17 April 2019

Time is gold when it comes to running a business

In an average day as a business owner, how much time do you spend on managing the company? Most of you probably spend a considerable amount of time managing expenses, running sales meetings, or making transactions with clients and vendors. That’s natural, because as a business owner, you’re in authority when it comes to virtually everything.

But how much time do you spend on growing your business? How many hours do you allocate to really giving a thought on what to do with your business in the next few months or years? How often do you visualise a path for your company to take on, and how often do you look back at how far you’ve gone?

You probably don’t have much time to do all those things, and that’s not entirely your fault. You’ve got a lot on your plate, and the only way you can focus on more crucial business issues is to free yourself from routine responsibilities that eat up an unreasonable chunk out of your daily grind.

So how do you get back some of the time you’re losing every day?

Follow a schedule, but expect disruptions

Most business owners bombard themselves with a lot of task in a short period, thinking they can do everything at once. However, when something disrupts them — and something always will — it destroys the flow of things and they start to panic internally.

The only way you can maintain a good movement of productivity is to allow some sort of buffer in between tasks. It could be a snap meeting, a crucial phone call or a personal emergency. Don’t squeeze tasks into tiny windows of breathing time. Stick to your schedule, but that schedule should include periods of unexpected interruptions.

Differentiate what’s urgent from what’s important

As the owner of a business, a lot of things will require your attention, so you need to learn how to filter each one based on urgency and importance. But what does that even mean? Remember, not because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important. This is where you need to go back to your business objectives.

For short-term concerns, you need to consider factors such as the timeframe by which the issue needs to be resolved, the immediate impact it can cause if not attended to, and things of such nature. These daily, business-as-usual stuff are rather easy to classify, since you already know the consequences.

But for long-term concerns, it’s a different story. With these things, there’s less pressure in terms of timeframe, so you have the luxury of thinking through what is really important. Will it drive growth?  Will it have a definite, measurable impact? Do you need it?

Eliminate time wasters from your daily agenda

If you have even the slightest feeling that you’ve been constantly doing something you really don’t need to, then it’s time to stop. Take out unnecessary tasks from your schedule, and you’d be stunned to see your productivity soar.

Get rid of outdated process, needless calls or meetings and tinkering with inconsequential data. Not only that you’re wasting time, you’re also wasting opportunities to refocus your energy on more important things. Business owners need to avoid falling into the trap of being a micromanager. Remember: doing a lot of things at once don’t necessarily translate to productivity. The key is prioritising what really matters.

Entrust and delegate tasks to your team

If you can’t keep up with work that you shouldn’t be on your checklist, then it’s time for you to delegate those responsibilities. Take a look at your entire scope of obligations and see which ones you can delegate. I’ve worked with business owners who always felt like they have to do everything themselves. Eventually, they’ve become so bogged down by their regular obligations that, sooner or later, they’ve broken down mentally and physically.

This is common among hardworking people. They feel that it’s not appropriate to ask other people to do things for them. They feel like they’re imposing on other people and they’re afraid that other might view them as someone who can’t stand on their own two feet. But this is a totally erroneous notion. Delegation is not asking someone for a favor — it’s actually giving someone his or her due responsibility and power to contribute to the business.

Be the best business leader you can be and reach the full potential of your business. Work with a Business Coach. My extensive clientele consists of companies based in Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and West Midlands. Discover how REACH Business Coaching can help you grow your business by attending our free workshops and seminars.

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