Top 3 Toughest Aspects of Payroll in Singapore

Assuming Payroll

Often times, companies generate payroll and pay out an entire month’s wages to an employee before the month has ended. We call this assuming payroll. This is how it works: If payroll is generated an the 25th and paid out on the 27th, the manager pays the full month’s wages, up till the 31st, assuming that the employee will make it to work on the last few days. If he doesn’t, the manager Optimizing Work Productivity with Happinessneeds to deduct his wage in the next month

Assuming payroll is an inefficient and inaccurate way of paying employees. We’ve come across many business owners who do it in Singapore. Most of the time, it’s because they have been doing it for years and have never thought about changing the rule. We help our clients transition from assuming payroll to regular payroll which saves clients money and time. Here is a blog post on exactly how to transition from assuming to regular payroll.

Irregular Clock-in Timings

When an employee clocks in at 8.57am instead of 9.00am, the biometric device records it to the exact minute. Your HR manager needs to manually correct the irregularity because coming in 3 minutes early does not mean that the employee will get paid for those extra three minutes.

The PayrollHero app has a threshold feature that solves this problem. An HR manager can set a threshold: if an employee clocks in between 8.55am and 9.05am, their clock-in time resets to 9.00am, automatically correcting the irregularity that your HR manager would have had to deal with otherwise.

Disparate Systems for Time, Attendance, Scheduling and Payroll

payrollhero-benefits-featuresBusiness owners have multiple systems that deal with different HR problems; a biometric device to measure clock ins, a separate Excel sheet that imports data from the biometric device and generates payroll, another Excel sheet that needs to be updated every week with schedules for each employee and a whole other system that employees use to apply for leave. With so many systems to deal with, no wonder an HR manager barely has any time to engage with employees or find innovative ways to overcome Singapore’s labor crunch.

An end-to-end solution that removes any need for multiple devices is exactly what an HR manager needs. PayrollHero allows employees to click selfies on their phone or an iPad in the work site when they clock in. This data is stored in the Cloud and used when payroll is generate by the system. The same app is used when applying for leave or checking schedules for the week. An HR manager can use the app on his laptop, phone or any device with internet connection anywhere in the world and have full control over what is going on at his work site.

While these problems are seen as some of HR managers’ biggest in Singapore, they are faced by managers in the Philippines and pretty much any other place too. Some of the other problems HR managers need to deal with are changing tax laws, a labor crunch and laws against foreign workers in the country.

We hope that this post serves as a solution to some of your biggest HR problems. Do let us know your biggest HR problem and how you are currently dealing with it.

 

Leave Management Custom Leave Type

Custom Leave TypeA few weeks ago, we rolled out our leave management application. After receiving feedback from our clients, we are releasing a new feature to the application – custom leave types.

When an employee is applying for leave, she needs to enter a type of leave – maternity, child care, leave, etc. Previously, we added all the most popular types of leaves that were applicable, as directed by the ministries of manpower (or their equivalent) in Singapore and the Philippines. However, Singapore and the Philippines each have 8 different types of leaves. Moreover, individual companies may record the same leave under a different name.

To make the system more flexible, the app now allows you to set your own custom leave type. Employees may choose from these custom types when they apply for leave. This benefits the manager when there is a change in the rules and leave types are added or removed. It also allows managers to set what leave types are most commonly used by their employees instead of a long list of types that the government has stipulated but no one actually uses.

A manager can add an unlimited number of leave types. Every type must be unique. Leave types can also be renamed at any point of time. Finally, if a leave type is not used anymore, it can be archived and accessed later.

We hope the custom leave type will be helpful and we’d love to hear feedback on it!

The New Employee PayrollHero Happiness Report

Optimizing Work Productivity with HappinessWe recently announced that PayrollHero can generate employee happiness reports for our clients. What does that really mean?

PayrollHero takes in data in the form of selfies that employees have clicked on the app. The selfies are used to evaluate employee happiness by looking for certain metrics and correlating them to other selfies. For example, smiling for photos results in a different set of facial expressions than a serious face.

We know what you’re thinking. What if an employee smiles but isn’t really happy. Faking a smile is not hard and the metrics used to evaluate a real smile are the same as those used to evaluate a fake one. An employee could easily fool the app into thinking that the employee is happy when she really isn’t. Well, faking a smile has its own merits.

A Harvard study showed that a smile – whether fake or real – can be uplifting for one’s emotional well being. Granted, a momentary smile for a selfie certainly does not equate to happiness in life because a smile can be fake; but the act of smiling itself is a positive way to cope with sadness. Our preconceived notion that happiness causes us to smile is not always true. In fact, the reverse of that can work as well. A fake smile may be a better path towards happiness than others. It signals a willingness to stay positive in difficult times instead of suppressing ill feelings.

How does this relate to happiness reports? Well, from a high level, the happiness reports suggest a correlation between smiling and happiness and therefore suggest which employee or work site is the happiest. But with deeper inspection, the reports find a correlation between smiling and employees’ positive attitude. As a manager, you should consider the happiness report as a way of measuring positive sentiments in your workforce.

Finally, PayrollHero can use this data against employee records to find a trend in employee behavior. We can provide insight into whether happier employees are generally more punctual; whether unhappy employees experience a longer commute to work everyday; whether the happiest worksite equals highest earnings. This information is unique to PayrollHero’s data. Companies can leverage on it to make more informed decisions on what it takes to improve their bottom line.

Want to learn more? Contact us to chat further.

 

10 Hidden Gems in the PayrollHero Product

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.01.22 PM
The PayrollHero app is a powerful product in which time, attendance, scheduling, leave management and payroll generation are the broad categories of its features. Within these features are some nifty tools that could really improve the efficiency of your business’s HR managers.
1. Thresholds
Imagine your employee clocks into work at 7:50am every morning. He officially starts his work at 8am. But the payroll software you use records him entering 10 minutes early. To prevent it from adding those extra ten minutes into his payroll, your manager logs into her account to correct the infraction every single day. Now imagine her doing that for all the 40 employees that work for her. It simply doesn’t make sense. PayrollHero has the perfect solution to this.
PayrollHero uses thresholds to automatically remove infractions. For example, a threshold 10 minutes before and 5 minutes after official clock in time ensures that clocking in within that 15 minute period automatically gets recorded from the 8:00am point. The manager wastes no time correcting irregularities for all her employees and the business owner can be sure of the fact that no errors were made correcting infractions.
2. Leave Management
Leave management is a new feature in the product! Your employee can now apply for a leave through the app. Leave is automatically accepted and deducted from the total leave available in the year. HR managers can reject a leave request and offer a reason. The leave management system in PayrollHero does away with emails and informal systems of recording leave. All leave requests and rejections are archived in case you need to refer to them at a later date.
3. Mass import – Multi insert
The mass import tool is a neat tool for companies that have hundreds of employee records that need to be imported into the PayrollHero product. We provide a template for you to enter all your employee information which can them be uploaded onto PayrollHero. It saves countless hours manually entering information onto the app.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.01.31 PM
4. Resolving attendance
Resolving attendance is one of the most powerful and flexible tools in the product. For example, if an employee comes into work out of their regular schedule, their manager may count the extra hours of work that the employee has put in. The manager can change a whole list of variables from clock in time to approved over-time hours.
Resolving attendance gives huge responsibility to the manager. This is counterbalanced by the fact that all changes are archived with a record of who made the changes and resolved attendance. As a business owner, you can check in to make sure that the records reflect the situation at hand.
5. Hipchat Integration
Hipchat is a team based chatting, media sharing service. It enables teams to communicate better. Especially if all employees do not work in the same work site. PayrollHero has a Hipchat integration. The Hipchat integration lets you see when employees are online and which work site they clocked into. You can even download the Hipchat app onto your iOS device.
6. Keyring

Oftentimes, managers hand over items to employees and hold them responsible for taking care of them. For example, if an employee is usually the first person to the work site, he is given the keys to the place and is responsible for opening the store. PayrollHero allows you to record what items are handed to the employee. Some of the more common items are:

  • Company email accounts
  • Key holder agreements
  • Locker usage access
  • Uniform
  • Company car keys
  • Software license
  • Mobile Phone

The idea of the Keyring function is to hold the manager and the employee accountable for important assets in the company. If the employee leaves, there is a checklist of items available on the employee’s profile that needs to be accounted for.

7. Geo-tracking

PayrollHero allows you to track the location of every clock-in. This means that when an employee clocks in through the app on their phone, you can ensure that the employee has clocked in at their work site. Even if the employee clocks in offline, the app stores the information till the device is connected to t he Internet. The app then uploads the information to the Cloud.

8. Portability of the App

Traditional clocking in devices involve installing infrastructure like a biometrics machine or a punch card system. PayrollHero does away with any infrastructure by having a mobile app. An employee may download the app on their smartphone (iOS / Android) and use it to clock in and out. Most business owners have an iPad at the work site for their employees to record attendance. However, many of our clients prefer not having an iPad and encouraging their employees to se the mobile app instead.

PayrollHero-Blog-Ads-1

Top 12 Apps to Help You Run Your Business in Singapore

Domain-Driven-Design-payrollhero

Running a business is tough. If you are in Singapore, where the labour crunch is putting a strain on your resources, you cannot be spending time on administrative work.

Leveraging on technology has multiple benefits: you can access your work wherever you go; saving your work on the Cloud means that you have less chance of losing it if your computer crashes; you will be more efficient and less error-prone.

Using apps is the way to go in a place like Singapore where everyone is tech-enabled.

We have brought you 12 apps that can help you run your business:

1.Evernote

Evernote is an app that helps you record text, audio recordings, notes, reminders and pictures on the Cloud. You can access it from any device and it is free up to a certain limit. Evernote also allows you to collaborate by sharing files with other Evernote users.

The app can be used offline and when you connect to the Internet, the app will automatically upload your files to the Cloud. Evernote is a great way to organize your thoughts now, and take action later.

2. Google Apps for Work

If your company is using Gmail, Google Drive is a must. You can share documents, spreadsheets and presentations within the company or among a few members by customizing permissions to files.

While Google Apps for Work is not free, the range of products available to you make the subscription worth your while.

3. Trello

This is an awesome project-based software. It’s free and does away with meaningless sticky-notes, spreadsheets and email chains. Trello is a great app to collaborate and track progress in a project. Trello allows you to integrate with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive.

You can set notifications and make checkists to stay on top of your work. You can also create team to manage people working on Trello. Altogether, Trello makes for a great app that can boost productivity at the workplace.

4. CamScanner

Oftentimes, you need to file and submit forms for administrative work: whether you are incorporating your business or filing taxes. A great way to scan and store your official documents is by using CamScanner.

The app is free and lets you scan documents on your phone. You might be wondering why this is a step up from taking a picture of the document. CamScanner adds filters to the picture and automatically makes it look like a scanned version of the document. You can email the document to anyone as a JPEG or PDF file. You can also just save it on the app and access it online from any device.

5. Tripit

For business owners who travel frequently, Tripit saves your itinerary in one place and lets you access it easily. Tripit also gives you weather updates and maps to your destinations. Tripit is free for a few features like saving your plans in one place, syncing plans with your calendar and editing plans manually.

The paid version allows you to track frequent flier miles and share your plans with friends.

PayrollHero-Blog-Ads

6. Hipchat

Hipchat is a communication platform for your employees. It is free if you use the basic service where you can have chat rooms based on the functions of your business (marketing, sales, operations, etc). Hipchat is user friendly and only $2 per user per month for the full service. That includes video chat an screen sharing.

7. Rescue Time

This is an interesting app, mostly useful for you as a manager. The app runs in the background and tracks what you are working on. It sends weekly and monthly reports.

This helps you compare what you plan to prioritize on and how much time you are actually spending on a task. The Lite version is free and has limited features. The full version blocks apps that are distracting you and send more detailed reports to measure your productivity.

8. Mailchimp

If you send emails to a list of subscribers, then Mailchimp is a must for you. It is free up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Mailchimp gives insight into how many people have opened the email, how many have clicked on the links you have sent them and which emails have bounced.

Another cool feature is that Mailchimp integrates with other apps like Google Analytics, Slack, Salesforce and more.

9. LinkedIn

Everyone knows about LinkedIn but how to use it is more important. It is a social networking site for professionals. It is free with limited features. LinkedIn is essential to help you stay on top of the latest events in your field of work. It has a number of groups where people in similar careers discuss opportunities and challenges.

LinkedIn could just be the path towards improving your business or finding new avenues for your personal career growth. It is also a great tool to use while hiring people.

10. Expensify

Expensify is an app that helps you track expenses, scan bills and more. It is a free app that is incredibly useful for a business owner trying to separate personal and business expenses. It also helps your employees to report expenses clearly. The expenses are exported into your accounting software making a seamless transition between different applications.

Expensify integrates with Salesforce, Quickbooks and a host of other software apps.

11. Insightly

Insightly is a CRM software that helps small businesses take charge of the CRM. It has a mobile app and a web app that integrates with Google, Mailchimp and more. Insightly helps you stay on top of leads, partners, vendors and suppliers.

It also gives you reports and data on how your CRM based project is progressing: with data on your sales funnel and forecasts on the closing date for a deal. Insightly is not free but you can sign up for a free trial.

12. Dropbox Business

If you haven’t realized it already, Dropbox is a force to reckon with. You can share, collaborate and store files securely on the Cloud. It is easily accessible on any device. Dropbox helps in collaborating by notifying you on any changes made in documents and saving different versions of the document.

Dropbox Business is not free but offers unlimited storage space, ability to make groups and third party app integration, among other things.

PayrollHero-Ad

Conclusion

Most of these apps facilitate teamwork and remove barriers like difficulty in communication, unclear task delegation and poor management of data. What it leaves you with is time to focus on bigger tasks that are more pressing for your business.

These recommendations are also free or with minimal initial investment. We hope they serve you well and we would love to hear about more apps that can improve efficiency in your business!

What Does It Take To Make Remote Work Work?

technology-payrollhero

As a business owner, you are bound to look towards expanding your business at some point. In which case, you will have multiple offices at different locations. While you are in one worksite, you will want to stay in touch with employees in your other store locations. Staying connected is essential when your employees are spread out over the map. It’s even more important if your employees work remotely and do not often physically meet you or other employees on a regular basis.

Apps

At PayrollHero, we use a number of apps to facilitate remote work. These apps tie our employees together. We use the apps for face-to face interactions and for quick chats instead of spamming employees’ inboxes. The following apps might be useful for your company too:

SlackThis is the center of all our communication through different departments and offices. Slack allows you to create chat rooms and invite people to them. We use this feature to separate different functions of the team: engineering, business development, etc. Slack is also our metaphorical grapevine. We have chat rooms for random news, general musings and articles or books that anyone wants to share with the team. Slack also allows for private chats, thereby removing the need for emails to coordinate work. Slack is flexible in the sense that it has a number of integrations: Twitter, Mailchimp, appear.in.

Appear.in, Skype, Google HangoutsTeams can’t function without face-to-face meetings. Bosses benefit from meeting their employees face-to-face in order to gauge their emotional state and general well-being. The app features and video quality differ but essentially they help you conduct online meetings.

Asana, TrelloTo ensure that all tasks are tracked and accountable to the relevant employees, we use Asana. These apps are built to suit remote work. Asana allows you to assign tasks in a checklist format whereas Trello breaks down work in the form of projects in which tasks are outlined using cards. Both apps can be accessed online. So you or your employee can work from anywhere in the world and still stay on top of things.

Google Drive, Dropbox for BusinessKeeping track of all the documents and sheets created by multiple departments across different worksites is essential. These apps are tailored towards businesses’ storage needs. With a subscription fee, you have access to unlimited storage, data analytics (for Google) and more. Both apps allow you to track who is editing files and what kind of access you want your employees to have for each file or folder.

It’s More Than Just Apps

Making remote work successful is more than having a suite of apps at your disposal. It requires a shift in the way you and your employees think about work. It requires trust in your employees to work even if you’re not monitoring them at the office. We have inculcated some practices that help maintain discipline and structure even when employees work at different locations across the work. Here are some that have helped us:

Morning catch ups: Every morning, at a time suitable to your employees in their respective time zones, each employee summarizes their work in 60 seconds. The format is: what they accomplished yesterday, what they couldn’t complete, what they will do today and roadblocks to completing their work. From the head of the team down to the entry-level employee must be able to summarize their work in under a minute. The meeting is helpful in understanding where the team is going and what can be done to remove roadblocks.

Handbooks: For new employees, or employees that have changed departments, it is hard to catch up to how things are done when the entire department works remotely. Writing down the steps to each task in a handbook and storing it in Google Drive/Dropbox cuts down on confusion and time wasted in connecting with the employee who knows how to do the required task. Handbooks remove any misunderstandings or errors. It is a fool-proof way of ensuring that the business continues in case someone is not available to lend a helping hand.

Slack-logoUsing Slack to integrate the team: While Slack can be used to create chat rooms and do work, it is often a great tool to include everyone on the team and talk about common interests. Our chat-rooms like #random and #general are great spaces for employees to share ideas and talk about things outside of work. It is a place to plan outings over the weekend or share movie reviews. These conversations pull the team together and allow for cross-departmental interaction; something that could be missing while everyone is focusing on work.

Finally, making remote work possible is about using apps to their maximum capacity and reviewing if they work or not. Managers need to be more mindful of their employees. Employees in turn need to make a conscious effort to stay on top of their work because remote work often results in the blurring of personal and professional life. Altogether, making remote work work is hugely beneficial to employees. All it takes is a little tweaking of the way things are usually done.

5 Hiring Tips for SMEs in Singapore

hiring-tips-for-SMEs-payrollhero

Why Take Your Time Before Hiring

Since small businesses share a lot of work among fewer people, the stakes are higher. Business owners need to take their time and figure out who they are looking for before hiring.

Not only, does it risk handing responsibility too someone who is not ready for it, it could become a financial burden as well. Even without severance pay or lawsuits, firing someone is an expense. You would much rather spend that time and money creating a thorough and fool-proof recruiting process.

If you’re an SME in Singapore, we have a 5 actionable tips for you:

1. Make a List of Tasks That Need to be Done

write-a-list-hiring-payrollhero

As a business owner, you might be taking up more than your share of work to keep things moving forward. It is a good idea to write down the tasks that fall by the wayside because you are focusing on the next most important thing. Go through the list and figure out if tasks can be pooled together to make a new job position. This also makes it easier to write an accurate job description while posting your ad on job boards.

2. Sell the Uniqueness of Your Business 

Big companies have a strong brand name to sell the position. This makes it easier for them to attract talent. They can offer higher pay and better benefits than a small company could.

SMEs in Singapore will naturally find it harder to create attractive job positions with that kind of competition which is why you have to showcase what makes you special.

Business owners need to find a new angle to attract top talent. This could be in the form of perks like working from home, flexible schedules and more autonomy. Free lunches and a Kindle book monthly stipend are simple perks that can attract millennial employees.

These are just a few of many ideas that can make working at a small company look attractive.

unicorn-unique-business-payrollhero

– What makes you unique — like a unicorn!

Remember, a small business can make decisions faster, is more agile and less bound by rules and regulations. These are attributes that business owners should rally behind in order to attract talent.

Find your ‘unicorn’ quality and sell it to job applicants!

3. Training

An important way to ensure that your new hires stay in the company is to spend time and money on training them. Either a written manual or a program over a few days where the new hires interact with people in the company will help the new hire understand the way things work and align expectations with reality.

meeting-training-payrollhero

It would be best if this were done before solidifying the position. The mantra “Hire slow, fire fast” may be useful for small business.

4. Learn from your Competition

competitor-payrollhero

Your competitors are in the same boat as you. Try and learn from the way they sell the same position your are hiring for. Fresh ideas are always welcome, even from your competitors. Don’t forget that this includes multiple platforms: newspapers, online job boards, LinkedIn, everything.

You should be on top of all sources of media to learn from other companies on how they are hiring top talent.

5. Don’t Stop Searching for New Hires

handshake-payrollhero-hiring

Always stay on the lookout, even if you are not actively looking to fill a position. It’s always great to hire people who show spectacular skills or drive to work. You will be able to find work for them or at least keep their resumes with you so that you can pull them out later, when you really need to fill a position. Staying on the lookout also keeps you updated on what the hiring scene looks like at any point of time.

The most important thing to remember for SMEs trying to hire talent is that the cost of hiring and then firing an employee is too high to go through the process multiple times. It makes sense to spend time, develop a program and go through the recruiting process deliberately in order to be efficient.

If you want to learn more awesome tips to help your business, feel free to subscribe below. Get fresh tips weekly, straight to your inbox!

What Payroll Period Suits Your Business Best?

employees-getting-paid

Payroll periods are generally categorized into 4 types:

  1. Monthly: Payroll is generated and usually paid out on a monthly basis. It occurs 12 times a year
  2. Semi-monthly: Payroll is generated twice a month and paid out either on the 1st and 15th of the month, or 15th and 30th of the month. It occurs 24 times a month.
  3. Bi-weekly: Generated and paid out every two weeks, bi-weekly payroll sounds a lot like semi-monthly but runs 26 times a year. We’ll go through the differences further into the post.
  4. Weekly: Payroll is generated and paid out once a week, leading to 52 cycles a year.

Type of Business

Why are there so many different payroll periods? Depending on the type of business, employees and employers find it easier to keep tabs on over time, social security contributions and erratic work schedules if the payroll period is shorter than the usual one month period.

Generally, as a business owner or a payroll head at your business, you generate reports monthly so it seems practical to generate payroll on a monthly basis. However, this may not be suitable to employees, especially in the construction, F&B or retail business where work is valued on an hourly basis.

Type of Employees

Frequency of payroll depends on the type of employees in your business. Usually, full time employees are open to monthly salaries because they have a stable income.

However, part time workers with erratic schedules prefer a shorter pay period so they can manage their finances better. Since hourly workers are most prevalent in industries like F&B, retail and BPOs, markets that we work with very closely, we know that employees favour biweekly or even weekly pay in order to stabilize their finances.

For example, if an employee works 50 hours one week and 10 the next, she might want to be paid weekly in order to cushion the next week’s dip in work.

Costs of Generating Payroll

As a business owner, you also need to track how much it costs to pay all your employees, Many payroll vendors charge on the frequency of payroll generation, in which case, monthly payroll makes sense. But, if the costs are not too high, it may be prudent to generate payroll more often.

It is easier to calculate over time over a shorter pay period. You are less likely to make mistakes. Another cost that is important to look into is the opportunity cost of calculating social security deductions more frequently.

Usually, contributions are calculated monthly, so it is definitely a hassle breaking it down to a semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis. The most error-prone would be bi-weekly, with 26 weeks to account for where payroll may be generated twice or even thrice a month.

Finally, the frequency of payroll generation depends on a set of factors: the share of employees working part time versus full time, the costs of generating payroll and the kind of business that you own.

Weighing the costs and benefits and communicating with employees on what suits them best are the first steps to take before settling on a pay period. Do let us know what kind of pay period has worked best for your business!

4 Tips on Financial Practices for Business Owners

Financial-Practices-PayrollHero

As a new business owner, it can be tough to figure out what you need to prioritize to generate revenue and profits. If you are a chef owning a restaurant for the first time, and with no business experience, this can be a lot harder.

Luckily, we have some tips for you to refer to when it comes to dealing with finances. So let’s dig in!

1. Product costing

This is essential because you cannot run a business in a sustainable manner without knowing what your products cost. You need a break down of what each product is made up of and how much it costs to get it from your suppliers. This includes material, labour and overheads.

With the information about costs, you need to find your breakeven point: where revenue covers all costs (Revenue – Costs = 0). This is the minimum revenue you need to run the business.

2. Maintain a record of expenses

This is a good practice that is easier said than done. All too often, we start the year enthusiastically, taking not of expenses and filing them meticulously to find ourselves a month later struggling to keep up with our expense records.

It is easier with some help. Apps like Expensify or Mint help you keep track of your accounts, expenses and income. If you are a small business owner, these apps are a good place to start.

Of course, as you grow bigger, you will have to move to accounting software that can keep up with the growth of your business.

3. Understand your seasonal cashflows

This is imperative if you own a retail store or a restaurant. It ties back to points one and two. During the year, your sales will not be static. It will depend on factors like when people get their wages or special festivals and holidays. Sales could change on a monthly, or quarterly basis.

Most seasonal changes are calculated quarterly. This is important to monitor because you will have to manage inventory accordingly. It also helps in setting prices based on expected demand.

4. Inventory management

Like we mentioned in the previous point, seasonality affects inventory. A small business owner should keep close track of inventory in relation to seasonality because inventory costs can run up to exorbitant amounts despite the fact that it can be managed.

TradeGecko is an app that can help you with that. The cool thing about this app is that it gives you real time data on your phone. You can access your inventory data from anywhere in the world with a few clicks.

Whether you are in Singapore, the Philippines or anywhere in the world, these tips are important to know as a business owner. Keep in mind that delegating traditional business practices to apps is a great idea because it frees up time for you to focus on your core business.

Also, keeping up with technology doesn’t just make you efficient, it prepares you for the inevitable conversion to tech-based apps that all business will have to make at some point.

Time Management Secrets for Busy Business Owners

time-hacks-for-busy-CEOs-PayrollHero

As the owner of a restaurant, retail business or startup, your priority is to move your business forward every single day.

Running your own business is different from working for a company because the line between professional and personal life is blurred. In this case, it is essential that you make the best use of your time and we have a few tips to get you started!

Cut down on meetings

Meetings can often be directionless and unreasonably lengthy. You may find yourself spending an entire day running from one meeting to the next and ending the day having done nothing significant at all. Whether the meetings are with your subordinates, potential clients or investors, it’s worth pressing the pause button, going through the goals for the meeting and deciding whether they warrant a meeting at all.

Meetings with your subordinates might occur too often, with no significant change in the status of their work. Meetings with clients may involve work that can be done on your own time. It’s important to cut these meetings down if most of the time is spent going back and forth on decisions that have already been made.

A good way to do this is to outline the goals of the meeting beforehand and go back to these goals at the end of the meetings and check if they have been met.

Going through emails

Through the day, you’re bound to get emails from friends, family, business partners, advertisers, clients and others. Keeping up with emails is one of the most time consuming tasks of the day. But this can be simplified.

There are a bunch of apps that help you. Gmail has a priority inbox folder that sifts through your mail and categorizes them for you. SaneBox is another app that cleans up your inbox so you focus on communicating with important people instead of missing out on their emails under all that spam.

Whatever you choose, make sure you are on top of it over the first few weeks as you get used to how the app prioritizes your mail.

Another important point on emails is to prioritize your replies. If your reply requires only two minutes, you should do so immediately. It saves time by preventing you to archive emails that really just require two minutes of your time.

If an email requires more time for you to think over your reply, you should move it to a whole new folder (maybe create a Priority Replies folder). This marks down the emails you need to go over again before you choose to reply.

Building a playbook

When you’re doing a task multiple times, you can write down the task step by step in a Google Doc and standardize the process. This makes it easier to delegate the task to someone else so that you can focus on more urgent matters.

Many CEOs and managers recommend creating a playbook because standardizing the task saves time, makes it fool proof and works as a guide for future reference. We do it at PayrollHero too and it helps getting new hires up to speed with how we work through tasks.

Advising your team

Many managers propose engaging with their team on a regular basis to find out what they need. They say that walking through your office and stopping by your employee’s table and asking them questions about their day really builds morale and productivity. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  1. What roadblocks are you facing today?
  2. How can I remove some of the roadblocks for you?
  3. What resources would help you move faster?

All these questions help the employee focus on moving forward by identifying barriers and removing them. By paying attention to your employees’ roadblocks, you can gauge what you can do to help them be more productive.

Altogether, these steps are simple to implement and quick to produce results. You should be able to free up you time to prioritize on core business activities that you can make the biggest impact on.

Hope this helps, and let us know if you have time-saving secrets that you would like to add on!