Business assets are usually discussed in terms of financial items such as cash, inventory, and accounts receivable. These assets are keys to success in business but, as it is commonly known, everyone does not have equal access to these financial assets. One highly important asset that is often overlooked is time. The most unique quality of this asset is it is equally available to all of us. The Chairman of Ford Motor Company and the local entrepreneur both have the same 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 12 months per year to achieve their business goals and enjoy their personal lives. I came to the conclusion that managing time is equally as important as managing cash.
"Time is the scarcest resource of the manager; if it is not managed, nothing else can be managed" Peter F. Drucker
According to Drucker, time is the scarcest resource of the manager, but we know it is equally available to everyone. How entrepreneurs manage their time can dramatically impact their business results and ultimately the quality of their lives - so what can we do to improve our time management?
Assemble an effective Team: While all new businesses have limited resources, they all need administrative, legal, bookkeeping, sales, and production/service workers to operate. Many entrepreneurs try to balance this lack of capital and staffing need by doing everything (or as much as they can) themselves. These "do-it-yourselfers" are overworked, over-stressed, and often under-perform in the areas where they don't have expertise (bookkeeping for example).
Think outside the box! A better solution for the business without sufficient capital to hire employees to fill key roles may be to utilize contractors. Bookkeeping firms may be able to keep up with your company's needs in much less time, much more accurately, and at a reasonable cost. Payroll processing firms can provide the HR function for a small business, keeping it up to date with changes in state labor laws, and usually at a very reasonable cost per employee. Outside consultants, sales agents, attorneys, and contract labor are all additional options which can help a small business create an effective team at a reasonable cost. It is important to remember that not all outside contractors are created equally - Interview them! Make sure they have some knowledge of your business/industry, that you clearly understand how and what they will charge for their services, and that they have adequate availability of time to service your business.
The mission of the UGA SBDC is to enhance the economic well-being of Georgians by providing a wide range of educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.romesbdc.org or call 706-622-2006.