Time is the greatest asset a small-business owner can have. Treat is as such!
But when you’re working around the clock to keep your business running, you’re often left with little time or energy to tend to the smaller things like administrative work.
Have a good sense of the value of your time. Think of things that free up time and mental energy, there are investments in your business. You can outsource pretty much anything these days; you just have to use your imagination and some good judgment to figure out what you should and shouldn’t delegate to someone else. The key is figuring out how you value your time.
Since most people work around 40 to 50 hours a week, to really get the most out of that time small-business owners need to focus on the things that are most likely to grow their business. And on the home front, what’s left over should be quality time spent rejuvenating and doing other things of value like spending time with friends and family.
If you make $75,000 annually and work 40 hours a week (that’s 2,080 work hours a year), that means your time is potentially worth about $36 an hour ($75,000 divided by 2,080). So if you really hate certain administrative tasks and you can easily outsource it to someone else for $20 an hour, what are you waiting for?
Here are some of the most valuable ways you can buy back your time.
In 2014, Americans who made phone calls, sent mail, or emailed spent on average 0.71 hours a day doing it, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Freelance marketplace companies like Upwork, Fiverr, Thumbtack, and TaskRabbit are helpful for finding all kinds of virtual help, including data entry, small website updates, content writing, translation, and bookkeeping, among other things.
Rates vary based on freelancers’ skills, experience, feedback, and work history.
Business owners can spend a ton of time managing employee tasks, checking in, and checking on work. This takes time away from growing your clients and my business. Project management software, like the cloud-based Asana or Basecamp, help cut project-management time, keep employees on task, and increase productivity. Other popular apps include Trello and Smartsheet.
Manage office clutter:
Eliminate unsightly clutter by sending piles of receipts, invoices, and miscellaneous items to be scanned and archived in a searchable way by services like Shoeboxed.
Social media can eat up a lot of time. By automating posting on social media you can still create personalized content while saving time that would be spent logging into social-media accounts throughout the day. We use HootSuite, other popular apps for managing social media include Buffer and SocialFlow.
To avoid paying more for office maintenance than you’d like, consider opting for a coworking space. They take care of all of the cleaning, maintenance, and security and provide things like coffee and water, which are included in the cost of the rent. Rent might seem expensive given the space you get. But all of these services allow a small business to focus on its higher-value-add core business activities. We recently opened a satellite space at Refinery Nashville, a coworking space in Nashville’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.