Time Allocation: Creating a Formula for Your Business

Time_blog_June2015Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Running a business is a time consuming endeavor. If you don’t allocate your time well, it can quickly become difficult to manage. Entrepreneurs often work unusual hours and in unorthodox spaces. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 56 percent of people who are self-employed have worked from their homes and 43 percent have worked on the weekends.

So, how can you manage all of the tasks needed to run your business? Allocate your time carefully with this formula so you can master your schedule instead of serving it.

Be the Boss: 5% of Your Time

As counterintuitive as it may be, running your company shouldn’t dominate your schedule. You need to manage employees, handle payroll and pay the bills to keep your business operational, so create a smooth and effective way of getting these tasks done.

For example, if accounting is consuming your time, consider an online accounting software such as Sage One. This task is incredibly important to your success, so find a way to make it easier and more accurate instead of letting it cripple your business.

Think Creatively: 5% of Your Time

As an entrepreneur, your business lives and dies based on your ability to think outside the box and solve problems that emerge. Although getting inspired can’t happen on a schedule, setting aside some time to experiment, read and even daydream is a critical component of your success.

Familiarize yourself with new developments in your industry or field. This way you’ll find that inspiration strikes more and more often. It is also critically important that you don’t let this part of your schedule grow out of control – afterall, it is perhaps the part that is most enjoyable.

Become a Master: 20% of Your Time

No matter where you are in the course of your business, there is always room to improve. Take the time to learn new skills and fill in the gaps in your knowledge. This doesn’t mean you have to close up shop to go back to school, though. For example, there are plenty of opportunities for e-learning.

If you doubt the importance of setting aside time to gain new knowledge, consider this:Elearning Industry reports that more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use educational technology to instruct and educate employees. Don’t overlook the importance of continuing your education.

Work on Branding: 30% of Your Time

It doesn’t matter how you spend your time if nobody knows about your product or service. Reaching customers and making them aware of your business is one of the most important things you can do with your time. Entrepreneur suggests several ways to start branding your company, such as creating a logo, establishing your company’s voice and designing templates for your marketing.

Marketing takes many forms, such as running a blog, contributing to charities or speaking at conventions, so don’t limit yourself to one marketing channel. And while the specifics are different based on your industry, make sure you have time blocked out to market yourself and your brand.

Make Money: 40% of Your Time

Overall, the bulk of your time should be spent doing the work that makes you money. If you are in retail, that means getting on the floor and selling product to customers. If you are in design, that means putting your nose to the drafting table and creating the work that earns you your pay.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are not strangers to hard work, but you should be careful to not let the money-making portion of your business dominate your entire schedule. You need to balance your time so your business will flourish.

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