How To-Do Lists Help Small Business Owners Stay Organized
If you own a small restaurant, such as a bistro, bar, or bakery, having a way to organize your tasks can help your company operate smoothly.
A to-do list app helps you stay on top of things by letting you create checklists that contain information about everything you need to-do to run your business.
Small business owners have a lot on their plate, with a long checklist that at times may feel neverending. Particularly time-consuming are the day-to-day jobs that must be performed consistently and to a high standard to keep everything in order.
Failure to complete these tasks correctly can harm your company in a number of ways. A cocktail bar that doesn't check inventory regularly, for example, may end up running out of crucial ingredients which can cause it to lose out on sales. A restaurant that forgets to complete its cleaning to-do list at the end of a day may find itself falling foul of health and safety regulations.
One way businesses can organize these jobs is to use a to-do list. Until recently, this would have meant jotting down a list of jobs on a calendar or a Post-It note. However, there is now a wide array of apps that people can use to get organized.
These online, cloud-based products make it simple for small business owners to manage all the tasks that they need to complete.
While the exact features of these apps differ, they all have one thing in common they help the user organize their day and complete everything they need to-do.
In this article, we'll explore how small businesses can use to-do list apps to help with the management of their company.
What is a Digital To-Do List?
A to-do list app is a product that allows users to create checklists of things they need to-do in a given period. These products generally enable users to create tasks and then organize them depending on a variety of factors.
Many popular to-do list products can include a list of features that allow users to stay on track while working. To-do list apps often provide users with the ability to
- Create and organize lists
- Set reminders
- Sync their apps across all their devices
- Share tasks with people they know
- Prioritize tasks
- They generally do this within an easy-to-use interface
Zip Checklist, for example, helps owners of small businesses manage all of the tasks that need to be completed on a given day. It can also list standard operating procedures so that employees know how these tasks need to be performed.
Like the above products, these to-do list apps for small businesses contain listing and reminder features that help managers stay on top of their duties. They will also often include extra features designed specifically for use in a company.
How To-Do List Apps Can Help Small Businesses
To-do list apps can benefit small businesses in a variety of ways. The main one is that they help business owners ensure that everything that needs to be done gets done. They also help with the management of these tasks by allowing those in charge to organize and assign work, as well as stay updated in real-time about how the jobs are coming along.
Here is an in-depth look at how businesses can use online to-do lists.
Organize Tasks to Ensure the Company Runs Smoothly
To-do list apps make it easy for business owners to create tasks and then organize them. Managers can organize tasks in a variety of ways, for example, based on who should complete them or when they need to be done by.
By creating a list of tasks that they need to complete, business owners can help ensure that all crucial jobs are getting done.
Managers can create to-do lists for a variety of different uses. So, a shop owner could create a list for the beginning of the day that reminds supervisors of their duties when they open the store. This would take in work such as checking cash, unlocking all doors and fire escapes, confirming displays are tidy, and checking stock levels.
Alternatively, a restaurant manager could create a to-do list for everything that needs to be done upon closing. This closing checklist would likely contain details of how staff should check inventory, clean different parts of the restaurant and kitchen, lock the building, and handle money at the end of the day.
Many apps will also allow managers to assign tasks to employees to reduce confusion about who should be doing what at any specific time. By assigning tasks, managers can be sure that employees know exactly what their duties are on a given day.
A bar owner, for example, could assign a cleaning to-do list to one employee, and cash taking to-do list to another. Once each employee has completed the tasks they have been assigned, they can mark it as finished so the manager or owner can see the job has been done.
Create and Share Standard Operating Procedures
There are many ways of doing most tasks. However, there is usually only one way that is better than the others.
Businesses can use to-do lists to create and explain standard operating procedures, as well as share these procedures with all their employees.
Doing this allows managers to provide all the information employees need to complete tasks to the required standard. Not only does this help ensure the task is done effectively but it can also help increase the chances that it is done in a way that complies with industry regulations.
To make it more likely that staff follows these standard operating procedures, managers can include further instruction in each section. They can also add images that clear up any of the more confusing points.
Finally, checklists require employees to electronically mark when they have completed each section of a task. This allows managers to see the to-do list update in real-time, meaning they are automatically updated as employees complete each part of a job.
An example of this in action is if a restaurant has HACCP procedures in place regarding how it handles food upon delivery.
When the employee in charge of taking the delivery sees the standard operating procedure checklist they will know that they have to place perishable items in refrigeration immediately. When they do this, they can mark it on the checklist, alerting managers to the fact the job has been completed to standard.
Gain Insight Into How the Business Works
Business owners can use the reporting features found in many to-do list apps to see how their tasks are being performed and use this insight to address any issues that may arise.
If a manager notices a task is regularly left incomplete, they can go through it with the employee who has been assigned the responsibility to ensure they understand their duties and clear up any confusion about how they should complete the task.
The confusion may be due to problems with the to-do list itself. For example, not explaining the task clearly or missing steps may lead to error. If this is the case, managers can easily update the entry to sort out any issues or reflect changes to operating procedures.
This type of tracking also improves employee accountability. Members of staff know that when they are assigned a task they have to complete it, and that if they don't it will be easy to trace it back to them.
To-Do-List Designed for Success
Zip Checklist is a list solution built with small business owners in mind. It allows founders and managers of restaurants, bars, shops, and other businesses to create to-do lists covering each task that they need to complete to successfully run their company.
Here's how it works
- Managers and owners create to-do lists and checklists that cover all the tasks that need to be completed in their business. Managers can customize these lists so they fit the company's standard operating procedures, thereby reducing errors and ensuring tasks are done in an optimal way. Images can be used alongside detailed instructions to provide clarity.
- Those in charge can then organize these tasks based on factors such as the department that is in charge of them or how often they need to be completed. They can also assign each task to individual employees. Categorizing tasks in this way ensures that staff always complete to-do lists by the deadline. As Zip Checklist is cloud-based and available on mobile devices, it is easy for managers to share these lists throughout the company.
- Employees then complete all the tasks in the to-do list using the instructions included. They can mark each part of the job as they complete it. This not only helps ensure the employee performs the task as per the standard operating procedures but, when combined with real-time reporting, also allows those in charge to see when tasks are complete. If a high-priority task remains undone past its deadline, for example, closing procedures not being followed properly, managers will receive a notification. This allows them to check up on the task and make sure there are no problems.
- All the information about tasks and how they are being completed is recorded in the cloud. This allows business owners to use Zip Checklist's in-depth reporting features to spot any trends in the ways employees are completing tasks. If there are any issues they can take action to get to the source of the problem and identify where they can make improvements.