparent public profile. (We believe in the latter at least.) By having a website and developing the different divisions of a website the small business management are forced to think strategically, to consider public image and to clearly define exactly what it is that the business is offering to the general public. A lot of businesses fail because of failure to plan. (Fail to plan = plan to fail.) A website could be viewed in a sense as a live strategic business plan which needs to be kept up to date. Most definitely with your current prices if prices are advertised on your website.

And you thought a website is only about advertising, sales and marketing? I hope these examples have shown that a website can increase a small business’s general operations and save a business owner time.

But related to the advertising and sales function and time for most small business owners time is money. Sales is the blood of any business which keeps the whole business going. You have to spend time and money on this function. That is where a website comes in. Not only the initial time and money required for initial creation but the continuous development of your website. In doing so you will not only increase your sales but you will probably also be addressing all your other business functions as well.

If you really want to grow your small business without engaging in complex partnerships or employing staff in a stringent labour environment as is prevailing in South Africa you should consider which of your entire business functions you could outsource on a contract basis to individuals better at it than yourself.

That’s about all the time I have to blog on small business time management and your website.

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