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:
"It is almost impossible to grow a company of any size and worth unless you expand beyond yourself" - Rhonda Abrams
This quote from Rhonda Abrams sounds like nothing more than common sense - hire the right people (and enough people) to allow for your success. 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.
Avoid making decisions for your employees:
In my years of consulting I have met many entrepreneurs who just can't let go of any control and they tend to micro-manage their employees. This is doubly inefficient as they are paying someone to do a job, and they spend their own time (which is precious capital) in reviewing all of the detail of their employees' work instead of the effectiveness of the result.
When we hire an employee or engage an independent contractor, we are inherently giving up some control. In my experience, the best way to get comfortable with letting go is:
1)Set up clear, well-defined duties and responsibilities
2)Give each employee appropriate authority to meet their responsibilities.
3)Define a periodic reporting system that allows you to keep track of the function and evaluate the employee's (or contractor's) effectiveness.
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.