How well do you plan and manage time at your cleaner?
If you’re like many owners and managers, you probably don’t handle time well or not as well as you would like.
That means you—and your staff—aren’t as productive as you could be.
It also means you’re not as profitable as you could be. In an industry as intense as dry cleaning, you need to be as productive as possible.
But boosting personal and business productivity is a challenge. Dry cleaning owners and managers face many daily disruptions that can impede personal and storefront productivity.
These obstacles can slow down productivity—and profitability—dramatically:
- Employee disengagement
- Poor worker performance
- Ineffective tools
- Personal distractions
- Mobile phones
- And even angry customers.
Below we look at ways to supercharge productivity both for yourself and your staff. The article provides:
- Productivity planning suggestions
- Tips on increasing personal productivity
- Tips on boosting storefront productivity
- Tools to help you get more things done
Make no mistake about it. Boosting productivity pays off.
Store-wise it increases sales and revenues, pumps up profits, and expands profit margins.
Personally, it increases the time for working on things that grow your business—things like promoting your services on social media, implementing new services, or working with your customers.
A Proven Approach to Productivity Planning
Creating a “To Do” list helps get things done. But it doesn’t impact personal or storefront productivity significantly.
After all, a list is just that a list. But planning for productivity—and then executing that plan—takes your business to a new level.
Planning for productivity shows you not only how to plan and manage your time better, but also what workers, resources, and tactics you’ll need to achieve your most critical personal and business objectives: profitability and growth.
Here’s a simple approach to productivity planning from the website GovLoop that can help you unlock personal productivity:
- Write things down — It helps you retain things. It helps you stay organized. And It helps you prevent things from slipping through the cracks. Take advantage of this simple but effective suggestion whenever you can.
- Break things down — Writing down things includes recording tasks, not goals. Too often, when we create To Do lists, we write goals down. That doesn’t help you get things done. Break your goals down into discrete activities first. Then add these activities to your To Do list and implement them.
- Establish priorities — Even if you write things down, you can’t get everything done in a day. So, set priorities for what you want to do daily, weekly, and monthly. Record your priorities first, then revisit them periodically. Change them if necessary.
- Keep your mission/goals top of mind — Use your dry cleaner’s mission and goals to help set the priorities mentioned above. Your mission is your long-term objective, but a goal is something that you want to achieve in the short run.
- Develop personal productivity habits — Are you a morning person or a night person? Schedule your most critical things for that time. Then seek out and develop new productivity habits. Digital tools that can help you manage and plan time and storefront productivity include toggl, Trellos, Slack, and Evernote.
What’s good about the approach above is that you can use it to boost both personal and team productivity as well as worker collaboration. That, in turn, helps propel growth.
Four Tips on Personal Productivity
Personal productivity boils time to managing time well. Control time and you’ll boost personal productivity tenfold. But pumping up personal productivity is also a mental game. To do well in this game, you need to set yourself up to score. Below are four tips on how to do that:
- Set quantifiable goals — You’re not alone if you fail to do this. Many people do. But setting measurable goals is a proven tactic for pumping up productivity. After all, you can’t change what you can’t measure. Any Do, and Way of Life are two apps that can help you set goals.
- Break down the steps — Determine the individual steps to achieving a goal you set. Then assign them to yourself as tasks. You also want to prioritize them. Many people move their goals online to boost productivity. Wunderlist and Things can help.
- Schedule productivity — Instead of creating To Do lists, organize your calendar, and schedule “productivity sessions.” Make these things non-negotiable tasks you must get done during the day and not things you’ll eventually get around to doing.
- Create online notifications — Setting up online notifications is a proven tactic for preventing things from falling through the cracks. But do it only for the most critical items. Use notifications to remind you of the best times to do them.
Also, if you’re a big fan of social media, you might want to cut down the time you spend on it that’s not devoted to promoting your business. Research says people spend an average of two hours daily on social media. That’s the time you could be getting things done.
Four Tips on Boosting Storefront Productivity
Squeezing out more productivity from your staff is also a challenge. But if you’re going to grow your company, you must learn how to get the most out of your staff and the environment that surrounds you. Below are four tips that can help:
- Organize/simplify environment — One major obstacle to how to plan and manage time effectively is the environment around you. A dry-cleaning storefront can get hectic. Organizing your surroundings can help drive productivity. So, can simplifying your environment by prioritizing activities. Installing a POS software solution like Enlite helps streamline operations.
- Eliminate distractions — A recent report from Udemy indicates that 54% of employees say that distractions cause them to underperform, and 50% say they’re significantly less productive. Social media. Mobile phones. Computer games. These distract employees big time. Eliminate them using tools like Cold Turkey can boost productivity dramatically and enhance service quality.
- Concentrate on opportunities — Every business has strengths. Learn yours. Then focus them on capturing primary productivity boosting chances. But concentrate on productivity chances for tomorrow, not yesterday. Those are gone, and you can’t get them back. Installing an automated tagging system, for example, if you don’t have one now, is a chance to boost productivity and profitability.
- Get things done at a steady pace — Pushing your people to get things done at a frantic pace seldom works. It just increases staff confusion, boosts stress and anxiety, and slows productivity. Instead, set a certain workplace rhythm that allows workers to get things done at a steady pace. That’ll help you, and they get things done quickly and efficiently without becoming stressed or anxious.
These eight tips can help you boost productivity both for yourself and your business. But don’t forget to schedule some unproductive time. It helps eliminate burnout and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed.
How to plan and manage time—both your and your staff’s—is critical to the health of your business. Plan and manage time poorly can cost you dearly. Plan and manage it well, however, and you’ll boost not only productivity but also profitability and growth.