Cost Cutting Thursday

May 7, 2009 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

Every Thursday we present 5 COST CUTTING TIPS for your business.  This week we are going to focus on a huge cost to your business: WASTED TIME.  These are things that take up your day that could be spent focusing on your business.  By increasing your productivity and cutting out things on which you waste time you can increase the profitability of your business.  This applies to you, the owner, and to any employees you may have as well.

5 ways to cut costs (and cut wasted time):

  1. Set limits on social networking sites
    Social networking sites like facebook and twitter are extremely valuable ways of marketing your business.  However, you can find yourself sucked into their vortex and all of a sudden what began as a logon to notify your followers about a new product has turned into a game of word twist.  (I am as guilty as the next person.)  When I catch myself in a pattern of repeating this bad habit, I limit my time by setting a timer of 30 minutes to get my online networking done.  And, then back to work.  I make sure not to come back for a few hours.
  2. Crunch the can
    As small business owners we can become accustomed to working A LOT.  Because we have flexibility of when we work it often becomes working all the time.  But, how much of this time is really earnest work time?  If I look at a 10 hour work day, chances are that 7 or 8 hours of this time where actually spent on work.  So, why stretch the day out to 10 hours?  If you crunch the can – or, shorten your work day – you’ll find that you can actually get a lot done in less time.  (As a parent, I can tell you that this naturally happens the minute you give birth!)
  3. Hire a professional to do the dirty work
    How much time do you spend working on something you have not been trained in?  (Accounting)  And, how much do you hate the hours you spend on this?  (A lot)  And, do you find you could be spending your time doing other things?  (You bet!)  It seems silly to be telling you to spend money by hiring a professional in a cost-cutting article, but there are certain investments that are valuable to your overall success.  The time you spend spinning your wheels with your taxes is something that a trained accountant could do in 5 hours for less money that you can be billing out to your clients for 20 hours.  I always say: do you want to have another career in addition to everything you already do? Chances are that you are not aiming to be a CPA someday, so why go there?
  4. Don’t check email for the first hour in the morning
    I wrote a post a few weeks ago with this in mind: begin your day with the focus of your most crucial task.  Before you logon to your email, do one crucial thing.  (I challenge you to spend 30-60 minutes on your business plan.)  It’s amazing how much you can get done before the email time-suck begins for the day.
  5. Track your time
    Not sure where your time is going?  Track it for a couple weeks.  You’ll probably find that there are chunks of time that are unproductive.  Some people find that they are unproductive after lunch.  Shift your focus to something that doesn’t require much concentration if this is the case.  Or schedule your meetings after lunch.  (When I’m unproductive in my “desk work” it’s often because I feel like socializing and a meeting is a perfect match for that time.)  You may also find that you are not billing accordingly to your clients for the hours that you accrue.

We are not robots.  No one is expected to be fully productive at all times of the day. The key is to recognize when you are wasting time and adjust your focus.  Often, burnout can lead to lack of productivity and it’s a sure sign that a break is needed (a day off or a walk around the neighborhood.)  The time you waste is time that can be spent making your business profitable – or, more importantly – spent on the people you love.

Do you have cost cutting tips?  If so, please email us at SageWeddingPros-at-gmail.com .

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Writing Your Business Plan, Step 2: The Company Description Excel for the Wedding Professional – Seattle, WA

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