All businesses (no matter their size) have a limited amount of time and a limited amount of money. At different stages and different levels of business, time and money may have different priorities. At certain points in your business, money may be more valuable than time, and other points, vice versa. Before you make strategic marketing decisions involving your time and money you really need to fully evaluate your situation. It is good to do this on a regular basis for it changes as your business situation changes.
Time > Money
Those getting started in business may have plenty of time to market their business. New business owners can spend time networking, making contacts and running various aspects of their business. It is not uncommon for a start-up to coordinate everything in their business at first from managing the financial books to doing their own marketing.
This is usually necessary because starting a business is very costly and new business owners need to be extra cautious with their funds or they may run out of funds and be quickly out of business.
Pros & Cons of Having More Time than Money in Business:
- Being knowledgeable about various aspects of your business.
By getting involved in the different parts of your business you are able to gain a general understanding of how things work. This general knowledge can help you make better decisions through the life of your business and career.
- Use idle time to build your business.
If your business isn’t demanding all of your time. You may have idle time that can be better spent working on your business.
- You know your business and have your best interest in mind.
One of the best advantages of doing-it-yourself is that you know your business best and don’t have to rely on others.
- You are in your business and have a limited perspective.
If you are in your business you may know it really well, however at times this can lead to challenges because you are too close to your business and can’t see the situation from a new perspective.
- You may not be using your idle time in the best way.
By using your time in your business on accounting, marketing, and business operations you may not be using your time in the areas where you are more efficient and more productive or best suited.
- Your intentions may not produce the results you want.
If you are not careful when doing it yourself, you can end up spending more time and more money in the long run and get lackluster results. This is typically true in any profession. Unless you expect to coordinate the effort long term, it may be best to learn the fundamentals and pass the reigns to a professional you can trust.
The Turning Point
As business develops, situations demanding your time increase to the point where time can become extremely limited making it more and more valuable. This can switch the pendulum in the time / money relationship.
Money > Time
Once your time has become more valuable than your money, chances are you have funds coming in that can be used to free up your time by outsourcing various tasks and responsibilities.
Pros & Cons of Using Money over Time:
- Money can free your time.
Outsourcing some efforts can free up your time to let you focus on more important aspects of your business.
- With money you can hire people with better knowledge and skills.
Hiring skilled professionals can give you an edge to achieve better results.
- Money can be re-earned.
If you lose money, you can earn it back in time. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes and make better decisions.
- Money can only go so far.
Unfortunately your pocket book eventually runs out. If you have limited funds, there is only so much you can outsource initially.
- Money can keep you removed.
If you are throwing money at an effort, but not involved or paying attention, you could be wasting your money and not even be aware of it.
- Money doesn’t guarantee results.
Just because you pay somebody to do something, it doesn’t mean it will be done correctly.
An important thing to remember about Time & Money: Time is fixed and can not be regained while money can be lost and re-earned.
This ability of being able to acquire more money gives the edge to Time of being more valuable. You can lose every dollar you have and still find a way to get back in the game. However once you’re out of time, the game is over.
Don’t get caught in this trap: If you constantly think, “No one can do this better than me so I’ll have to do it myself.” You will be limited as you can’t do everything forever and you will eventually run out of time. Finding the right people and giving them the right vision and leadership is the only way out of this trap.
Beware of micromanaging those you hire or outsource work to. Micromanaging demoralizes and demotivates even seasoned professionals and can lead to frustration on your part and theirs and wasted time AND money.
Five Quick Questions to Evaluate Your Time vs Money Ratio:
- Do you have funds to outsource the effort?
Of course you need funds to outsource an effort. If you don’t have the funds to hire someone else to do it than you may need to do it yourself.
- How much is your earning potential per hour?
If you could make $50/hour and you are doing work that could be done for $15 per hour, you’re losing money by not earning your rate and outsourcing the effort.
- Are you efficient at the effort?
If you are a novice and not efficient at doing the effort, you may still be better off outsourcing the effort. Your hourly rate may be $25/hour and the outsource work $100, but if it would take you four hours to do the same work that could take a professional 1 hour. You’d lose four hours of time and be no better off financially.
- Can you continually coordinate the effort moving forward?
Some people spend a decent amount of time trying to learn many aspects of other parts of their business only to find that by the time they start getting proficient in the skill, they are too busy to coordinate it anymore.
Do you like doing the effort?
This one is pretty straight forward. Life is short. If you don’t like the effort, you probably aren’t going to do a stellar job or enjoy it. It may be worth paying someone else just to have a better quality of life. If you do like it, perhaps it can be something you continue until your time no longer able to handle the task.