22 Apr Plan for Recovery – Lesson 2: Investment in Your Business
Feeling a little out of control? Worrying about everything? Fearful that your business might not survive? The best way to counteract fear is to take action.
Yesterday you had an exercise to focus your energy on strengths, opportunities and action. Did you make the time?
Investment in Your Business
Today’s lesson is on your investment in your business. No I’m not talking about finding investors, although that maybe one of the actions necessary, however I’m referring to planning how you invest your time in your business growth.
There are only 24 hours in a day. That’s 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. No matter how you split it there are still only 24 hours in a day.
In an easy split could look something like this:
8 hours for Sleep
8 hours for Health & Wellness
8 hours for Work
Then we could further segment the 8 hours of work time and equally split the time something like this:
2 hours for Operations
2 hours for Sales & Marketing
2 hours for Customer Service
2 hours for Administration
Helloooo! Be real, no one’s life is actually split equally into these slices of time. However, it is within our control to define a) what to invest our time in 2) how we chose to invest our time (a precious commodity) 3) the value it adds to my life or my business.
Business Owner Comments
Before we get into the exercise let’s visit some examples of what I often hear from business owners
- “I always spend time on my business, but things get in the way.”
- “I spend 10-15-20 hours a day here. I work late and get up early, but I’m exhausted most of the time.”
- “I need help, but can’t find the right people and when I do they want so much money I can’t afford”
Do any of these sound familiar? I’m not questioning the validity of the statements, because all of these statements are how many business owners feel. The more stressed they become the bigger the opportunity.
Pay close attention to the underlined words in the statements above. Do you see any commonalities?
- Always – no one “always” does something the same way, the same time, with the same energy
- But – isn’t that behind you (lol). Aren’t we just making an excuse for not getting something done or not wanting to so something?
- Spend – if you’re spending time it’s costing you money – if you’re investing time it’s making you money
- Exhausted – something is out of balance
- Right People – have you taken the time to define ‘Who the right person is for your business?’
- Can’t – Afford – you can’t do something you haven’t told yourself you ‘want’ and you can’t afford something because you haven’t defined what you can afford.
Don’t let your common sense go out the window when you’re running your business. IF you want something bad enough YOU find a way to make it happen! So how bad do you want your business to recover? To Grow? To flourish?
Humans are extremely bright creatures and we have total control over where, when and how we spend our time. Easy for me to say right, I don’t walk in your shoes every day. Well I do, I am a business owner and I have the same doubts and fears about business success and failure. However, what I have chosen to do is write down my fears and then reframe them into actions.
We can learn to reframe what we say to ourselves and others. For example, here are three examples of reframing the statements from above:
- I invest in my business by understanding the roadblocks and taking steps to overcome them.
- I invest additional time in my business, while running or walking on the treadmill.
- My business growth is dependent on hiring several key individuals. I will create job descriptions, define the salary requirements and associated budget, before beginning my search for people.
We can tell ourselves we are always (one of many words to remove from your vocabulary) focused on our business growth. We always spend quality time with our family, friends, etc. BUT (another word to remove from our vocabulary) do we really know where we spend our time?
Did you know the average person spends 21.8 hours per week on low or no-value activities such as surfing the internet, doing tasks which can be delegated and putting out fires! Look in the mirror – we could be the problem! (See blog post).
I realize many business owners think they will just sleep less. Ask yourself – do your energy levels dissipate during the day? Do you see your waistline expanding? Does your stress level increase? According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you should have at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night. If you miss a couple of hours each day you are likely to eat, on average, over 559 calories more a day and you eat more junk or processed foods. Lack of sleep feeds into the stress cycle by impacting your memory, judgement, and mood – yup you guessed it you get even more stressed, more tired and hungrier!
Exercise for Today
Grab the pad of paper and pencil again. For the rest of the day I’m asking you to write down everything you do throughout the day. Do not want try to capture everything at the end of the day.
After you write down each activity I want you to rate it with a 1 – 3 – 5 (1=no value, 3=met value expectations, 5=exceeded value expectations). Be honest! If you rated it a 1 or a 5 jot down a quick reason for why you gave it that rating.
- If you’re heading to a meeting and it’s scheduled for 1 hour and it runs late by 15 minutes, it took you 10 minutes each way to get there, and then there were the drive-by conversations then the meeting took you 2.75 hours not 1 hour.
- If you drove to get lunch write down the travel time to-from and then capture time spent on lunch. If you were working while eating, yes I know this happens, also capture the activities and time spent while eating, and again rate both the meal and each of the activities with a 1-3-5.
Let’s use scenario 2 from above to capture the details – it’s 11:30 and you’ve got a break to grab a sandwich at Subway
11:30- drive to Subway (5 min drive)-R3, stand in line (10 min)-R1, got sandwich (5 min)-R3, drive back to office (10 min drive-traffic)-R1
12:00 – talk with office manager (15 min)-R1
12:15 – sit down to eat sandwich and answer emails – email 1 (5min)-R1, email 2(5min)-R1, email 3(5min)-R1, click on article (15min)-R5, email 4(2min)-R1, called away to handle business emergency – (45min)-R1 (could have been handled by manager), finish eating sandwich (5 min)-R3
It’s now 1:37, 127 minutes later, and you’re just finishing lunch! Now let’s tally up the value:
- 15 minutes – exceeded expectations
- 15 minutes – met expectations (somewhat arbitrary based on how you valued getting your sandwich)
- 97 minutes – no value
Can you see the return-on-investment to spend a few minutes today to capture your activities for the day?
For the rest of the day capture where you spend your time and rate the value. Remember to capture time at home, your commute, time exercising, and the time spent sleeping.
The next morning review your notes and tally up your results. How much time was spent on value added activities (ratings 3 or 5)? What made these activities valuable to you or your business? Did they increase your revenue? Did they make your kids/significant-other happy? Did you actually get to do some exercise? Did you get 8 hours of restful sleep?
How did it go? Were you able to map out how you spent your 24 hours? Go ahead and place the hours into the pie chart. Include the value/non-value added time you spent. If you didn’t get 8 hours of sleep, did you say to yourself, ‘if I slept less I could do more”? If you did, you’re in the majority of business owners. Yes in the short-term this may be true, however aren’t you in business for the long-term?
Tomorrow we’ll look at the 9 types of waste. It will help you further investigate and understand the waste in the-way-of-working which can help identify cost of waste and the impact it has on the business. We can apply this information to the work you did in Tuesday’s exercise.
Reach out if you want help. Take advantage of a value-add hour with me.