Time Flow

Time Flow

“Time Flow”: Or, How to Get 25% More time to Spend on Your Core Mission Without Working One Minute More

In business we talk a lot about cash flow and how companies live or die by it. But we seldom talk about something equally important: time flow. And we should be talking about it, because it’s often not the lack of cash that keeps a company from growing – it’s lack of time.

What Causes Business Time Crunch?

Midsize businesses grow from small businesses. Small businesses grow from entrepreneurs who usually wear a lot of hats. Often the founder of a company is the manager, chief rainmaker, part time accountant, one person HR department, and any other function that needs to happen but remains an empty box in the org chart. Most entrepreneurs are good at this kind of multi-tasking. They come super charged with vision and drive and a willingness to work long hours to grow their dream. That’s both necessary and good in the beginning. Ironically, it can be part of the problem down the line.

When Necessities Crowd Out Core Competency

No one starts a business because they’re excited about balancing the books and making sure they’re in compliance with all applicable OSHA standards. As an entrepreneur, you started your business to take control over your life, to gain independence, and because you believe that you can provide a better service or product. Certainly businesses run on the necessities of accounting, HR compliance, risk management, insurance and the like – but they grow on vision. And what happens often, as small companies grow, is that the necessities that the founder took care of in her “extra time” begin to take up most of the time. And that leaves little time for the core job of the founder, which is to pilot the business according to her vision.

Necessities are…necessary. But vision and leadership are essential. Together, they constitute the core competency of the founder. No one else in the company can provide them. So when necessities crowd out essentials, it’s time for the founder to give up being a multi-tasking superhero and become a delegating manager. There are two ways to do that.

When Necessities Crowd Out Core Competency

No one starts a business because they’re excited about balancing the books and making sure they’re in compliance with all applicable OSHA standards. As an entrepreneur, you started your business to take control over your life, to gain independence, and because you believe that you can provide a better service or product. Certainly businesses run on the necessities of accounting, HR compliance, risk management, insurance and the like – but they grow on vision. And what happens often, as small companies grow, is that the necessities that the founder took care of in her “extra time” begin to take up most of the time. And that leaves little time for the core job of the founder, which is to pilot the business according to her vision.

Necessities are…necessary. But vision and leadership are essential.  Together, they constitute the core competency of the founder. No one else in the company can provide them. So when necessities crowd out essentials, it’s time for the founder to give up being a multi-tasking superhero and become a delegating manager. There are two ways to do that.

Delegation: Letting Others Master Their (and Your) Fate

Sure, everyone knows that delegating is the way to go. So why do so many people have trouble doing it? Many people are surprised that the answer has to do with an emotion: trust. Founders trust themselves, implicitly, to do a good job. After all, their company depends on it. And they often don’t trust others to do as good of a job. Obviously, no one would want to trust their gruff but competent mechanic to do the work of HR, that just makes sense. But if your people are bright, motivated, and honest, then it’s time to let some of them step up to more responsibility in appropriate functions, while you gain more time for what you do best, which is driving your business.

The good news is that you often gain more than time by do this; you gain a more engaged staff. And it won’t cost you a lot of money to do so. The reason is that many people – if they are competent and bright to begin with – actually want more responsibility. And they want it for a personal reason, which has little to do with making more money. In 2011, Daniel H. Pink wrote a book called, “Drive, The surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”. In the book he shows that, once people are paid enough that money is no longer the prime motivator, “there are three factors that the science shows lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” In short, people want responsibility if it helps them achieve more control over their lives, mastery of a new skill, and greater purpose.

Let them find greater purpose. While you find more time.

Find a Team Coach, Not a Business Consultant

As a business owner or manager you not only can’t know everything; you also don’t have time to learn everything. Nor should you. Time you spend researching new accounting software or compliance rules is time you could have been spent on improving sales, or devising new products or services. If you could find the perfect person to help you grow your business what skills attributes would that person have? He or she would be able to handle or help with a lot of your necessities – workers compensation coverage, risk management, HR and hiring, payroll – and also be a trusted coach, experienced and ready with broad business knowledge to help guide your choices.

That’s a lot for one person to bring, and we pretty much guarantee you won’t find a business consultant who can bring all of it. Instead, put a team at your beck and call. A team that has been there and done the research, that can help with the necessities, and can also provide trusted coaching on the essentials of leading your business to greater success. So that team would now wear all the hats that used to weigh down your head. Except one. The hat that says, Visionary.

Make 25% More time Your Goal

We all know the old adage that that time is money. But what’s really important is what you do with that time. If it’s spent on necessities chances are your business will find it hard to grow. But if you use it for essentials then it’s a good chance that your business will grow along the lines of your vision.

What could you do if you had 25% more time every day, without working one minute more? You could create a better future. That’s what you could do.

BBSI is Your Business Coaching Team

We’re experts in human resources, payroll administration, risk management, hiring and staffing, workers compensation coverage and, above all, strategic business coaching. Call us today to see how much better business can be: (503) 403-1355.