One of the biggest challenge employees who transition into entrepreneurship face is the problem of time mis-management (or lack of time management skills).
You see, when you’re in paid employment, your bosses keep a strict watch on you to ensure you’re busy doing what you’re paid to do every minute and every hour you are at work.
In fact, most national and multi-national companies often spend thousands of dollars each year on time management training for their employees.
The reason they do this is pretty simple . . . time is money!
However, when employees retire early to start a business of their own, they become their own boss.
Nobody dictates to them anymore.
Nobody is around anymore to ensure they use their time profitably for the growth of the business . . . this time their own business.
This is when many people who quit the 8-5 rat race to start their own businesses begin to lose focus and mismanage their time.
You know, self employed people are suppose to have complete control of their time.
Yes, that is one of the benefits of being a self made founder and CEO!
But remember . . . if you do not plan to succeed, then you have planned to fail.
Similarly, if you do not plan your time well, you will accomplish very little each business day. And the less you accomplish each business day, the less profitable your business will become.
Yes, time is money.
So, effective time management must be a priority for you as an entrepreneur.
Employee Versus Entrepreneur Time Management
The next obvious question is: How do you as an entrepreneur manage your time effectively?
Simple. Learn from time management as implemented by successful and profitable national and multinational companies.
The truth is . . . profitable national and multinational companies have defined work rules that ensure that employees make the best use of their time while at work and, hence, give the company best value for the money spent hiring them.
Therefore, if you desire to own a company that is profitable year on year like these national and multinational companies, then you must deliberately implement at least some of those rules in your business even though you’re the founder and CEO of the business.
Let’s consider some of those rules that result in effective time management.
Rule #1: Work Start Time
Most national and multinational companies in my country resume work by 8am and close by 5pm.
To remain an employee of the company, each employee must be punctual every day. And they must stay at their duty post passionately working for the success of the company until closing time . . . and for 5 working days per week.
Similarly, to manage your time effectively as a business owner, you must have a defined resumption and closing time, even if you are a solopreneur (or one-man business) . . . even if you have no employees yet.
Rule #2: Defined Break Time
Virtually all successful companies have defined break time.
During my days as an employee of a multinational company, the break time for office staff was one hour while operations staff had 30 minutes break time.
An employee risked losing his job if it is established that he is constantly flouting the break time rules.
As business owner, you may choose to give yourself a longer break period. That is entirely up to you.
But do have a defined break time otherwise you may find yourself too glued to your TV or cable channel to do meaning work each day.
Rule #3: No Personal Phone Calls At Work
Some companies have a policy of no phones in the factory or no personal phone calls while at work.
Some individuals find the “no personal phone calls at work” policy draconian.
But, hey, employers want value for the money they pay their employees. And there is no employer who wants his employees repeatedly on the phone making personal calls while at work. That would be a blatant waste of his employer’s time.
Similarly, as a business owner, you may choose to make those personal calls to friends and family later in the evening after you have accomplished the business for the day. And keep personal conversations with friends (what some people call “gist”) short if you must make them during official hours . . . and for situations that demand immediate attention.
Rule #4: Target Setting And Performance Appraisal
Every employee in a well run national and multinational company have a written job description and set targets for each week, month, quarter or year.
The set targets are often the basis for quarterly, six-monthly or yearly performance appraisal.
This means that employees already know from the start of the year what the company requires of them weekly and monthly. And, in many companies, poor performing employees lose their jobs if they have 2 or 3 consecutive quarters of below average performance.
What is the impact of target setting and written performance evaluation on employees?
Of course, it keeps them on their toes.
The desire to keep their jobs (and their salaries) keep employees working tirelessly to achieve company set targets. And this results in the growth in sales, profitability and competitiveness of the company they work for.
Want to manage your time effectively and grow your small business?
Do the same for yourself and your employees.
Each person that works for your business must have a job description and set targets.
Target setting get employees working . . . and working far more than they would have worked if no target is set.
In addition . . .
1. Avoid time wasters (e.g. too much time on social media doing nothing productive, too much time in front of the tv, too much time on the phone “gisting” about unprofitable stuff etc)
2. Schedule your time and stick with your schedule
3. Go to bed early and sleep 7-8 hours. A good sleep often results in a productive time at work.
Remember . . . time is money.
Therefore, implement effective time management strategies in your business, no matter how small the business is.
Use the four strategies discussed above and any other entrepreneur time management strategies you come up with during your journey as an entrepreneur.
I wish you success.
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