A Comprehensive Guide to Improving Business Productivity as a Freelancer, Entrepreneur and Employee

by Ruth Faithful
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Are you struggling to be more productive and efficient in your business? Do you start each day with zest and plans of what you want to achieve but end up not realising them at the end of the day?

I understand your plight because I have also been in that situation where 24 hours seemed to be so short that I was almost screaming, ‘who is on that time?, don’t wind it off yet, I still have a lot to do. Please can you add some more minutes or hours to the day?’

But unfortunately, I’m only human, and I have not been given the power to make that happen.

Being productive is hard because a lot of factors tend to fight against it, among which time stands out. People are constantly striving to race against the unseen reality called time.

But, it is too evident to deny that there is hardly enough time. That is how the universe and nature are wired to operate. It is now your responsibility as a human being to take care of yourself and your business by engaging tools and implementing systems that will enable you to be more productive.

What is Productivity?

It is the ability to accomplish a lot of work within a short amount of time. It implies getting important things done consistently. One proof of success in businesses is excellent productivity.

Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, entrepreneur, blogger, or anyone seeking to boost productivity, this post is for you.

What is Business Productivity?

Business productivity refers to the efficiency with which a company can use its resources to produce goods or services. It is the quantity of output a business, person, or team can produce compared to the number of resources they put into a project or task.

For example, if a doughnut maker produces 2,000 pieces of doughnut on Monday and 2,010 on Tuesday. It simply means Tuesday was a more productive day.

The most important factors to look out for when determining business productivity are;

  • The amount of time put into a task or project by an individual or a team.
  • The cost of the capital and human resources put into work, e.g. buildings and energy costs. 

These factors will help you arrive at more accurate results when measuring how productive your business is within a period.

Importance of Business Productivity

Business productivity is a good way to determine your efforts or team’s effectiveness.

  • Identify important tasks

It helps you to identify the activities or tasks that should be prioritised and the ones that should be given less attention, probably because of the impact of such tasks on realising the overall goal or goals of your business.

  • It helps to discover productivity tactics

It helps you to discover techniques, technology, and other systems you can put in place to make room for more efficiency and productivity in your business.

Business productivity provides insight into how your business is growing and how your team feels about working with you.

In a nutshell, the extent of productivity in your business is measured by the following;

  • Level of customer satisfaction
  • Competition assessment and feedback
  • Time management
  • Profits
  • Task completion and job fulfilment
  • Duration of manufacturing a good
  • Employee development

Productivity Strategies for Businesses

Productivity should be a priority for any business that is serious and intentional. Your primary responsibility as a business owner or manager is finding ways to efficiently use your most limited resource efficiently, time.

Bearing that in mind, here are 12 strategies you can use to increase business productivity.

  1. Prioritise efficiency over productivity

Efficiency is the ability to achieve set goals with no waste. You are efficient when using fewer resources, like less time and energy, to produce greater results. Your focus should be on how to use available resources to increase productivity effectively.

  1. Automate processes

Reduce the time you waste on repetitive tasks like inventory recording, ordering procedures, Customer service, data entry, data collection, reporting/analytics, Managing employee expenses, and lots more by simply automating them.

Automating your ordinary everyday tasks can help you uplevel your productivity.

The interesting part is that there are tons of low-cost automation software such as Zapier, Hootsuite, IBM, Xero, and numerous others that you can use to automate business processes.

  1. Make use of productivity tools/apps

Next to automation is utilising the right tools to improve business productivity.

Technology has provided tons of tools and apps that businesses can leverage to simplify business activities and uplevel business productivity. Some of the very common productivity tools and apps you may consider are;

  • Slack
  • Customer relationship management
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Todoist
  • Dropbox

With an idea of the business process you need a tool for, and a little research, you can find the right tool for your task.

  1. Reduce anti-productivity activities

With all that is happening in our world today, staying focused is challenging. Many things are constantly competing for our attention at home and in the office. Therefore, to achieve greater productivity as a business owner, you must minimise the following anti-productivity practices and activities.

Unnecessary meetings: If a meeting does not have a clear and focused agenda, time limits, and the potential to birth ideas and strategies for business growth and expansion, then it is unnecessary.

Lack of organisation: People waste time on unnecessary things because of disorganisation. The organisation of digital workflows can significantly boost productivity. In addition, practices as simple as tidy workplaces, clearly labelled files and using the right tools can greatly impact business productivity.

For instance, using Slack can help managing teams begin meetings from one location, search conversations by channel, exchange files inside projects, pin critical documents for quicker access, share files with other team members, and lots more. Thus, ensuring organisation and greater productivity among team members.

Social media: The “2021 Social Media Trends” report from GlobalWebIndex states that the typical person spends about 2.5 hours daily on social media platforms. Establishing a policy that outlines when it is suitable for workers to be on social media and when to concentrate on work fully could be a great way to reduce the bad habit of wasting time on social media.

Procrastination: We are all guilty of this one. The best way to prevent it is through clearly defined deadlines and accountability channels. Setting a due date for your project and committing to someone who can follow up with you to ensure that you meet your target is a great way to beat procrastination. In addition, goal-tracking tools like Coach, clock lock, and goals on track can also be of immense help to you.

Workers’ relationship: It’s okay for workers to have good relationships. I mean, nobody wants to work in a toxic environment. But not at the detriment of work. Ensure there’s a time and place for personal conversations and connections, but that should be during breaks or at any other chosen time.

Emails: There are other means of sharing information than email. You can send a quick message or DM with Slack, launch an impromptu video chat, place a call with your phone, and many other ways. Connecting directly through real-time tools is also very efficient.

  1. Plan your marketing

Marketing is the lifeblood of every business. You will be killing your business without knowing if you will starve it of marketing. You need a marketing plan to engage the marketing that brings in results for your business.

A marketing plan will help you to effectively manage your marketing while keeping up with other everyday operations of your firm. An important part of your marketing plan is crafting a content marketing calendar

Your marketing calendar should include your marketing initiatives over a specific time frame. Let’s say a year or less. It should outline the marketing tasks that must be completed, when they must be completed, and by whom.

Having a marketing plan at your disposal makes monitoring and controlling your marketing spending easier. It also aids in maintaining the organisation of your company. A marketing plan is an important strategy for boosting business productivity.

  1. Prioritise health and wellness

Don’t take for granted the physical and mental health of both you and your employees or team members. Mental health and wellness can raise the productivity level of individuals. The 2021 Harvard Business Review states that employees who are physically and mentally well are each 23% more productive than those who are not.

Teams can increase their overall productivity by ensuring employee benefits like weight-loss programs, health tests, or the availability of on-site workout equipment that can enable workers to keep fit and mentally healthy.

  1. Uphold a consistent improvement mindset

Mindset, they say, affects everything. Upholding a consistent improvement mindset can help you continuously up-level your productivity easily.

A consistent improvement mindset can be developed by;

  • Observing your competition for better practices
  • Committing specific problems and tasks to a dedicated team to make room for more creativity and efficiency.
  • Making room for employee feedback and suggestions for more idea generation
  • Using the company or industry standards to evaluate your performance
  • Engaging a step-by-step approach toward solving problems or tasks as they arise.
  1. Delegate/outsource

Delegation is a reliable strategy to improve productivity in the workplace. In this technology age, outsourcing is one way to purchase time as a business owner, manager, or freelancer. Delegation is transferring the responsibility of specific tasks from one person to another. For instance, a manager can assign tasks to an employee.

Outsourcing, on the other hand, means hiring another person to do your work or part of your work to enable you to buy time and concentrate on other areas of your work. It involves a contract that covers exchanging money and services between two parties or businesses.

A business can leverage these two to boost productivity. What platforms can you use to outsource work? Upwork, Fiverr, and even Facebook are good places to begin.

  1. Get comfortable with working remotely

The COVID era has proved that remote working holds the key to the future of work. The transition to remote labour was significant in 2020, when the pandemic was at its worst.

According to the The Guardian, remote work in Nigeria increased to 62% after the pandemic, and you will agree that it has continued to increase.

Against popular belief, productivity is unaffected by working remotely. According to research by Quantum Workplace, when given the freedom to work from home, people were more focused and engaged in their jobs. Fortunately, several software and tools are available for managing remote work, making it simple to collaborate with the team that works remotely.

So, encourage remote work among your staff members and teams. You can even combine remote and on-site work, and You’d be shocked at how this can help you attain greater productivity in your business.

  1. Master the art of effective money management.

Making money requires capital. You will spend a lot of money running a firm. Maintaining a record of your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses is crucial. You’ll be able to sustain a high level of production and profitability by doing this.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert in every aspect of manually recording business spending. Online solutions like Expressbooks, Quickbooks, and Mint can be useful.

  1. Inspire and prioritise the welfare of your employees

A lack of motivation can lead to low productivity even if you have highly skilled workers. To optimally unleash your team’s potential, it’s important to create a calm work environment that reduces stress and inspires workers.

Commit to doing whatever it takes to help your team maintain a positive mindset. Foster a calm work environment, and set the standards for the right work ethic, like keeping a tidy and organised work environment. Lead by example in everything.

Furthermore, don’t joke with effective communication, adequate breaks, health incentives, contingency plans, team collaboration, and the like, as they are important drivers of productivity. Manage workload and responsibilities effectively, monitor team performance, and hold regular check-ins to maintain trust and ensure efficiency.

  1. Review your progress consistently

Setting goals is one of the most important aspects of any business plan. However, they are useless if they aren’t regularly assessed and improved. After establishing clear goals, ensure everyone is equipped with a system for tracking daily progress. Establish reasonable expectations, such as responding within 48 hours or delivering weekly progress summaries, and if daily reporting is inappropriate given the circumstances, consider weekly or monthly reporting.

Furthermore, improve your workflow by regularly assessing its efficiency using an agile method. This will help you uncover obstructions in your business processes and allow you to resolve them quickly. To decrease work-in-progress-related delays, reduce the number of ongoing projects at a time.

Read Also: Best Remedies to Managing Productivity Guilt

Productivity Strategies for Freelancers

Suppose you are a freelancer or operate as a freelance business rather than a company. You will agree that the one-man-show nature of your business requires you to work hard and be very productive to meet deadlines and achieve all-around success for yourself and your business.

In addition to the above-mentioned business productivity strategies, Here are some other steps you may take to increase your productivity and client satisfaction.

  1. Start your day early

Make an early start a part of your everyday work regimen. One benefit of freelancing is that you get to control your schedule. You have the option of starting work at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m. That means you can work at your convenience and when you are most productive, which you can leverage to increase your work efficiency and productivity level.

  1. Keep up your social life

Don’t let freelancing affect you negatively. Prioritise your overall well-being because it can drive you into the lonely zone without you even knowing it. Engage in social activities that allow you to meet others, such as joining a gym, a sports team, or a book club.

  1. Install the StayFocused extension for chrome

We discussed the importance of setting your phone aside to reduce distractions and increase productivity.

Putting your phone aside won’t make you impervious to distractions. After all, you can still use your computer to browse time-wasting websites like Facebook. This is where the StayFocused google extension comes in handy to help your productivity by blocking access to websites that will divert your attention from the task.

All that is required of you is to feed it with the URLs of the website you want to be blocked, and it automatically handles the rest. The interesting part is that it is free to use.

  1. Take care of your health

Don’t succumb to overworking yourself to accomplish more and earn more money. That can be risky and detrimental to your health. And when that happens, you’ll lose more because you will ultimately waste time and money. That is not what you want to happen. So, it’s expedient to keep an eye on your health. Frequently check yourself out. Take a break from work from time to time.

Eat sensibly as often as you can, and exercise. Maintain a regular schedule.

  1. Do not multitask

It can be tempting to multitask. There is this misconception that engaging in multiple things at once will enable you to accomplish more. But ultimately, nothing is accomplished. The simple truth is that multitasking hurts your productivity. Studies have shown that performing numerous things at once hurts how well our brain functions.

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Productivity Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Solo entrepreneurship may be both exciting and challenging at the same time. You are in control of your time. You don’t have a boss to report to. You may fire any client you decide to fire, and all that freedom.

On the other hand, since you are a one-man show, the workload might be taxing. In addition to the business strategies discussed above, Here are some other steps you may take to maintain your highest level of productivity as an e-commerce business owner, affiliate marketer, or owner of any other type of solo business.

  1. Create a schedule and stick to it

Discipline, not talent, intelligence, or even luck, guarantees success.

Making a routine and following it strictly are two simple yet effective ways to retain discipline while operating a business.

And achieving that is simple; start by establishing a morning habit, then repeat it throughout the day. Also, make a list of the projects you want to work on in a day, and before going to sleep, go through them to see what you couldn’t accomplish.

  1. Go on breaks

Learn to take quick breaks frequently throughout the day. By doing this, you can greatly improve your ability to stay motivated and productive.

Take some time to decide how frequently these breaks should occur. It might be 5-minute breaks between work or four 10-minute breaks every day where you can play your preferred game of Solitaire or spend time with your pet, children, or spouse. Or a daily break of an entire hour. It’s all up to you how you want to enjoy your breaks. However, as we said earlier, schedule your break times to sustain productivity.

  1. Always have goals and plans

How many customers do you hope to bring in each month? What weekly sales volume are you aiming for?

You are focused when you have a goal in mind. And when giving up looks like the best option, your goals motivate you to keep pushing.

Set goals for the beginning of every week or month. It might be something big, like making a million dollars in sales, or it can be something small, like responding to every unanswered email.

  1. Maximise business prioritisation

Ignore the less important duties and concentrate on the important ones. While a nice business card may not be necessary and can be skipped, advertising your business through Google or Facebook ads is essential. Identify tasks and activities to help you achieve greater productivity and success in your business and prioritise them.

  1. Network through events

I’m not saying you should accept every social invitation from friends and relatives. Networking events are important, but, prioritise the things that are most important for the success of your business. Engagements and tasks that will bring about business growth and success should be a daily priority, and handling other matters can be secondary.

Furthermore, when you begin to experience success, don’t grow complacent. Celebrate your successes and work toward more challenging objectives to keep challenging yourself to stay productive.

Read Also: 15 Essential SaaS Tools to Boost Your Productivity as an Entrepreneur

Productivity Strategies for Employees

Your employees play a significant role in the success of your organisation. Therefore, it’s critical to adopt practical measures to maintain your employees’ high levels of productivity if you want to improve your sales success.

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, here are some other approaches you might try;

  1. Reward efforts rather than results

Results are often exaggerated. When they can, some happen as a product of luck. Thus, results are not always the true proof of work. For instance, an employee who achieved a significant sales target might have been fortunate to meet a wealthy customer.

On the other hand, another employee who may have put in greater work may be perceived as unproductive and lazy because he has not been able to generate many sales, probably because he hasn’t been as lucky as his colleague.

With this in mind, reward efforts and not just outcomes or results. That way, you will encourage even a team member who performed poorly to keep improving and working harder.

  1. Encourage continuous learning

The world is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday might not work today.

Therefore, encourage your employees to continue learning and developing their skill sets if you want your company to stay competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing world. They can even do it on a budget by enrolling in classes on websites like Alison, LinkedIn, and Udemy.

  1. Keep communication lines open

Communication is to business what air is to humans; it is essential to survival. Encourage a free flow of communication among your team. That is one way to unlock their creative genius to birth ideas for the operational challenges you might have in your business.

If you want suggestions for creating an internal communication system? WordPress can be helpful because it enables you to create an intranet website, and there are tons of WordPress themes available, both for free and at a cost

  1. Build a sales funnel

Only some people who schedule a meeting or inquire are ready to buy or will buy at least for that particular time. With this in mind, using a sales funnel to nurture your leads is an important aspect of running your business that you don’t want to joke with. A sales funnel handy for guiding potential customers through the consideration to the purchase stage.

Read Also: How to Take Care of Employees for Maximum Productivity


As you already know, upleveling your productivity as a business owner and increasing business productivity is the focus of our discussion. With that in mind, there is no hard and fast rule for all the productivity strategies discussed. If a strategy proves ineffective, modify it. Experiment with a new perspective. Experiment with a different method. Conduct A/B testing!

A/B testing is a method of improving strategies by testing different variations to determine the most effective approach. It’s a straightforward process that helps you optimise results.

Do you have a business? How do you manage the affairs of your employees? Join our WhatsApp community for business Insights and webinars.

About Author

Avatar of Ruth Faithful
Ruth Faithful
Ruth Faithful is an educationist and a highly skilled freelance writer with a knack for crafting top-notch engaging and compelling on-brand copies and content that connects with readers and delivers results for businesses and brands. She is a passionate advocate for personal development and self-actualization. She is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses thrive.

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