Content provided by a guest contributor.
As business owners, we charge clients for services. But how many business owners puts a price tag on their time? This is not the per hour rate some of us charge clients. We’re talking about your time.
The answer to the question is “not many”, because we don’t necessarily think of our time in terms of Rands and cents. As a business owner, you should, though. Your time is never free and it is most certainly valuable.
To get a better return-on-investment, so to speak, it is necessary to cut time wasters. This will ensure that time is spent only on things that is indeed worth your valuable time.
Fire one difficult customer
We all have that one customer that’s more trouble than they’re worth. They’re high maintenance, despite not spending a lot of money. Their demands are a drain on your energy, as well as the staff and the company’s finances.
Fire this client without thinking about it twice. There is very little chance that this client’s attitude will change, so fire them. It will free up time, as well as resources that can be put to better use.
Don’t do the grunt work yourself. Employ one or two interns to get the admin and other day-to-day tasks done. An intern, for instance, can do deliveries or make phone calls.
Just do interns a favour too and still give them the opportunity to gain experience in their field of choice. Let a marketing student help out in the marketing department, let an accounting student help out in the salaries department, and so on.
Let’s not forget that your interns should also be remunerated fairly. A disgruntled intern could prove harmful to the business.
Review systems and processes
Just because something is done a certain way, doesn’t mean that it is the best or most efficient way of doing it. Set up a meeting with each department in the business to review the systems and processes used. Aim to eliminate at least one redundant system or process and do not replace it with a new one.
Many of us think of ourselves as productive when we multi-task. This is not true, though. Jumping from one task to another forces your brain to make a multitude of decisions at once, which result in tasks taking longer to complete. Instead, concentrate on task at time.
To break the habit of multi-tasking, decide on set time frames during which you’ll respond to emails and take telephone calls. Furthermore, do work in chunks of time, like 25 minutes. This will force you to focus, making you more productive. It will also force you to take breaks, keeping your brain fresher for longer.
Automate recurring tasks
There is no need for you or anyone else in the business to devote hours each month to menial tasks. Instead, set up a debit order for that supplier that’s paid each month, automate salaries or set up a series of meetings for the monthly sales meeting. The gains here would be instantly.
Decide who will decide – then step back
Many business owners have a hard time letting go of tasks or micro-manage when they manage to let go. The fact is a lot of time is wasted like this. Rather sit down, make a list of all the most important decisions taken on a daily basis in each department and then assign the responsibility to someone.
Think about it – you hired each and every employee because you had faith in their abilities. Now show that you trust them. You only need to check in once a month, nothing more would be needed. Other than decide what you will use your newly gained free time, of course.
This advice brought to you by Digicash, where you can set up a debit order and more for clients and staff.