If “time is money,” you don’t want to wait to find out how much time rules your business and your life. Jumping into your own small business without a strategic business plan, however, just trades being a wage slave to being a time slave.
Time management is a strategy. You start to manage time as soon as you begin to structure your strategic business plan.
- § Draw a three-year plan, a horizontal rollout detailing revenues, expenses, income, etc. in detail.
- § Draw a 12-month plan in which you plan the first year in fine detail.
- § Draw monthly, weekly, and daily plans in turn where you structure a micro vision of your performance.
- § Draw a daily plan in hourly or shorter segments.
Now, the intent here is to bring order to your plans, to schedule performance, to keep time in its place. Such a strategic plan provides metrics on performance and clues to needed fixes. The plan is not inflexible, but you have a problem when the plan indicates time has gotten out of hand, when work is taking too much time, when you are not giving something the time it needs.
The unemployment rate is one index of how insecure a job can be. When you work for others, your job security depends on the whim of a person or organization. When you own your own small business, you have many bosses; every customer is a boss. So, even when you lose a customer, you still have lots of others.
You trade being a wage slave for being a time slave when you enter business without a business plan that used time as a business tool, that includes time as a business function, and that respects time as a business partner.
By Steven Schlagel