Article by Michael Todd, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

No matter what stage you are in after starting up your business, finding the time to work on your longer term strategy and actually growing your business is one of the most common challenges for small business owners.

But if you want to grow your business beyond just yourself, you need to make the time. It’s a challenge I enjoy, helping business owners scale up is what every advisor should take the most satisfaction from.

Building a business doesn’t take just a couple of dollars and a good decisions. It takes serious thought and research, some capital and determination. However, the execution and management is easier today due to technology. Make sure you are making the right investments in the right place and you will see your business flourish.

Automate as much as possible

Time-consuming, yet important business processes such as invoices, payments, and email marketing can all be automated, reducing time spent on each. There are numerous options including apps that can automate these processes like Evernote and Xero.

Make your stage and size an advantage

Being small probably means you wear many hats and don’t have the luxury of a big budget or team. However, it also means you can move fast, make decisions rapidly, and connect with your customers much more effectively than larger companies.

Owners sometimes get caught up in managing processes, and don’t think about improving processes. Embrace your agility. Take the time to invest in the right people and get to know your customers.

Hire a virtual assistant

Your time is too valuable to waste it on simple tasks like constructing templates, designing and general administration. Modern technology like instant message (IM) and video conferencing make it seem like your right hand man is with you, even if they’re in another time zone. Your save money of fixed overhead costs as well.

Unchain yourself from your desk

Technology today means you can run your business from anywhere. Technologies like Skype allow you to visually connect with anyone no matter your location while products like Google Docs allow real-time teamwork on almost any file type. Same with co-working spaces, you’ll find like-minded innovators most likely facing many of the challenges you’re facing yourself.