An entrepreneur’s greatest challenge isn’t coming up with innovative ideas, findingcustomers, or acquiring top talent, but rather finding the time and efficiency to grow their business. The struggle is real for entrepreneurs everywhere, as they all share the same challenge: Getting everything done while wearing many hats. There’s no exact formula for success or how to conquer this entrepreneurial pain point. Entrepreneurs, however, thrive for simple solutions to help their growing business run more efficiently.
#SAPSMBChat is a monthly TweetChat designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners build a simpler path to growth. The format is a Q&A session co-hosted by @SAP4SmallBiz and Brian Moran, a small business expert and influencer, along with a special guest. This month the #SAPSMBChat TweetChat featured Chelsea Krost, TV/radio talk show host, millennial spokesperson, and host of #MillenialTalk.
Below is complete transcript of our insightful conversation with Chelsea.
SAP4SmallBiz: Do you consider yourself to be an efficient/organized business owner?
Chelsea Krost: What makes you efficient is how well you prioritize time. After all, time is money! Of course, there is always room for improvement. As a new business owner, I am exploring new territory and being aware of how much time each new task takes. I admit to being a serial multi-tasker, which is not the way to get work done efficiently. The key is to start one project, finish it, and move on to the next.
SAP4SmallBiz: It seems like a LOT of entrepreneurs struggle with efficiency in their businesses. Why is that?
Chelsea Krost: Entrepreneurs always have to complete multiple jobs at one time and delegate when possible so that you can work more efficient one task at a time. Explore what work environment best enhances your focus and ability to complete the job. Experiment whether you work better alone or in a group, listening or not listening to music, track how many times an hour you check your email or phone.
SAP4SmallBiz: What suggestions/tips do you offer our millennial followers about being more efficient and organized?
Chelsea Krost: Most importantly, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. One person cannot and does not know it all, and surrounding yourself with those smarter than you will save you time. Also, keep your work environment neat. It sounds silly, but a clean workspace allows you to think more clearly. Lastly, make a to-do list every morning with pen and paper. This will help you prioritize your focus, and when you have completed your list at the end of the day it feels so good!
SAP4SmallBiz: Given that we are becoming more mobile, are there apps to help entrepreneurs to be more efficient?
Chelsea Krost: Buffer is my favorite social media app. It allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts days in advance. It encourages you to stick to a social content calendar! I also live by my Sunrise Calendar App. It has more functions than your iCalendar, syncs to all your devices, and has a simple interface. Genius Scan another app that is AMAZING. You can scan your docs by taking a picture with your camera and it allows you to export to a JPEG /PDF. It works as an e-fax as well.
SAP4SmallBiz: Let’s talk about the downsides of running inefficient business. Do entrepreneurs understand the implications?
Chelsea Krost: Inefficiency can reduce the quality of your work, which can affect your reputation. Working inefficiently can also damage trust amongst employees and clients, which is NEVER a good thing. A smart entrepreneur will acknowledge the inefficiencies in the business and works toward creating a solution.
SAP4SmallBiz: Are there specific industries/market segments where you see a lot of inefficiencies in business?
Chelsea Krost: Social media is still such a new vertical in business that many companies need to acknowledge and hire a social manager/analytics expert to continue to scale in all ways. Also, because of the multi-generational workplace today, there is a huge inefficiency in communication amongst employees. Finally, business are recognizing that Millennials have the largest combined spending power and are refining their marketing to appeal to this demographic.
SAP4SmallBiz: Can you recommend any books on running a more organized and efficient business?
Chelsea Krost: I am currently reading Captivology by @BenParr, which reveals how and why our mind pays attention to some events, ideas, or people and not others.I loved Contagious by JonahBerger @J1Berger, which breaks down why things catch on. And I LOVED You Can Have Your All by @TheGoldnerGroup Jane Goldner, which talks about how the modern-day woman needs to find her all, her own definition of work/life balance.
SAP4SmallBiz: Who are some of the organizational/efficiency experts that you follow online?
Chelsea Krost: @Edhawan just wrote a book and shared AMAZING insight on how to #GETBIGTHINGSDONE. Her insights are very eye-opening and useful! I look to @ash_stahl, @isocialfanz, @dede_watson, @HarvardBiz for career, social, and life insight & inspiration!
SAP4SmallBiz: Most people seem to love good quotes. Do you have any fun or serious quotes on being more efficient?
Chelsea Krost: I really live by the motto, “When one door closes, the right door will eventually open.” This is my new favorite: “I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.” “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!” AND “Friday is my second favorite F word.”
SAP4SmallBiz: So much great information and takeaways from today’s chat. Any final thoughts on being more efficient in business?
Chelsea Krost: Most importantly, allow yourself to unplug. We live in a hyper-connected insta-world, and we all need time to reboot, just like our devices. Don’t let fear be the reason you don’t take risks. Choose to learn from your mistakes and find the silver lining when you don’t succeed. Lastly, collaboration is essential for building a network and community bigger than yourself. Network, be authentic, and be innovative in your strategy and approach.
For more insight on effective business strategies, see Taking Charge of Business Simplification: Why Simplification Initiatives Succeed Only When Executives Lead.