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2009-06-25: Time Is The Most Precious Resource Any Business Has

Time is money. We hear that phrase constantly. Those words are a lie!

Time is NOT money. Time is far more valuable than money.

If you run out of money (and who does not?), you can find a way to get more. Not so with time. We each have the same 24 hours and when it is gone, it is gone. No one can generate any more time than we already have.

As a starting point, take a minute to calculate what your own time is worth. Here is an easy formula: estimate your entire income from every source for one year and divide that figure by 2,000 (50 weeks x 40 hours per week). Be sure to include your hourly or periodic pay figure PLUS the estimated cost of the benefits you are paid but do not actually see (FICA, insurance, etc).

That number is what one hour of your time is actually worth at this moment in time. Not what you think you are worth or hope you are worth or intend to be worth . . . what you are actually worth.

Whatever your number, think about each and every activity you are involved in on a regular basis. Could you farm out any of these activities . . . to a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, a web designer, a copywriter, a part-time employee, your spouse or even one of your children or a kid in the neighborhood?

In the real world, most small business owners or managers find it very difficult to relinquish control and delegate. Too many of us major in minors.

Delegation is one of the best ways to increase your income while decreasing the number of hours you work. Effective delegation is not easy. It does not come naturally.

Almost all resources are potentially unlimited. Assuming you are willing and able to invest the time, effort and capital, the only constraints as to how much money you can make come down to the time you have available.

There is also no real maximum as to how many customers you can have, or employees, or locations, or products or anything else.

The savvy marketing person recognizes that time has become the most precious commodity anyone anywhere seeks. Save me time and you get my business. Waste my time and I go elsewhere. Simple equation.

We have entered the Age of Time Saving. The commodity of time is number one with every group of consumers. It will remain in that position for a long, long time, possibly forever.

Once you know how much an hour of your own time is worth, do a quick assessment of how you conduct your business as it relates to saving your prospects and customers time.

__Customer service. Can customers complete your buying process easily and effortlessly? If not, why not? What can you do to improve? Does your website load quickly and does it have a really good Frequently Asked Questions section?

Do you have a toll-free number if your customer base is out of the area?

__Delivery of your product or service. Are you copying industry standards or can you up the ante by consistently under-promising and over-delivering? Do you have a system in place to keep score on this hugely important factor? Keeping score is part of the game.

__Contact with callers. Most people are fed up with _pressing one for this and two for that_ and long telephone on-hold times. Make periodic phone inquiries into your own business and figure out what you can do to improve caller contact.

Be wary of the Gatekeeper Syndrome that invades so many businesses. This turnoff involves recordings that advise callers how busy you are and why frankly, their call is actually an annoyance! Gatekeeper Syndrome greetings are often recorded without knowledge of the the owner or principal. They are customer turnoffs.

__In addition to the Age of Time Saving we are also in the Age of Information. The business that quickly provides useful up-to-date information will retain more customers for longer periods of time.

Take a close look at and listen carefully to the wording in your advertisements. Eliminate puffery and empty claims and emphasize what is in it for your customer or prospect to buy from you . . . today!

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. That is all you have and you need to spend some of that time sleeping, eating, playing and relaxing. Time is an entrepreneur's most precious resource, because it is the only one that is truly limited. Be stingy with it.

About the Author

Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.RedMeatMarketing.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.


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