7 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners

Top business leaders are famously creative with their productivity strategies. Block CEO and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey allegedly takes ice baths and eats only seven meals a week. Tala CEO Shivani Siroya does headstands to reboot after a long flight.

The lesson here isn’t necessarily to put down your sandwich or get upside down, however—it’s that successful people value productivity and find strategies to maximize it.

For entrepreneurs—who often face time and budget constraints—strategies that increase productivity can be particularly valuable. Finding the productivity hacks that work for you (and your team) can help you increase profits, decrease working hours, and position your business for long-term growth.

What is productivity?

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of a process. Mathematically, it’s a ratio of inputs to outputs, where input represents the resources that go into a process and output represents the final product. The formula reads: productivity = output / input.

To improve productivity, you either need to increase the efficiency of a process (lowering your input) or increase the value of the product (raising your output).

How to measure productivity within your business

To measure productivity, you need to define inputs and outputs by the same unit. You can’t divide dollars by hours, for example, or birthday cakes by frustration. Business leaders typically manage this by assigning a dollar value to time spent on business tasks. 

For example, let’s say that you are evaluating productivity for the process of creating and distributing a product whose price tag is $1,000. You value your team’s time at $200 an hour, and it takes you three hours to create and deliver the product. You also spend an additional $50 on shipping and materials.

Using the formula productivity = output / input, your productivity calculation looks like this:

Productivity = 1,000 / (200 x 3) + 50 = 1.54

A productivity score greater than one means you are making money, and a number less than one means you’re losing money. 

You can use this method to measure the productivity of a particular process, the overall productivity of your business, or the productivity levels of individual employees.

7 tips for boosting productivity

In the critical early days of building a company, every minute (and every cent) counts. These seven productivity tips can help your team increase efficiency, maximizing investments of both.

1. Make a to-do list and prioritize tasks

Running a business is a lot of work—on a typical day, you might execute 60 tasks across 12 business areas. Don’t rely on memory to keep track of your responsibilities. Instead, make a to-do list and prioritize tasks, placing the highest-priority tasks at the top.

Business leaders sometimes use the Eisenhower matrix to prioritize tasks. This system categorizes tasks according to both importance and urgency:

  • Urgent, important tasks go at the top of the list. Do these first.
  • Urgent, unimportant tasks need to be completed soon, but not necessarily by you. Delegate these tasks when possible.
  • Nonurgent, important tasks go lower on your list. Make a plan to complete these, but don’t let them distract you from more pressing issues. 
  • Nonurgent, unimportant tasks can be scheduled out, delegated, or deleted from your list entirely.

2. Record processes

Many business activities can be standardized. For example, every time you onboard a client, you’ll need to repeat similar tasks in a similar order. Spend time identifying and recording this process, taking note of both what you need to do and the order in which you need to do it. 

Once you’ve standardized your process, You can delegate individual tasks (or even an entire process) to a team member. Writing a process down can also help you analyze it and eliminate inefficiencies or redundancies. 

3. Take breaks

You are a finite resource—and your team members are too. Although you might be able to work for 14 hours a day for a few days at a time, long hours decrease productivity in the long term. Set boundaries to protect your physical and mental health, and encourage your employees to do the same. 

Taking breaks can also help. Research shows that even short breaks can increase productivity, so intersperse productive time with other activities. Consider a walk around the block: physical exercise and exposure to natural light can increase cognitive abilities and boost your mood. 

4. Listen to your team

Coach your team in productivity tips and practices—but don’t forget to also solicit feedback. Ask employees what changes to work environments or business processes might improve their productivity levels. 

5. Channel Ulysses to beat procrastination

The hero of The Odyssey famously asked his crew to tie him to the mast of his ship so that he could listen to the sirens without going mad and steering the ship into the rocks—the typical result of hearing the siren song. Essentially, Ulysses defeated his own worst impulse. He didn’t overcome his temptation; he just made it impossible to act on. You can use a similar strategy to beat procrastination. If you’re tempted to put off a critical task, publicly commit to a deadline. If your product manager is counting on a key brief by Wednesday, you’ll be forced to put it in motion.

6. Block your time

Use time-blocking to enable focused work on a single task. Decline meetings, close your email, and notify your team members that you will be unavailable. This can be particularly helpful for boosting productivity on creative projects and other tasks that require intense focus. You can also use time blocks to take advantage of your most productive hours: If your productivity peaks before noon, reserve morning time for your most demanding tasks.

7. Use productivity tools

  • Productivity tools. Productivity tools can help you save time and measure work productivity. Consider the following types of tools:
  • Task-management apps. Apps like Todoist can help you keep and visualize an organized to-do list and synchronize your list across all of your devices. Recurring task functions can also automatically schedule quarterly, monthly, or weekly tasks.
  • Project management tools. Project management tools like Asana and Trello can help business owners and team leads move projects from concept to delivery, streamline communications, and avoid losing track of key items or steps.
  • Communication tools. Workplace communication tools like Slack allow you to send quick responses to questions from your team. Some also allow you to create ongoing conversation channels for specific projects or topics. 
  • Time-tracking tools. Tools like RescueTime and Harvest can help you measure productivity and improve time management by identifying if (and where) you are wasting time. 
  • Calendering apps. A calendaring app like Google Calendar can help you visualize your team’s schedule. You can set meetings, create time blocks, and save time during the scheduling process by viewing when your team members are available. 
  • Marketing automation tools. Many marketing tasks can be automated. Consider using a social media scheduling tool, like Sprout Social, or an email automation tool, like Hubspot. Your ecommerce platform might also offer built-in marketing automation functions. For example, Shopify offers email marketing automations, customer relationship management (CRM) automations, and Facebook advertising automations.
  • Proofreading tools. Apps like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can quickly scan a document, identify errors, and recommend changes. Although you’ll still need to employ your team’s expert copywriter to evaluate suggestions and ensure consistency with your internal style guide, these apps can save time during the proofreading process.
  • Focus-optimization tools. Tools like Kanban Flow and Focus To-Do use can improve productivity using the Pomodoro technique, a productivity system that breaks up your workday into periods of intense focus, interspersed with short breaks. If you get distracted by email notifications or are tempted to waste time scrolling through social media, you can also use a website blocker like Freedom or Cold Turkey to block specific sites or even the entire internet.
  • Storage and organization tools. Cloud-based file storage and organization tools like Dropbox and Google Drive can help your team collaborate on projects and eliminate the need to send documents back and forth by email. Some also allow collaborative editing on a live document and let you see version history—you can easily view the most up-to-date version of a file and backtrack to previous versions if needed.

Productivity tips FAQ

How can I overcome procrastination to increase productivity?

Try these productivity hacks to beat procrastination:

  • Follow the two-minute rule. The two-minute rule encourages you to complete small tasks right away. According to the rule, if you can do a task in two minutes or less, you should do it immediately.
  • Follow the five-minute rule. If you’re tempted to procrastinate on a task, commit to working on it for just five minutes. You’ll make at least some progress, and you may be motivated to continue working past your requirement.
  • Bribe yourself. Give yourself a little reward for the completion of a task. Worked two hours straight on your ecommerce store design? Congratulations; you get a Snickers. Finished monthly payroll? Sounds like it’s time for some TV.

Can taking breaks increase productivity?

Yes. Research shows that even a short break can increase productivity, and the benefits are even greater for breaks that incorporate physical exercise or exposure to natural light.

What role does technology play in enhancing productivity?

Digital productivity tools can automate processes, streamline communications, and help your team stay organized. They can also improve time management and help you measure your business’ overall productivity.

How can I set clear goals and priorities to increase productivity?

Try prioritizing tasks according to both importance and urgency. Do urgent, important tasks first, and delegate less important tasks to your team.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

Reference:  https://www.shopify.com/blog/productivity-tips

How To Design A Fantacy Unboxing Experience For Your Customers

If you’re running an online business, one of the important touchpoints you have with your customer is when the items they ordered and purchased from you get delivered.

For one, this allows you to leave a positive impression on them and create a pleasant online shopping experience. A well-designed unboxing experience can create a ‘wow’ factor that can make your customers fall in love with your brand all over again and order more. 

In general, most customers are already excited about receiving their items. But you can take it up a notch and make it even more exciting by providing a carefully curated unboxing experience. 

What Benefits?

1.It Has The Potential For Free Marketing

While some customer prefers to enjoy the unboxing experience on their own, others love to record the moment and share the experience on social media. As such, it becomes a significant marketing opportunity to help your brand reach more clients and stand out. 

2. It Improves Customer Loyalty

One of the most important goals of any company is to make customers repeatedly purchase their products. That said, customer experience across the buying journey impact customer loyalty.  

A big part of the buyer’s journey that you can easily improve and control is creating a positive unboxing experience. This strategy relies on emotion, allowing consumers to feel pampered and valued. Such consumer empowerment can encourage people to come back again and again.

How to?

1.Packaging Materials——Choose The Right Packaging Materials

To create a unique unboxing experience for your customers, focus on the material. Ideally, it shouldn’t be just any ordinary box that you bulk buy from a supplier. Your box should feature your brand colors, logo, or name.  

Once your products arrive on a customer’s doorstep, you want to let them know they came from you. While plain boxes may be cheaper, if your brand isn’t clear, you could miss out on the valuable opportunity to establish consistent brand recognition. Note that consistent branding–from product browsing and selection to purchasing to receiving and unboxing the product, can help build and strengthen your brand story. That said, don’t skimp on your product boxes.  

Alternatively, the term ‘unboxing’ doesn’t necessarily mean boxes. As such, you can choose whether you’ll use boxes to pack your items. However, it’s important to choose the right type of packaging suitable for your specific products. 

For instance, a custom box may not be necessary if you have smaller, flexible products such as shirts. You can opt for branded mailers or plastic pouches. Regardless of what type of packaging material you choose, you want to make sure that it reflects your brand and agreeably matches your product.

2.Think About The Layout

No one likes to receive a highly anticipated item that seems carelessly thrown into the package, nor do they want to see lots of return labels or receipts when they open their package. Instead, customers want to see a well-packaged and nicely presented product with each item positioned properly. This can provide a nice impression and make them want to order again.

That said, be intentional not just to throw return labels, packing slips, or packaging foam and material anywhere on the box. After all, you want to provide a nice impression and make them want to order again.

As a good start, pack and present the items in an appealing and organized manner. Ensure they first see what they ordered and arrange the extra papers and miscellaneous things. This approach can help prevent the less important things from taking away the customer’s focus and reaction from the main focal point, which is your product.

3.Add Personalized Extras They’ll Love

One of the best ways to create a memorable unboxing experience is to add extras that customers will love. Aside from the product they’ve bought, you can include small, personalized items, such as a simple thank you note for their purchase.  

You can also leverage engagement by sending postcards that ask them to share the experience on social media with a specific hashtag. Moreover, you can also give them a discount coupon they can use for their next purchase, encouraging an additional sale. You can also send bonus gifts or product testers, especially during holidays or the sale season, to show appreciation and increase customer loyalty.

There’s no denying the increasing impact of unboxing. What was once a seasonal pleasure, unboxing, has become a powerful online fad and online marketing tool. So, if you wish to convert one-time customers into loyal buyers, designing a memorable unboxing experience can help you stay on their minds and keep coming back. If you don’t know where to start, take inspiration from the above tips to create a unique unboxing experience for your customers.

Wrapping up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

This article partly refers to: https://www.expert-market.com/how-to-design-a-great-unboxing-experience-for-your-customers/

SA must address shortcomings to unlock e-commerce boom

Read time 4min 00sec

Continued investment in e-commerce infrastructure will help accelerate growth of the industry in SA, says David Kusel, head of product at PayFast.

Kusel was speaking yesterday at the PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit, hosted by the Insaka eCommerce Academy, and highlighted some of the ingredients needed to further grow the e-commerce industry in SA.

Like in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 crisis lit a fire under the local e-commerce space, leading online retailers to reap the benefits of this major shift in shopping trends.

A World Wide Worx study revealed SA’s e-commerce sales reached a tipping point in 2020, growing by 66% from 2018.

Last year’s Mastercard Economics Institute: 2022 Economic Outlook found South African consumers bought up to 30% more online in 2021, compared to the year before, with a significant surge in e-commerce subscriptions.

Unpacking whether SA has what it takes to match China’s e-commerce growth − which currently sees more than 50% of its retail sales taking place online − Kusel said the country must resolve the challenges around e-commerce, including infrastructure shortcomings.

“Infrastructure is the backbone for any commerce. For example, the SSS’s marketplace has grown hugely…”

“Checkers Sixty60 is another prime example where a huge brick-and-mortar retailer has embraced online and helped bring the e-commerce industry to South Africans.”

The PayFast exec told the virtual audience that online retailers need to get creative in building their businesses to meet the needs of consumers, adding that solving challenges around delivery and logistics in the informal economy is necessary for local e-commerce growth.

“We need to get creative on how we solve this,” he advised. “There’s some great new technology…and other ideas out there that are starting to resolve this. We can’t unlock more than 50-60% of our economy to e-commerce unless we can solve this.

“E-commerce is here to stay in South Africa. If we can solve some of the challenges…I think we can get a lot closer to that 50% that China’s been able to achieve.”

At the same event, Toluse Akinlabi, retail account manager at Google, shared insights into SA’s online shopping trends.

Akinlabi indicated local shoppers have settled into a new normal and there’s no going back to the way they shopped before.

“Globally, more people than ever are shopping online, with 61% more shoppers buying online in the holiday period in 2021 versus 2019. With more people shopping online, differentiation is becoming key.

“Shoppers are using more online information to enhance their in-store experience, and touchpoints that would’ve normally been seen as awareness, engagement or education channels are becoming purchase channels as well. There’s a real convergence in terms of the shopping journey that we’ve never seen before.”

Referencing the findings of Google’s Smart Consumer Report, Akinlabi said in the wake of the COVID-19 period, online remains the preferred way of shopping in SA.

More than two-thirds of shoppers shopped online in 2021, a huge jump from 2020, she noted.

“The habits formed during the initial stages of the pandemic are here to stay. In fact, 87% of shoppers believe they’ll stick with their changed purchase behaviour going forward.”

Akinlabi indicated the report shows e-commerce is “consistently” on the rise in SA, even for fast-moving consumer goods.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in people buying online in the consumer electronics space, home and garden, and fashion. Food and groceries has seen the largest jump since 2020, with five times more people doing their shopping online versus instore.”

She further stated the main reasons people choose online shopping methods is for convenience and home delivery. Another reason is that it’s easier to make a choice and find a specific product.

Akinlabi pointed out that people are buying more on their smartphones, increasing mobile shopping. This trend is particularly seen in the food and groceries, and home and garden categories.

“Mobile shopping on apps is really high and people are used to buying these new categories on their phone.

“While mobile sites are still a key purchase channel, consumer preference is increasingly shifting more towards mobile apps. We’re seeing the shift towards app-purchases a little bit more so than mobile site purchases.”

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences.

We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses. If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us: www.shopshipshake.co.za

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:https://bit.ly/3ks0m1M