The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Your Business’ Most Important Asset

The most important asset in any business is not your high cost equipment, your intellectual property or even your customer base. All these things, with time and money can be replaced, although their loss could have a big impact on your business. But you would protect your business against loss of these assets, wouldn’t you? But there is one asset that is worth much more than any other asset. It can’t be replaced by spending money, and you can insure against its loss. I am talking about your time.

Most business owners poorly value their time. They do jobs that others could do for them, because they would have to pay someone else to do them. In fact, most business owners take out their own trash. Which must mean that their time is worth less than a trash collector.

Owners who glorify in being chief cook and bottle washer never achieve what most people call success. While you are doing your own fetching and carrying, who is talking to your customers? Your competitors? Who is working on your business? Certainly not you!

Often owners don’t delegate mundane work because they think no-one will do it as well as they do. Well that might be true if you don’t take the time to show others how you want a particular task done. And anyway, what business owner wants to be known as the greatest bookkeeper ever, unless they own a bookkeeping business.

Another reason owners don’t delegate is that they know they can complete the task much faster than training someone else to do it. But that just means that you, as the owner, are never free from that task. So if it normally takes you an hour to do a particular job, but it would take 3 hours to train someone to do it for you, and you did this job every week, after three weeks you would be better off and have an extra hour every week you never had before, if you delegated the task.

So look at how you spend your day. Studies show that 30% or more of people’s day is unproductive. How successful would you be if you were able to free up 12 extra hours a week? An extra day and a half?

The first step is to admit that you could be more productive. The second step is to commit the time and money in creating that extra time each week. Time in training others, and money in paying others to do these tasks.

The third step is to use the time you have created to improve your business. If you just use the time to do some other administrative task, you have achieved nothing. At the end of each hour and each day, ask yourself, what have I done to improve my business today. If you can’t think of an answer, look at what you were doing and ask how could I have given this work to someone else?

Value every second of your time. And as you delegate to others, make sure you use the created time to generate a return to your business that not only pays their wages, but adds to your bottom line.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is a Business Coach and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be better if someone made a business called "We do the small stuff" and actually take the role of connecting students in the neighbourhood with busy executives. I mean, as a busy executive, you probably don't know your neighbours all that well, and if you did, would you really want to offer to pay their kid a bit to take out your trash? The idea of not doing it yourself is great, but the reality of the process involved in setting up someone else to do it, might not be so appealing. I've been following a lot of the ideas that will be pitched on this upcoming Dragon's Den series (which airs in October), maybe this would be just the type of business idea someone could pitch to all the dragons in order to get financing for it. I mean, who could better relate to this than a bunch of VCs who probably are all wasting 30% of their day on these routine tasks. Matter of fact, there's a production blog being kept at; Sean Wise is actually a mentor capitalist keeping this blog, maybe he'd be interested in hearing a pitch on capitalizing on "Your Business' Most Important Asset". Anyhow, just thought we could get this in motion somehow, I mean, there must be a good reason we all waste 30% of our time daily!


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