Your Business’s Most Valuable Resource? Time!

When you’re running a business, you’ve got a lot of resources that you need to consider, all of which are extremely important and valuable. From the money that you spend in order to keep things functioning properly and keep your business in the black, to your employees who you rely on very closely to keep the business actually running on a day-to-day level, being aware of your resources and how you’re using them is one of the most important tasks for any business owner. However, there’s one resource that is perhaps even more important, and almost certainly more valuable than both of these things, and it might not be what you expect: time. The reason that time is the most valuable resource in your business is actually pretty simple. The reality is that time is the only resource that, once you’ve used it, you can never get it back no matter what you do. Wasting time is the real reason behind so many newer businesses never being able to make it past the one year mark without collapsing. Wasting time can lead to problems in every aspect of your business and if you’re not careful, could lead to it failing altogether. With that in mind, here are some of the ways in which you can make sure that your business is always using its time as efficiently and productively as possible.

 

Maintaining equipment

No matter what kind of business you’re running, you’re going to be using some kind of equipment. Whether it’s heavy machinery or simply computers in an office, if you’re not keeping your equipment maintained then things could end up coming to a sudden stop very quickly. Sure, it might seem as though taking the time to keep your equipment well maintained is going to make a dent in productivity but it’s far less significant than the problems that would be caused equipment malfunctions. Making sure that you’re monitoring the equipment in your business and you always have the means to keep them running smoothly, from variable speed drives in heavy machinery to some up to date anti-malware software on your office computers, is incredibly important. Don’t assume that, just because something is working right now, that isn’t going to keep working forever.   

 

Employee training

Your employees can often be the greatest asset to your business overall, but they can also cause serious issues if they aren’t working as efficiently and productively as possible. Most of the time this lack of productivity isn’t because of a lack of care or motivation among your employees, but rather a lack of understanding and knowledge of the correct procedures. This is why it’s so important that you invest time and effort into employee training. Making sure that employees always know exactly what to do when confronted with any problem might initially use time that you would rather spend pushing forward, but it’s well worth it when compared to how smoothly and efficiently your business can end up running when everyone is on the same page and is fully prepared to deal with anything that comes their way.

 

Structure

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One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of newer businesses make is that they simply don’t have a clear structure in place for their business. Everyone is just sort of floating around from task to task, never really having the focus that they need to get things done. In order to avoid this then you need a greater sense of structure in your business so that everyone knows what their task is at any given time. This means that you may need to invest in management staff who can keep employees focused and away of exactly what it is that they should be doing on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, tasks are going to end up half finished, and no one is going to have much of an idea what they’re actually supposed to be doing half of the time.

 

Detailed planning

Without a plan, your business cannot function, it’s as simple as that. Trying to move forward without a clear plan is like trying to herd cats. You’re just going to end up feeling frustrated and as though you’re wasting your time. However, having an overall plan for your business and the direction that it should take isn’t enough. While that’s incredibly important, you need to be thinking about things on a more individual level. You should think about the stepping stone goals that you need to reach in order to work towards your overall aims. Then, you need to think about things on an even more granular level. How does your business need to focus on a day-to-day level in order to reach those goals? It might seem like going overboard to plan things down to such a micro level but if you really want your business to function properly on a day to day level, then it’s incredibly important that you know what needs doing at any given time right down to the smallest possible detail.

 

Health and safety procedures

Health and safety is one of the most important aspects of any business and yet is often one of the most overlooked. The issue is that you only really see the need for health and safety procedures when they’re not there and something happens. If a member of your staff ends up getting injured in some way and you don’t have the correct procedures in place then not only will you have lost a member of staff for an extended period of time but your business could well end up facing serious legal and financial consequences for this. Not only do you need the right procedures in place but you also need to make sure that all of your employees are fully aware of what is required of them in order to make sure that the workplace is as safe as possible for everyone.

 

Outsourcing

There comes a time when you simply can’t take everything on yourself. This is especially important for smaller businesses who might not have access to a lot of employees. Not only will trying to handle everything yourself lead to jobs being half finished or neglected entirely, but it can cause you and your employees to burnout, which in turn can cause the productivity of your business to grind to a complete and total halt. Because of this, you should always be willing to look to outsourcing as a method of bringing in the kind of support that your business needs. Not only does it take a great deal of the burden away from you and your employees but it means that the tasks that you outsource, whether it’s marketing, accounting, or anything else, will be in the hands of trained professionals with a great deal of expertise and experience behind them.

 

Communication

Communication in the workplace has always been incredibly important but never more so than it is today. Because of the sheer pace that the modern business world moves at, you employees need to be able to share ideas with one another as quickly as possible. There are two simple things that you can do to improve communication within your business. The first thing is the provide your employees with the ability to communicate. This means things like offering them work phones and keeping the infrastructure of phone and email in the office running properly. The other way to improve communication is to make sure that it’s clearly encouraged. You can do this through the layout of the office; an open plan layout prevents employees becoming isolated, or through team building exercises that help your employees to feel more like a cohesive unit.

 

Clear goals

 

The best way to use your time properly is to all be pushing in the same direction. However, it can be difficult to know what that direction is without something to work towards This is why it’s so important to have clear goals that your employees are fully aware of. Not only does this focus your workforce but it also gives them a context for the work that they’re doing. Nothing kills motivation and productivity faster than feeling as though the work you’re doing has no real impact. By showing them what they’re working for and giving them frequent updates on how the business is progressing towards those goals, you and your staff can get a much better idea of the fruits of your labor and are much more likely to stay motivated, even when things get difficult or complicated. Not only should you have overall goals for the business but helping your employees to create personal goals is a fantastic way to motivate them to use their time wisely and productively.

Now, time is obviously not the only thing that you need to worry about in your business, far from it. However, it is important to understand that it’s something that clearly interacts with every other element of your business and has a huge impact on how all of those things function on a day-to-day level. If you’re not using your time wisely, then your business simply doesn’t stand a chance.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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