Value your time
The problem with most small business owners is not simply that they are doing too much work, but that they are doing the wrong kind of work. They should be looking at where their input adds the most value to the business.
Put a value on your time. What is it worth to the business? Here are two examples of how different business owners approached this question.
Brian was working with a business coach on some new strategies for his broking and finance business.
He resented the time he had to put into the exercise, complaining that to date it had ‘taken him away’ from his usual office work for almost 15 hours.
His coach persisted. When the strategies were finally in place, projections showed that they would generate another $250,000 in revenue in the ensuing six months.
Brian’s coach asked him what he would pay someone else to do the work he felt he ‘should’ have been doing. His answer was, grudgingly, $50-an-hour. “And yet,” his coach pointed out, “15 hours of your strategic work is going to be worth $250,000 or more than $16,500-an-hour.”
Was there anyone else in the business who could have done that strategic work besides Brian? No. He got the point and began reassessing where his priorities lay.
Mary Ellen runs a public relations consultancy. Her client time is charged out at $175-an-hour.
However, the amount of time she can give to this is curtailed because of the administrative work that needs to be done to support her consulting work. She doesn’t feel she can justify putting on someone else at this stage until she is bringing in more revenue. Problem is, there are no more available consulting hours left in the month.
Mary Ellen looked at what she would have to pay an administrative assistant; about $22 an hour. When asked if she would hire a $175-an-hour person and give them $22-an-hour jobs to do, she laughed. And then stopped laughing when she realised that was exactly what she was doing by doing that work herself.
Stop and look at the work you are doing. Put a value on your time and work out where you are spending it. Are you the most expensive clerical worker in your office? If so, reassess. Plan to work yourself out of that job and work yourself into the job that adds the most value to your business.
Don’t be like the man whose business was turning over $5m and he still worked all his appointments around getting to the Post Office every morning to collect the mail. This is what he had done since he started the business when he was the only employee, and was such an ingrained habit that he had never considered that someone else might be able to do it, thereby freeing his early mornings to attend to activities and meetings he needed to do.
Published: Friday, June 24, 2011blog comments powered by Disqus