The Small-Business Owner’s Most Valuable Asset
Posted on November 02, 2010 by Nathan R Mitchell, One of Thousands of Business Coaches on Noomii.
Nathan Mitchell, Small-Business Consultant & Leadership Coach, Tulsa OK, addresses the issue of effective time-management for small-business owners
By Nathan Mitchell, Small Business Coach, Clutch Consulting, Tulsa OK, Springfield MO
As an Entrepreneur or Small-Business Owner, what is your most valuable asset? I will give you a hint. It is the only thing that is equal in all of this world, and each of us possesses it. I tell you the truth–there is no sex, race, or religious discrimination here. Nope, not at all! And it is the most valuable asset you and I have: it is called Time, and it’s sometimes hard to manage. Let’s face it, Time won’t work harder for you, and it won’t work beyond normal business hours. Nope, it will give you 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each and every day, but that’s it. However you choose to look at it, that is what Time will give you give you every day of the week, 52 weeks out of the year. The big question to ask yourself is this: Do you manage Time well? If you do, Time can be your most valued asset–your BFF if you so choose. On the other hand, if you neglect it and don’t nurture your relationship with it, it can turn out to be your worst employee. It will even steal profits from your bottom line if you don’t manage it effectively and efficiently.
The biggest challenge for a lot of small-business owners is their ineffectiveness in the prioritization of the tasks and activities associated with the business. When was the last time you really looked at the activities you engage in on a daily basis, identified unnecessary activities, and eliminated them? When was the last time you looked at your work/life balance and asked yourself, “am I managing my professional and my personal time efficiently?” As small-business owners, we must learn to focus on the most important tasks first. The easiest way to identify your top priorities on a daily basis is to ask yourself whether or not each activity is in one way or another directly related to generating sales for your business. If it isn’t, it should not be at the top of your list, or even in the middle for that matter! Let me give you an example: Although paying bills and catching up on email are both essential tasks of any business, do your customers really care when you perform those tasks(?) Absolutely not! If you are paying bills and catching up on emails during hours when you could be making more cold calls for your business, serving your existing clients, or working out in the field in an effort to build sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships, then you are not managing your time well as an Entrepreneur. Please note that I do understand that in the workplace there are employees who get paid to do those tasks, but not in the game of Entrepreneurship! Those tasks will steal time away from you, and profits too. Learn to use your time wisely by focusing on those tasks that ultimately pay you.
There are countless books on effective time-management. Find one that suits you, and go with it. Personally, I recommend “First Things First,” by Stephen Covey. There are also consultants that can teach you to better utilize your time effectively through training and small-business coaching. Whichever path you choose to take, learn 2-3 time-management principles that you can start utilizing in your business today. There is no need to throw your whole world into upheaval! Initially, engaging in time-management activities may seem like more work up front, but over time you will become more comfortable with your new routine, and you will be a lot more efficient and effective over the long-term.
Here are some quick suggestions that I will leave you with before I conclude this post:
—Stop Procrastinating NOW!
—Become More Productive By Reducing Interruptions
—Distinguish Between What’s Urgent! and What’s Important
—Don’t Burn The Candle At Both Ends
More information can be found online at Clutch Consulting LLC