What is the Most Precious Small Business Resource, and How Can you Conserve it?
Running a small business, you will quickly realize the value of your finite resources, time and money. While both are essential to manage, your business will ideally be able to make more money, but no matter what you do, there is no way that you can regain even a moment once it has been spent. While this is somewhat of a negative thought, it doesn’t have to be. Rather, you should embrace the challenge of taking the time that you are given and making it work for you to the best of your ability. Remember that you get the same twenty-four hours each day that have been given to moguls of the business world, and it is up to you to use them in the best way you can.
What do you spend time on during the day already? The first step to a better level of appreciation and management of your time is through auditing the ways you already spend it to determine what are your biggest time sinks, and what you can do to reclaim otherwise dead hours during the day. The time that you spend in transit is an example of time that you can spend doing two things at once, such as learning a new skill while listening to a book on tape.
Look for ways to optimize your daily processes. The odds are good that one or more tasks that you perform during the day to day could be optimized to save you some time. By performing a time audit, you will be able to tell what parts of your routine take the most time and can be attacked most aggressively. Some areas are less flexible than others, for example the time that you can realistically shave off of your daily commute without moving or adopting a new method of transportation is probably not able to go beneath a certain threshold. Conversely, if you spend a long time getting coffee and a bagel before going to work, you might want to look in to making your own breakfast right after you wake up to cut down on the lengthiness of your morning routine. For everything from managing the emails in your inbox, to the way you run business meetings, think of how you can find time to fine tune our habits.
Don’t waste time regretting time that has already been wasted. This is an important aspect of time management that is easy to agree with and remember, but harder to put into practice simply because in the moment it can seem like the only thing left to do. When something goes wrong in your business, reflect on it only to the point that you learn whatever lesson you were meant to from the failure, and then move on the best way that you can. You may have lost time, but consider it payment for a valuable lesson.
Photo Credit to Doug Wheller on Flickr