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Ice cream shop counter

How often do you look up at the end of the day and wonder where time went? For small business owners, the day can disappear without ever reaching the end of your to-do list. Achieving peak productivity can feel like trying to scale a never-ending mountain of tasks.

Being “busy” is a trap that many merchants fall into without realizing it. Many business owners spend their time in the trenches of running a business: managing employees, ordering inventory, keeping up with accounting, or simply trying to get a handle on marketing. Busy-ness does not equal productivity, however. The majority of small business owners report wishing they could spend more time on big picture work. Instead of working harder, the secret is learning how to work smarter—and more efficiently.

Productivity apps and productivity software are just two pieces of the great puzzle on how to squeeze more out of your workday. Read on for our productivity tips for small business owners.

Time Management

Time is of the essence. Take back your time by understanding where you might be losing minutes (or hours) to repetitive tasks or other time thieves (think: payroll, restocking inventory, employee scheduling). Nearly 70% of small business owners would like to spend more time working on the higher-level priorities, rather than getting in the weeds of their operation. If this sounds like you, check out some of these resources for better time management.

Personal Productivity Tips

A small business owner’s work is never done—or at least, that’s what it can feel like when you see your to-do list growing by the minute. Small changes in your personal productivity can lead to big success for your business. Check out some of these resources for changing the way you approach your own time management.

Employee Productivity 101

Small business owners report scheduling and payroll as among two of the biggest time sucks in their day-to-day productivity. Employees can also suffer from their own time management mistakes, which is why gamification is a particularly good motivating tool. Watch out for burnout; de-motivation or low morale can certainly lead to a loss in employee productivity. Read more from these articles on the Clover blog.

Apps and Tools to Increase Productivity

Save time and effort with tools that can automate some of your most tedious to-dos, curated for you by the Clover App Market. Here are some of our favorites.

Despite the headlines predicting robot takeovers, not every task can be automated. Check out these resources for more on how to (selectively) deploy time management apps.

Run a Tight Ship: Efficient Business Management

Some parts of your business operation may be dragging down your productivity without you realizing it. Streamline your operations to make things run smoothly without your interference, and get back to doing what you do best (growing your business).

How have you improved your business’s productivity? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter, and keep your productivity tools up-to-date with the Clover App Market.

Clover Flex comic - countertop
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If you’re running a business, chances are you’ve got a lot going on: customers to service, employees to manage, inventory to track—and any number of other things calling for your attention. Efficiency is a top priority. With so much happening around you, why let crowded countertops cramp your style?

This post will take a quick look at three points to consider in keeping your store’s countertops as clutter-free as possible.

First things first.

Remember the old shampoo commercial that gave birth to the adage: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Believe it or not, your countertops — along with the overall cleanliness of your shop — is one of the first things customers view when they enter your store. If your counters are jammed full of point-of-sale machines, receipts, or whatever other clutter you like to keep close at hand, it looks messy and unprofessional. If you’re selling food or drinks, “messy” might also suggest unsanitary – not good for business. Keeping countertops as clean and clear as possible ensures a great first impression.

Go with the flow.

It’s your business, so your store operations should absolutely be able to work the way you want. This includes how your point-of-sale system is set up. Obviously, being customer-friendly is likely your top concern (meaning don’t have lots of wires criss-crossing the space or getting in customers’ way).

But you should also consider how your countertop set-up looks, feels and functions for your employees. It’s worth noting that clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done. De-cluttering is a state of mind, and one that you should embrace for the good of your customers, employees and business.

Pull double duty.

Think your counters are designed only for customers to put their goods onto while they check out? Then you might be missing out on a hidden opportunity. Your store counter is prime up-sell space. Think about it: your customer is already in the buying state of mind. (That’s probably why they’re standing at the counter in the first place.) It makes sense to leverage that space to push an offer, encourage repeat business with a loyalty card, or offer relevant impulse purchases.

Now that you’ve pondered these three points, perhaps you’re realizing it’s time to ditch the wires, bulky register, receipt printer, and PIN entry device in favor of something a bit more…flexible. Like the Clover Flex, for example. It’s the full-featured device that meets all your payment and POS needs — and fits even in tight spots. With all the latest technologies embedded in a single portable device, you’ll free your hands, your mind and your countertop for the things that really matter.

Featured image: La Citta Vita by Plaza Hotel, Food Hall