Time is the most important asset you have—and unlike money, once you’ve spent it, you can’t earn any more. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of your 24 hours, especially as a business owner.
So, how can you become more productive and profitable, without working insane hours and sacrificing your personal life? Read on for a few steps on how to start managing your time like a successful entrepreneur…
STEP 1: Discover how much your time is worth
The first step to maximizing your time is to understand what yours is really worth. This is an exercise I do with any client who has a time crunch. It’s great to help you gauge what your time is generally worth. (IMPORTANT: This is NOT a formula for determining your rates, but it can be used as a start.):
Income ÷ Hours worked = Hourly Rate
Let’s say your income last month was $16,000 and you worked eight hours a day for 20 days. That’s a total of 160 hours. So, your hourly rate would be calculated like this:
$16,000 ÷ 160 = $100 Per Hour
Based on this example, your hours are worth $100. Now, let’s find out if you’re spending every hour of every day on $100 activities.
STEP 2: Take an honest assessment of the TYPE of work you do
Now, think about the tasks you do for your business. Are they key business tasks, or supportive business tasks? (Key business tasks are those directly related to growing the business and driving it forward, like networking for new clients and opportunities, creating a new product line, etc. Supportive business tasks are those that support your key activities, like invoicing, organizing, etc.)
You want to work ON your business by focusing on key business tasks—not IN it (by overwhelming yourself with supportive business tasks).
Think about it: If your business doesn’t run unless you’re managing it all, all you’ve done is swapped a job with an employer by employing yourself as an administrative assistant, bookkeeper, etc. And the truth is, it will be very hard to run a successful business this way. Quite a wake-up call isn’t it?
I have clients track their time for an entire week, and then share with me what they discover. They hate it, but it’s VERY enlightening!
STEP 3: Delegate your tasks
You are the boss—so let someone else help manage and do the supportive business tasks, so you can concentrate on developing the strategies that will make you more money and take your business in the direction you want to go. The more you learn to let go and delegate to other people, the more you can focus on your REAL job: those core business activities.
Here are some of the duties and responsibilities you can easily hand off to someone else:
* Accounting and bookkeeping
* Administrative tasks
* Customer Support
* Booking Travel
* Managing your calendar
* Email and web marketing
* Office/Home Cleaning
And that’s just a start.
Although you’ll have to spend a little money up front, outsourcing will help you get ahead in the long run. Let’s go back to that hourly worth example we calculated earlier…
If your hourly worth is $100 per hour and you pay someone else $20 per hour, and you use that hour instead to generate revenues for your business, you’ve just made a leap in your business—and much faster than if you had tried to handle everything by yourself.
So, what kind of skilled professionals can you hire to help? For starters, consider a Virtual Assistant (VA). They can handle a slew of tasks, from scheduling appointments, paying bills, and even managing your projects and supplier/vendor relationships. I got started with www.AssistU.com, but you can also Google other resources.
There are also thousands of talented professionals looking for contract work on sites like www.elance.com. In many cases, you can browse the portfolios of providers and invite them to bid for the work you want done. And best of all, ask business owners and friends you know if they can recommend someone to you.
If you want a little more help with this, take a look at my “Millionaire Time & Productivity Secrets” program. You will learn 101+ of my personal success strategies for managing time and being productive. (Many of my clients tell me it’s their favorite product of mine!) Find out how to make more money, stay focused, and achieve your best results—while still having energy and a life!
Question: What’s your BEST time management secret? And how did it help you become more productive and profitable? Tell me in the comment section below.
© 2014 Ali International, LLC
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“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com”