Resource management is a vital part of any business plan. Resource management becomes even more critical when you’re running your business alone. When your resources are limited, your best strategy could be to make the most of what you’ve got. 

In this article, we will discuss what resource management is and how it might look in a small business, including:

  • What types of resources might a business have?
  • What is resource management in small businesses?
  • What tools can you use for resource management?
  • What are the benefits of resource management?

What types of resources might a business have?

Resources can be anything that is an asset (item of value) to your business and needed to carry out your work—for example, physical assets like materials, equipment, technology, finances, and available space.

But some resources can be intangible assets like time, people, skills, and even the business connections or supplier relationships you have.

When you’re self-employed and running your business on your own, your education, skills and industry knowledge can be important assets. In addition, your social support system and emotional resources can also be significant contributors to your success. 

What is resource management in small businesses?

Resource management is making sure that all your resources are used effectively on time and to budget. But it also involves planning to determine what resources are needed to carry out the work, including the quantity or even the amount of effort or skills required to do the job.

Another essential part of resource management is scheduling, which helps you understand when, where, and which resources are needed. Scheduling enables you to allocate resources to different areas of your project at the right time. 

Resource scheduling usually includes two main techniques:

  1. Resource smoothing

Smoothing is typically used when the priority is to complete work by a particular deadline while avoiding severe peaks and dips in resource demand. The goal of smoothing is a steady use of resources within a limited timeline.

  1. Resource levelling

Levelling is used when the available resources are limited and the start and end time of the project is adjusted to match resource availability. Levelling can extend the project timeline but is designed to avoid shortages or excess inventory.

A bonus to your resource management plan is analysing the risks involved with completing your project, such as equipment breakdown or suppliers failing to deliver. It will help you ensure that appropriate resources are available at the right time to minimise risks and avoid the project falling behind.

What tools can you use for resource management?

You might have grown out of your Excel sheet or need something a bit more sophisticated than a to-do list on a post-it note. There are plenty of intelligent tools, apps and software out there to help manage your company and your resources. Here are just a few examples:

  • Hub planner – an online resource scheduling software
  • Mavenlink – resource-first approach to manage and optimise your resources
  • Resource guru – a clever way to manage your team’s time
  • Countingup – for managing your finances
  • Asana – helps teams organise, track and manage their work
  • Toggl – time tracking software for small businesses

If you’d like to know more about how to schedule your day as an entrepreneur, read our article on scheduling for small businesses here.

What are the benefits of resource management?

At first glance, it might seem like managing your resources is a lot of extra work and effort. But better resource management will likely save you tons of time and money in the long run. 

Planning your projects and putting in that extra work in the early stages of your project could help you complete your work in a shorter amount of time and without unexpected obstacles. In addition, proper management of your resources can help you:

  1. Ensure availability of necessary resources and skills

With a system that enables you to estimate, obtain, and manage internal and external resources, it’ll be more likely that the right people and tools are available and in the right place when you need them.

But when something goes wrong, your resource management plan could also tell you who can help you solve the problem. For example, an alternative supplier you could contact in case your primary supplier runs out of stock.

  1. Use your resources more efficiently

Neither overusing nor underusing your resources is beneficial to your business. When you have a good overview of the resources your business needs, you can avoid wasting money on what you don’t need.

Resource management can also help you make the most of what you have, especially if resources are scarce to ensure nothing goes to waste.

  1. Plan and schedule your project better

With resource management, you can plan and schedule your project based on resource availability. Better planning will help you stick to project timelines and deadlines.

Proper scheduling will help you use your time more efficiently. Planning your projects based on resource needs and availability could help ensure that you’re not wasting time.

  1. Know when you need to expand

Identifying which resources you need to complete a project can be very helpful when your workload increases. As your business grows, so does the amount of work. Doing a few extra hours a week isn’t a big deal, but being regularly overloaded with work can become tiring and frustrating in the long run. 

With resource planning, you can anticipate when you need extra help and avoid constantly overworking. It can also help you decide if growing volumes of work could mean that it’s time to expand your business. Find out more about how to grow your small business here.

Countingup can help you save time and manage your finances 

Thousands of business owners are using the Countingup app to save time on their financial admin and focus on growing their business. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for self-employed people across the UK.

With automatic expense categorisation, receipt capture tools and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances and save yourself hours of accounting admin, so you can focus on doing what you do best. Find out more here.