Is time, or to be more precise, the lack of time, your biggest enemy? After all, managing time effectively is a requisite for business success.
Time is a business’s most important resource, because there really is a limit to the amount of time there is. Sure, you can work longer hours, including evenings and weekends, but going down that route still has a time limit.
Whether it is an inefficient use of time, or a lack of ‘manpower’, the consequences of always being up against time can adversely affect a business in several ways, for example:
- Reduced productivity: It’s a pretty obvious thing to say, but the outcome of an inefficient use of time means that things simply take longer to complete. The consequences could be that deadlines are missed, or clients go elsewhere because a competitor has responded quicker.
- Opportunity cost: Following a similar theme, the longer it takes to develop your products or services, the higher the chance you have already missed opportunities by the time they do get to market. Competitors could also have stolen a march on you that affects your longer term-prospects!
- It costs more money: If things take longer to complete, it’s not only the indirect cost of your hourly rate adding up, but it can lead to extra costs to get a project completed on time, for example paying overtime to your staff, or hiring outside help.
- Poor decisions: Questions and enquiries are always cropping up in our business lives, which means we’re regularly having to make decisions. If you’re time poor, there’s a good chance you’ll rush into a poorer decision than you would have, had you had the time to give it more careful consideration.
- Burnout: And if you do consistently work evenings and weekends to keep on top of things, your work-life balance suffers and the chance of burnout catching up with you at some point increases.
Managing Time Effectively
When it comes to managing time effectively, a time management survey amongst business owners, carried out by The Alternative Board (TAB), provided some interesting findings.
- Business owners are spending significantly more time than they think they should working IN their business rather than ON their business.
- Owners spend 32% of their time on email/web browsing.
- Owners feel they are wasting or losing most time on email and administrative tasks.
- When asked how they could improve their productivity, answers included:
- 77% – by completing truly urgent tasks.
- 56% – by delegating administrative tasks.
- 45% – by having fewer distractions.
A different survey by TAB also found that “most business owners report spending most of their time on email, though only 9% feel it’s the most important use of their time.”
How to Make Your Business More Efficient
If you’re struggling with a lack of time, and looking to make your business more efficient, how do you pull yourself away from working IN your business, to focused work ON your business?
The key is identifying the actions and tasks that you, as a business owner or leader, excel at and then creating what we like to call ‘a personal priority plan’ around those tasks.
For most business leaders, these will be the actions that directly lead to business growth, such as focusing on clients, growing the sales pipeline, delivering products and services, as well as developing your business strategy.
For the tasks that fall outside of your personal priority plan, the ones that are squeezing your time, do you have people in your team you can delegate them to?
If you find it’s the routine admin and business tasks that are the problem, then outsourcing some of these to a Virtual Executive Assistant can be key to making your business more efficient.
Creating Time with a Virtual Executive Assistant
Here are 3 ways a Virtual Executive Assistant can create more time in your business, allowing you to manage your time more effectively:
- Firstly, they can handle anything from the standard admin tasks, such as email and diary management, arranging meetings, travel, and events, through to an ever-growing range of responsibilities. Typically giving you back an additional 5 to 15 hours each week for you to do your most important work.
- Secondly, an experienced Virtual Executive Assistant anticipates, and handles problems, that could trip up their client. Problems and issues occur on a daily basis, and steal time from business leaders if they’re dragged into solving these problems.
- And finally, they can provide a strategic role, as well an administrative one, helping with decision making and prioritising what needs to be done. All of which creates the time and head space for a business leader to be their most effective.
You don’t have to outsource everything. Just delegating a few tasks to a Virtual Executive Assistant, for maybe 5 to 7 hours a week, enables business owners and leaders to claim back time to focus on their most important actions, their personal priority tasks.
If the lack of time is your biggest enemy, please get in touch.
We’re always happy to discuss if working with a Virtual Executive Assistant can help you manage your time more effectively and make the most of every opportunity.