Here’s how you can keep control of your time and make sure that you’re earning what you’re worth.
1. Calculate your real hourly rate. Once you add up the number of hours you’re working, including core business tasks as well business-related items like invoicing and answering phones, you may be surprised to learn that you’re wasting time and money on less important tasks. Say you bill clients $100/hour for your time, but then you spend two hours of your own business time on non-essential tasks like unjamming your printer or organizing your receipts from the last quarter. Wow! You’ve just spent $200 on tasks that many administrative assistants could do for $15/hour. You want to be working on your business rather than in it.
2. List the extraneous tasks. Make a list of all of the extra tasks you perform in the course of a month that don’t directly relate to your core business. This could include accounting, customer support, event planning, filing, marketing, public relations, search engine optimization, and anything else that takes up your valuable time.
3. Hire help. Outsourcing isn’t just for multi-national corporations. It’s a must for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses, because it frees you up to focus on your core business. You might ask other local businesses who they use or go online and search the portfolios of creative and technical professionals on sites like guru.com and elance.com. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is another option. VAs work remotely and handle many different tasks including scheduling, bill paying, and research. Look for a VA on assistu.com or ivaa.com.
4. Delegate as much as you can. Many entrepreneurs, especially those without a cofounder, are reluctant to let go of tasks that they once performed themselves. They worry that other people will not perform those tasks with the same level of attention, but it’s actually better to have someone who is trained in that area rather than trying to do everything yourself. And it will save you money in the process.
5. Jump back in the driver’s seat! Time is the most important asset you have. Unlike money, you can’t earn more once you’ve used it up. Managing your time efficiently helps ensure that your business succeeds. Put all non-essential tasks in the hands of others so you’ll never to worry about burning the midnight oil to get everything done. Now that you know exactly what your time is worth, jump back in the driver’s seat of your business and do what you wanted to do all along – work less and earn more money!
© 2009 Ali International, LLC
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