Just imagine what you could do if you had two extra hours a day? Here are eight time-saving practices you can easily implement into your small business.

1. Convert your systems to the cloud

It really is a game changer. Accessing your business information from any device and from any location allows you to run your business entirely from the road. No need to travel back to the office to approve quotes, send invoices, reply to emails or book in jobs. All the information you need to run your business is at your fingertips.

2. Batch tasks

Do some pre-planning on a Sunday for the week ahead. By batching tasks, such as paying accounts or scheduling your social media updates for the next seven days, you’ll save time and reduce stress.

3. Online quoting

It’s time to stop writing or typing the same information over and over again when preparing your quotes. It only takes a few minutes to prepare a fully customised interactive quote that can include photos, videos, social media links, electronic signatures and online acceptance buttons. Use this information to refine your follow-up procedure so you know exactly when to call and how to approach the conversation. Quoteroller and Quotient are popular online quoting programs that can also integrate with some accounting systems to save time invoicing as well.

4. Go paperless

Going paperless will not only save you money and help the environment, but it will also avoid hours of unnecessary filing and paperwork. Programs like Echosign or Formitize easily transfer your paper documents into digital copies.

5. Get a helping hand from a virtual assistant (VA)

One of the biggest time-saving steps you can make is to stop trying to be a superhero, and get help. While hiring an employee can be a daunting process, partnering with a VA presents a much easier and flexible solution. A VA normally works from their home and can provide all the same services as if they were sitting next to you in an office – minus office overheads or staff related costs.

6. Accept mobile and online payments

Having flexible mobile and online payment options can attract new customers but can also save you time, improve your cash flow and increase your profitability. Using a mobile payment device that automatically syncs with your accounting program will also reduce time in double handling your accounts.

7. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program

A CRM stores all your customer information and job history in one place. Not only will it save you time looking up customer details and past job history, but it will also help you increase sales by allowing you to market more effectively through email campaigns and targeted special offers.

8. Cut the email cord

One of the biggest ways I saved time was to limit how often I checked email. It can easily sideline productivity and take focus away from important tasks. Set just two or three times a day to check email, and stick to it.

For more from Michaela Clark, go to flyingsolo.com.au, Australia’s solo and micro business community.