Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship! Here, every tick of the clock counts, and the way you spend your time can significantly impact your business’s success. Understanding the value of your time isn’t just a ‘good-to-know’; it’s an absolute necessity for every small business owner. But why, you might ask. Let’s find out.


Unraveling the Value of Your Time: Is it Really Important?

Think about this: Have you ever really pondered, “What’s the value of my time?” It might sound philosophical, but trust me, it’s as real and practical as it gets. According to a study conducted by The Alternative Board in 2017, small business owners spend a measly 32% of their time working on their business, with a whopping 68% consumed working in it [1]. Sounds a bit confusing? Let’s break it down.

When you’re working in your business, you’re stuck in the everyday grind. You’re doing administrative tasks, dealing with customer service, or perhaps micromanaging your team. Yes, these tasks are essential, but do they contribute to your business’s overall growth? Not really.

On the flip side, working on your business involves things like strategic planning, seeking partnerships, networking, and making big decisions that impact your business growth. The real value of your time emerges when you’re dedicating it to these high-value tasks.


The True Value of Your Time: How to Measure It?

Now, let’s talk numbers. How do you actually measure the value of your time? It’s quite straightforward:

  1. Estimate your yearly income.
  2. Figure out the total hours you work in a week and multiply that by 52 (weeks in a year).
  3. Now, divide the annual income by the total hours worked annually.


And there you have it! The result gives you a rough estimate of your hourly worth. Remember, this isn’t cast in stone and can change based on how much your business grows and profits.


Making the Time Count: High-Value vs. Low-Value Work

Here’s a fact: As a small business owner, your focus should be on high-value tasks. But what are these?

  1. Strategic planning and decision-making: This includes your business vision, plans, and the big decisions that affect growth.
  2. Building and nurturing relationships: This can be with clients, business partners, and suppliers. This should be your key focus, especially when you are starting out in business!
  3. Product or service quality: Developing and maintaining the quality of what you’re offering is key. However, don’t hide behind improvements of products. The easiest way to move forward here efficiently is asking your clients for feedback.
  4. Marketing and branding: How you market your business and brand makes a world of difference. In the beginning of your journey, focus on building your brand on results. This is the most effective and trustworthy way of marketing.
  5. Financial management and investment strategies: Money matters. Period.

However, low-value tasks often sneak up and take up a considerable chunk of your time, without adding much to your business growth. These could include paperwork, micromanaging staff, or doing things that you could easily delegate or outsource.


Say Goodbye to Low-Value Work: Your Path Forward

So, how can you make sure you’re not squandering the value of your time on low-value work?

  1. Delegate: Let your team step up. Give them responsibilities and let them take the lead.
  2. Automate: Tech to the rescue! Use technology for tasks like scheduling, billing, customer support, and so much more.
  3. Outsource: Bring in external agencies for specialized tasks like accounting, marketing, etc.


Implementing these strategies will free up your time, allowing you to focus on the big picture and drive your business forward.

In essence, understanding the true value of your time is a game-changer for small business owners like you. It’s about prioritizing, making smart choices, and ensuring your time is used wisely and effectively. Remember, you can’t make more time, but you can certainly make your time count. So, gear up, reassess the value of your time, and take your business to new heights!




[1] The Alternative Board (2017): https://www.thealternativeboard.com/pulse-survey-business-leaders-productivity

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